Tanya Morgan ft Blu – Morgan Blu/ Drake ft Tanya Morgan – Right to Left
We’ve touched upon this idea before, but the idea that Tanya Morgan could become, if not actually big, then at least “message board big” is pretty exciting. There’s two reasons it should happen: firstly, there’s a big vacancy for the title of “Laid-back Hip-Hop for Hip-Hop Fans” band of our hearts right now and secondly, they’re actually really good. “Brooklynati” is dropping later this month, and the level of high-end fannydangle they’ve gone through to promote it is quite impressive. If they keep the level of performance on these two tracks up for the entire LP, then they’ll be a top five album of the year act, no question.
“Morgan Blu” is the better of the two tracks in question here, but let us ponder “Right to Left” at more length. For the uninitiated, “Drake” is this month’s designated hypem.com buzz rapper, who gets a “first paragraph of every magazine profile” boost because he used to play Ferguson in Clarissa Explains It All. It’s all nice: you get what sounds like a New New York mixtape beat from 2006, there’s a namecheck for the doctor from Rugrats and corny pop culture punchlines about PS3 sales figures and Fred Durst’s MC ability, and then… “You can’t miss the boy/ Me and Rich united like Van Nistelrooy”.
Me and Rich.
Soccerball references, outside of the killer sixteens thrown down by Deuce Dempsey, have never been something rap needs. Outside of Project Pat’s “Dave Kitson Freestyle”, it’s mainly endless variations on “fly kicks like/got game like Pele/Beckham”. