Crack Rap Is King In 2009

This past weekend I felt like I was taken back to the year of 1990. In the apartment where my dude’s aunt lived. On St. Johns Place in Brooklyn. Where my dude’s aunt also pushed that snow white. The same apartment where the music played, with drinks, laughs and the pungent scent of blow burning up in the Newport, the smoke clouds itself making a cat feel high, like Dr. Strange. The Clipse’s upcoming album ‘Til The Casket Drops’ did that for me. Reflecting on that album, plus some others that dropped this year, I came to the conclusion that if ’08 was the year of emo and weirdo rap, with rappers like  Kanye and Weezy leading the charge, ’09 is rounding out to be the year coke rap came back. Back to flood the streets with dope product. Via the Internets, ipods, cable and word of mouth, coke got heads hooked again. Love it or hate it, coke is once again king in the streets again.

Not tryna dig into my top albums of the year stash, that’s for later on this month. But with the timely release of the aformentioned ‘Til The Casket Drops’ (this Friday, Dec. 4th) it’s undeniable how some of this year’s best rap records have gone back to being on that drug shit. Back to when it was cool for rappers to spit about how they move product, how that product referenced actual drug experiences or was used as a metaphor for the drug effect of what their music brought on. Tired yes, but nonetheless still very potent, crack ain’t wack no more. Shit is hard out here, and drug rap might be that thing to momentarily take our minds off our daily sufferings. Huddle up and get some, then pass that shit around B.

Blame this regression on Cam’ron. Looking like a response to how hard the recession hit the streets, and regardless of the event that was Obama taking the gig of being H.N.I.C, the album ‘Crime Pays‘ dropped this past March with Killa reaching out to the common man with I Hate My Job, an ode to how jobs suck, how they’ll always keep a nigga broke and in the futility of struggling to keep one. Upon contact, Cookin Up took listeners back to the familiar tenement kitchen, pots a bubble, rocks boiling up. Letting us know how he Got it in Ohio, ‘Crime Pays‘ was that first shot into the crowded room of wack rap records, heads ducking, scrambling for cover from the gunplay that ensued. Dip Set was no more and the Capo been done left the building for greener pastures, but don’t sleep, niggas still be out there in the streets. Cam gave crack rap addicts the shot they wanted.  A most definitely slept on dope record for ’09, Harlem’s first Diplomat set the tone for what would be a banner year for rap’s drug music trade.

2009 saw Miami based rapper Rick Ross taking the ass whupping of his adult life from you know who. Ross never ever got my undivided attention before, so he can most def thank Curtis for how closely I listened to ‘Deeper Than Rap’.  After clearing my mind’s eye from the extraneous circus that was taking place and focusing solely on the mans music, ‘Deeper Than Rap‘ proved to be an exceptionally good crack rap album. Especially since I was never checking for Rick Ross before. Regardless how you feel about his tarnished image, Officer Ricky confidently dropped a beautifully executed record, filled with lush production and raps painting a vivid story, a colorful landscape of the best of what drug life offered, after the grimey street transactions and violence. Maybach Music, Yacht Club, Magnificent and Rich Off Cocaine chose to ignore the ills as it brought to the headphones the happily ever after part of Ross’ drug dealer fairy tale. For someone pegged as being a major fraud, Ricky got mad critical points for being so convincing in telling a story we all knew was fiction. In real life,Tia and his son were having mad shits and giggles on play dates up in Floyd Mayweather’s home, but on wax, ‘Deeper Than Rap’ beat the shit outta ‘Before I Self Destruct‘. In real life, Ross might still be losing, but on records, he was the clear winner. Sorry Boo Boo.

For years we were teased with the possibility of Raekwon the Chef following up with the perfect sequel to his timeless purple tape masterpiece that was ‘Only Built For Cuban Linx’ dropped way back in 1995. That’s very a long time in rap years. But yearly, many promises had gone unkept as to when and if said sequel was ever going to materialize. To the point that by the top 0f 2009 some of us no longer cared. But when the damned thing finally dropped this past September, the naysayers were finally silenced. Rolled out in perfect rhythmic symmetry to its predecessor, ‘Only Built For Cuban Linx, Pt.2′ saw Rae, his whoadie Ghost Face and the rest of the Wu-Tang collective sounding brand new. Hardened old school rap battle axes more concerned with spitting it raw than they were about capitalizing on how they survived the game to live to be the ripe old age of being the near 40 year old rapper set. Crime bosses, but still close enough to get their hands dirty with the dirty work associated with the game, Rae and Clan let fly the guillotines as their words blasted gats and sharp beats inflicted bloodshed hemorrhaged on wax. In the shadow that was the media tsunami of Jay-Z’s ‘Blueprint 3‘, armed with darts Cold Outside, Surgical Gloves and Broken Safety, ‘OBFCL2‘ quietly, but firmly edged out most competitors as being that album to beat for top spot rap record of the year. Angel hair with the lobster sauce indeed.

This week (Friday, December 4th), Virginia based crack rappers Clipse drop their third studio record, ‘Til The Casket Drops‘. Less about painting a picture and more about bringing to the chest the emotions felt with the damage the life of a drug dealer inflicts on himself, compromised morals, remorse, hardened souls, all that, Malice and Pusha T return to claim their place as pioneers of this crack rap shit. Soulful, haunting, the Clipse deliver a package sure to hook even the casual user to their brand of coke rap. Whether random or by design, they close the year and drug trend out by joining forces with New York co-d Cam’ron on the blazing Popular Demand (Popeyes) and enlist Cousin Rick Ross on the I’m Good remix, resulting in ‘Til The Casket Drops‘ rounding out the year of crack rap perfectly.  Maybe I’m too attached to it now, because of how dope it is, because of how it’s been stuck on rotation since I “copped” a copy this past weekend, but I’m willing to put good money on a wager that ‘Til The Casket Drops’ might be the record that goes head to head with Raekwon’s ‘OB4CL2‘ as being best rap record of 2009.

It’s been a while since I dug into my wallet and actually went to the record store to buy an actual physical music cd. Trust that I’m doing that this Friday, with the Clipse. Times are hard out here and my will is weak. I need an escape from all this cRap wack music flooding the airwaves. Nas was dead wrong when he proclaimed Hip Hop dead. Hip Hop ain’t dead, just been busy in the kitchen cooking up some of that marvelous hit. When it all boils to the surface, crack rap rules in 2009. Don’t fight it, forget being on a higher road, just take a hit. It’s time we all got high again.

Don’t think I’m overlooking the dopeness that was Fabolous’ ‘Loso’s Way‘. Another crack rap banger for ’09, and one of my favorites, it would take a coupla hundred more words to squeeze that one into this post.

PEEP: ‘Til The Casket Drops’ Album Review

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  • Incilin

    “I came to the conclusion that if ‘08 was the year of emo and weirdo rap, with rappers like Kanye and Weezy leading the charge”

    Really? I would say 2009 was the still the year of “emo” (I hate that word) rap with Cudi and Drake leading the charge. Not to mention the fact that Drake and Cudi each sold more than Raekwon, Cam’Ron, and prolly more than Clipse will sell.

    Love Rae’s album, never been much of a Cam fan (although a lot of his fans told me they wasn’t feeling it) and as much as I love Clipse I worry about listening to Casket Drops and not liking it (Somewhere along the way Pusha lost a step)

    Although Ross did do 300K off a coke record early this year, I wonder if he’ll be able to sustain that level of interest.

    Hate to be the one to tell ya, but gangsta rap is dead.

