The student news site of Hopkins High School

The 15 greatest rap songs of all time: Number 12.

May 5, 2020

The 15 greatest rap songs of all time: Number 12.
  1. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib feat. BJ The Chicago Kid – “Shame” (2014)


The juxtaposition between the silky-smooth nature of Madlib’s sample from The Manhattan’s 1973 classic “Wish That You Were Mine” and the gruff voice of Freddie Gibbs makes “Shame” a song that’s always ready to be put on repeat.

“Shame” is an uncomplicated anthem dedicated to a culture of double-dealing and friends with benefits. Like most of Freddie’s work, the lyrics are as hard-hitting as a car with a crash test dummy making contact with a barrier with plenty of wordplay and some moments that might cause laughter from the listener.

Freddie Kane’s flow is impeccable as he tries to convince a girl he’s seeing that their relationship was never meant to be serious, so she shouldn’t be upset about the ordeal. It’s a fairly graphic song so getting into the lyrics probably wouldn’t be a great idea for a high school newspaper article, but he laces in some tongue-in-cheek bars about his rampant infidelity and womanizing.

The real highlight on the track, though, is Madlib’s stunning production. He starts the track off with a simple sped-up rendition of “Wish That You Were Mine”, but the way that the sample is sped up even faster to transition into Gibbs verse is so satisfying that I usually have to restart the song half a minute in so I can listen to the heavenly adrenaline rush into the steaming fire of Freddie’s rapping.

My favorite Madlib instrumentals are those that sound like they were assembled in a warm, sunny headspace. The swelling strings are euphoric and the soothing background vocals are almost therapeutic. With the lushness of Madlib’s mastercraft, it still retains the rough around the edges nature and the drums add a nice bouncy rhythm which turns the song into a delightful tune for a summer night soiree.

BJ The Chicago Kid’s hook is also perfectly mixed so that it sounds nearly identical to the earlier sample and his soulful voice is so unbelievably crisp. Hooks on glossy tracks like “Shame” are right in BJ’s sweet spot as evidenced by his work with Anderson .Paak, J.I.D. and Chance the Rapper and he connects on this one as well and sends it into the stratosphere.

The best song from the unparalleled Piñata is proof that sometimes the best songs don’t need to be philosophical or world-changing. “Shame” barely breaches the three-minute mark and is instantly gratifying, matching how woman-crazed Gangsta Gibbs is on the cut.

It’s a sweet rap song with a not so sweet message at its core and is one of many songs from hip hop’s best odd couple that will be bona fide classics when everything is said and done.

The Royal Page • Copyright 2024 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in