When a new Juelz Santana track popped up in my google reader among the never-ending deluge of inanity and utter banal garbage that is the rap-blog internet I clicked and listened (rare for me). I, as some people may know, love Juelz. I don't have to explain this, just know it. Anyway, I had no idea what to expect. The last year for Juelz has been incredibly slow. All we've really had to work with was a Skull Gang Takeover mixtape, which was actually pretty good but short on the man himself and stayed pretty close to the standard post-Dipset Harlem rap sound, ie: dudes crooning slightly off tune (somehow Max B became the most influential dude in the neighborhood) and oddly toned-down, sample based beats. It also had autotune, an unhealthy usage of the term "swag" (often followed by the word "SPLASH!") and Skull Gang (they kinda suck). Not a good combo. From there we had the Bad Santa thing, which basically can be described with the exact same words above but replace "Skull" with "Byrd." Neither are huge fails but they're not exactly something I will be returning to any time in the near future. Then there were the two very high profile guest verses. One of them is a throwaway run-of-the-mill club verse that should never have even made it out of the studio and the other is one of the best verses on the highest selling album of 2008.
There was also this thing that no one talked about because it was totally half-assed and people were just not feeling the Swag Splash movement. But it had one Juelz/Jimmy collab on it that went under the radar, "Stack Money," which is genuinely engaging and original, possibly because of the bugged out from the future beat:
So when zshare was almost done fucking annoying the hell out of me and I was ready to listen to "Let's Cruise" I was truly curious to find out what it was gonna sound like. Was I gonna hear some boring skull gang-boosting promo for another mixtape? Was it gonna be some trend-hopping bullshit like autotune, hipster samples, heavy use of the words swag and/or aggy, an "A Millie" copycat beat? Nope. None of that shit from human crack. Instead, he got gifted a woozy pillow of a beat and decided to write his version of an ode to sex and cars and the tenuous relationship between the two. The shit turned out to be one of the strangest, silliest, most hilariously and beautifully unselfconscious raps I've heard in a minute. The metaphors make very little sense, so little that I think he must have either been a) completely stoned when he wrote this, b) lost his mind/gone a little soft in the head from drugs or c) has decided to just run with this new absurdist, giddy style and just fuck with us cuz he knows (thinks) he birthed this whole swag thing. It actually had me wondering for a minute if he's much smarter than everyone thinks and some people may not be in on the joke. What I love about this song is the childish and just ignorant approach he took to actually writing the lyrics. He wanders off the subject like he was alternating between xbox, family guy and online porn while he wrote it. It's supposed to be a song about sex and driving but the dude can barely even stay on the subject. And the beat matches the half-asleep, half-baked lyrics and flow perfectly. It's unintentional genius.
A few of my favorite moments from "Let's Cruise":
"you gotta be a good dicklicker"
"let me tongue-kiss your breast, yeah baby I'm a mess"
"I'm so cold I could make a groundhog come out of his hole, I'm out of control"
"I'm so bold you would think I was full of cereal, but that's a no-no. cheerio!"
"I'm so beyond freaky, baby I'm kinky"
"the floyd mayweather of sex, now show me some respect"
"I don't salad toss 'em I salad turn 'em"