    • Combat Jack

      You’re right about emo rap killing it with numbers, and if that’s what we talking about, the yes. But with regard to that shit that knocked the most to true heads, I’d say no. And don’t be afraid to listen to ‘Til The Casket Drops’. It’s all that. Peep:

      • nicholasdelorejo

        I gotta diagree with you Jack. While your right in that coke rap was recieved well by the Heads this year you forget that they came from veteran rappers who were already skilled. There weren’t any new artists that made noise with coke rap.

        Also I think gangsta rap won’t be comming back anytime soon because it has be absent enough to drive people to miss it. The true form of gangsta rap has died several years ago. What’s left is the “I’m a gansta cause I get bitches, get money, and get haters” rap that uses the “don’t try to deny this and to test me” motto to say that it’s gansta. Rappers like Gucci, Wayne, and Jeezy aren’t gangsta per se but they don’t stray too far from it’s definition. That’s why hipster emo rap is now so appealling because since concious rap is virtually absent in rap, the Cudi and Drake are seen to the ignorant masses as innovators where as Jeezy may remind them of a another of Biggie.

      • Grimey G

        I like that you make it clear that Rick Ross was never really a drug dealer and its all bs but I don’t think we should applaud what he does regardless of how tight you think the records are. His shit is dangerous cause he glorifies drug dealing without ever having done it. He isn’t qualified to speak on the harsh realities the way Raekwon or even 50 is since he hasn’t done it. You even named 4 songs that “ignore the ills” of dealing. Of course they do cause he’s never experienced them. I guarantee there are dumb impressionable kids who hear his shit and think hustling is the greatest thing ever and there are no consequences. Its irresponsible, if his stories are good then he should write a movie but leave the drug rap to people who know what there talking about.

  • btb

    all genres of music take these kinds of detours.

    it’s cyclical.

    it starts with something real, people build off the image in their music and then it comes back to something real again. who was realer than johnny cash?

    • Max Profit

      “Blame this regression on Cam’ron.”

      I wouldn’t call it a comeback there is just more balance in the rap game.

      When the music gets too soft there is always a business opportunity to supply what is lacking.

      Rappers like Redhead Kingpin & Kwame set things up for NWA back in late 80′s.

  • Tony Grands

    ‘Deeper Than Rap’ is one of the first albums in a long time that I listen to almost every other day, but can’t quote one line. Well, outside of that “crabmeats” lyric. Sonically though, tight.

    OB4CL2 was exactly what I thought it should be. Maybe I got antsy & anxious, but when it finally hit, I was just so happy that I wasn’t disappointed it was more a relief than anything else.

    Didn’t get ‘Crime Pays’. Not really a Killa Cam fan, but maybe I’m just sleeping. The vid for “…Job” was funny though, in a real ass, “damn, thats my life too” type way.


    With gangsta rap officially missing in action, I could see the resurgence happening.

    Trap Rapper’s get a shout out though, since they’ve been doing it for years, relentlessly, just without the charisma.

  • AZ40

    Man my momma be on that newport smoke shit….anyway I’m not sure bout that clipse shit too much pharrell, yeah niggas did sleep on that crime pays, as far as albums of the year Rae is def in the running and some may hate but so is that Slaughterhouse

  • Brooklyn

    “On St. Johns Place in Brooklyn.” that’s my hood right there, crown heights baby! lived all over that damned street most of my life. hopefully 2k10 will hereld a return to gangsta rap, i never really got behind that softer rap. the clipse are always reliable for some good shit, i play “hell hath no fury” every damned day, that shit is tight. yeah, pharrell gets annoying, but pusha and malice are nice enough to get me past pharrell’s diddy-esque ad-libs. i’m anxiously awaiting their new shit.

  • capcobra

    that “popular demand” is my shit…i still ain’t check thier other song yet..i fell back on it..just trying to build up some anticipation..but that coke rap definitely came thru this year…so is gucci mane considered coke rap? or is that more like exstasy rap?

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    This n*gga CJ reminiscing about coolies…OG stature right there.

