Tag Archives: Word is Bond

Word is Bond: ‘Paul Revere’


I’ll admit it – there was some writers block this week.

Some weeks, the verses I want to cover for Word is Bond come naturally to me. Other weeks, like when we covered the Notorious B.I.G. on the anniversary of his death, there is an obvious tie-in.

This week, there’s nothing. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t had time to listen to much new music lately. And no classic verses jumped out to me as ones I had to cover. I tried to scour the iTunes top songs list, but it was filled with tired acts like Lil’ Wayne and something called Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. So that didn’t help.

Finally, as I was just about to leave the computer to clear my head and try and think of a song, it hit me – this week is the Jewish holiday of Passover, which honors the end of slavery thousands of years ago and the exodus from Egypt. No better time to honor the greatest-ever rapping Members of the Tribe, the Beastie Boys.

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Word is Bond: ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe (Remix)’

bitch-dont-kill-my-vibe-remixBY ELI KABERON

Last week, MTV named Kendrick Lamar the “Hottest MC in the Game” for 2013.

Though I know what it means to be a “hot” MC, I was left confused as to what MTV meant by calling Kendrick the “hottest” rapper in the game right now. Kendrick had the best album from start-to-finish in recent memory; does that really make him the best overall? Is that the same as someone calling Joe Flacco the “best” quarterback in the NFL right now, since he just led the Ravens to the Super Bowl?

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Word is Bond: ‘Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)’


In this week’s edition of Word is Bond, Poor Scholars’ Eli Kaberon celebrates one of the greatest rappers of all time, The Notorious B.I.G., by breaking down of one of his hottest verses: “Flava in Ya Ear (Remix).”

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Word is Bond: ‘Scenario’

atribecalledquestBY ELI KABERON

One of the many things I love about rap game are the personalities that participate in it. I have no clue if they’re authentic or just show business gimmicks, but things like Rick Ross acting like a mafia don, Waka Flocka Flame seeming batshit crazy, Redman being the most hilarious stoner ever and Lupe Fiasco’s constant awareness for how the government – and his record label – have wronged him are just awesome to me. The old joke is that all country singers do is write songs about the lady who left them, their truck and their dog. Nobody could generalize rappers like that because there are countless different verities of what an MC looks, sounds and acts like.

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Word is Bond: ‘Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber’


Everyone has songs that they associate with specific moments, places and people in their life. For example, I always think of seventh-grade school dances when Juvenile’s “Back Dat Azz Up” comes on, because, well, that’s what we listened to when juking at seventh-grade school dances. We even had an assembly because of that song and the “salacious” dancing it provoked. No matter what takes place for the rest of my life, I’ll always connect that song with that time in my life.

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Word is Bond: ‘Where I’m From’

Where-Im-From-Jay-Z-DocumentaryBY ELI KABERON

A central theme in rap music has always been representing. Shouting out where someone was raised, the neighborhood they live and the city they claim is a necessity for any rapper.  Go through history and try to find one MC who didn’t have at least one song about representing. It’s impossible; they’ve all done it.

In this week’s Word Is Bond, I wanted to take a look at maybe my favorite song on the subject. No surprise, it’s by my favorite rapper of all-time. Jay-Z’s “Where I’m From” takes representing to a new level, giving all the grimy details on what life was like for a young Shawn Carter growing up in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects.

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Word is Bond: ‘Act Too (Love of my life)’


The most common response I got from friends and readers when they saw the first installment of Word is Bond last week was, “Awesome!” Turns out I’m not the only one who likes to really study verses in rap songs, and that a lot of people love the genre for more than the beats and punch lines. In fact, the second most-common response I received was that word, “love,” as in, “I really love hip-hop, man. Here’s a verse you should write about…” They then proceeded to tell me about a specific song or artist that they wanted to be profiled.

Rest assured, there’s already a long list of candidates, but I’m always open to suggestions. Tweet or e-mail me and I’ll be sure to keep adding to my list.

But the topic of love got me thinking, especially with Valentine’s Day this week. What is the best rap love song? So many choices. Then I remembered a track that is a love song about hip-hop, and immediately I had my pick for the next Word is Bond.

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Word is Bond: ‘What’s the Difference’


I would argue – and have, with friends, several times – that writing a great verse can be tougher than writing a great song. Sure, a verse is part of a song, but a verse is really just about the words. It’s line after line of interesting, funny, though-provoking, truth-telling lyrics. A great song can have so-so verses if it has a terrific beat or a catchy hook (see: Every Drake song). A great verse has no chance for a letdown. It has to be strong from start to finish.

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