    On everything I have BEEN saying Ross never needed that “beef” sh*t.

    I got my “Crime Pays” copy. Everything I expected. So was the Blackout!2 (and the other BlaQKout).

    But I stay burning OB4CL2. Don’t like the “Surgical Gloves” VIDEO too tough, yet it takes nothing away from it being my #3 song on the album (Walk With Me, Broken Safety).

    War Angel>>>BISD I’ma drop later on a $ykotic playlist for what BISD SHOULD have had on it.

    I’ma have to see about The Clipse.

    Why don’t/won’t y’all talk about Rhianna catching the brick???

    p.s. I told y’all already BP3 is in the CD cubicle.

  • Jamal7Mile

    Old Man Rap*, FTW! OBFCL2, BO2, Slaughterhouse, and yeah I liked Rakim’s new album too (not my fave, though).

    Can’t identify with coke raps personally, but that doesn’t mean the “stories” aren’t entertaining and the beats don’t knock. 2009 was a pretty good year for my ears. Hopefully, 2010 will be an improvement.

    * Is “Old Man Rap” a new term in Hip-Hop? I didn’t make it up, but I’m loving this branch in Hip-Hop music right about now.


    CJ, i peeped ya review on Til The Casket Drop. that shit was tiiiiite. i strolled over to amazon & put my order in ASAP.

  • iquell

    Clipse FTW everytime out! Haven’t heard it yet but I’m giving a listening party for it just on the strength of the DMV (VA Beach) out here in Bmore. Next Tues (the original release day) @ Bourbon St.
    BTW good read, crack rap wins with the generation of people where around to purchase the first Reasonable Doubt CD on Freeze records.

  • epinz

    Ttcd is album of the year! How can u nggz that r clipse fans question wether they can put out a good album or not. They havnt failed us yet, with albums or mixtapes. For all the shit about pharrell, most dnt know that he produced ALL of hhnf, the asian said that himself! Ob4cl2 is runner up imo as far as albums of the year. Bp3 was the biggest album but def not the best. Ur right on with this cj, the best put together albums of the year were all drug related( ttcd,ob4cl2,dtr..can’t say I liked crime pays to much though) but I’m def coppin the shit when it drops.

  • epinz

    Ttcd is album of the year! How can u nggz that r clipse fans question wether they can put out a good album or not. They havnt failed us yet, with albums or mixtapes. For all the shit about pharrell, most dnt know that he produced ALL of hhnf, the asian said that himself! Ob4cl2 is runner up imo as far as albums of the year. Bp3 was the biggest album but def not the best. Ur right on with this cj, the best put together albums of the year were all drug related( ttcd,ob4cl2,dtr..can’t say I liked crime pays to much though) but I’m def coppin the shit when it drops..

  • tommy gunz


    wack rap is king


  • Worley

    The old man coke/crack rap never went anywhere. I still bump Cuban Linx and Lord Willin’. The new coke/crack rap doesn’t grab me like it used to. I’m at a different place in life so I need the old man versions – Cuban Linx and Lord Willin’ – to take me back to when things were much different.

  • OG Matt Herbz

    I don’t mind crack rap…if it has a conscience. If you can make me feel different about shit; show that even dope boys can spit a mean 16 and have reflective thoughts on the rights and wrongs–that’s why I fuck with Clipse.

    But “Loso’s Way?” I might have to give it another go-round, but the first couple of times I played that shit, it came off really soft. That crossover R&B rap shit…appealing only to ladies and metros. You might need to justify that one, big homey. “Money Goes, Honey Stay” is timeless, but I felt it was unmatched by any other track on that piece.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • 100

    Gangsta rap died when 50 Cent lost to Kanye West. Ever since then it hasn’t been the same I don’t even think the labels sign hard rappers anymore. The corporate world is based on numbers not talent. So if a gangsta rapper loses to a nerd college drop out rapper its a sign that times are changing and the monkey C monkey DO mentality of the music business says it all. 90% of the new rappers u here about are Kayne West spin Offs. Hell even Jay Z wants to be a nerd now to extend his longevity in the music business. 50 EFF’d the GAME UP

  • yoprince

    good post.

    i too have enjoyed crime pays, OB4CLII, Deeper than Rap. crime pays not as much but it’s a good record.

    will be copping the new Clipse joint from Itunes shortly. i already know that’s gonna be extra on point.

    when nas said hip hop is dead i think he made people step their game up, so i give him props for that.

  • UNITURNZ2000

    and wats with all these rappers talking about being geeked up in their songs lately? is coke making a comeback as the popular drug…..

  • Foshiggadale

    I agree with CJ for the most part on these, Crime Pays was certainly slept-on and had several classic Cam joints outside of the ones already mentioned (Silky & Who) and Loso’s Way was easily Fab’s best retail LP (which isn’t saying much, I know), and Pachanga, Lullaby, and I Miss My Love are standout tracks, but it does get a little too R&B hook happy at points

  • Cheeb

    Man the comments is whack! I hate how even fans look at numbers! Who cares about who sold what and did what? Like Immortal Technique said, just cuz u go platinum dont mean its dope, it just means there is a million mofos that are dumb!

    Its about quality of the music not how much units they push! Thats why the game is whack and hip hop is whack!

    I agree with CJ, I will definitely be copping this album. This year has been good and actually got me buying records again.

    With that said I love how yall be tripping on how dope/whack somebody is, when you dont even support them!

    U say hip hop is dead? you claim that everyone is whack? Rae, Meth&Red, Cunninlynguists, SlaughterHouse dropped DOPE REAL HIP HOP albums. How many of yall went and copped?

    NOT ENOUGH! if your not going to support real hip hop, u have NO PLACE to comment on whether or not hip hop is dead, etc.

  • DJ

    @ Incillin

    I cant stand when people throw around the word ganster rap like it applies to everything that is hard. I’m not trying to be a hater and go as far as saying Drake aint hip hop or anythig like that, but it is a whole different type of music that I dont even compare or think about when I think about hip hop. I listen to Reakwon, Sean Price, Gangstarr, Nas, and would never say I listen to gangster rap.

  • sealsaa

    I’m still mad at Nas for not jumping on Cuban Linx 2. I know he had another verbal intercourse in him…


    thank you combat jack for giving crime pays it’s shine. that album was back to classic cam funny skits good wordplay killer beats. also retarded songs that only cam can pull off like cookies and apple juice lmao. also when it comes down to it crime pays out of all the albums i bought this year was worth the money. you can almost let the whole joint ride

    • BIGNAT

      that movie i will watch it i know cam will make that joint funny. killa season was so bad it was good everyone refused to watch it until i showed them. you ever bored pop in killa season the movie you will be dying

  • guttaman

    why is this blogger supporting and hyping niggas rapping about selling crack??
    first it was gangsta rap and everyone was shooting and killin a million people in their songs. now its all about how much drugs u sold to fiens. why is our music sooo F*cked Up?!
    im sick of this sh*t.
    seriously, all this garbage does is bring our people down. real talk. i know its catchy sometimes but look at the state we r in. is it worth it. >>>>NO

  • jason_skittles

    Honestly i slept on all all crack rap albums this year for better or worse.

    I did cop bluebrint 3 however but funnily enough i cant call it crack rap this time round.

    I thinks its jigs best album to date go cop it.

    I’m feeling this crack rap been a while since i had a hit like the 90s and the whole x flows mania business. heard enough tunes from 09 no doubt hip hop lives.

  • Jhon da Analyst


    I feel you on that one cause Nas pissed me the fuck off too wit dat bullshit he gets on sometimes. Damn, remember “Eye for an Eye” wit Mobb Deep, Rae, and Nas??? Damn, the good ole days……..”talk about dem shits!!”

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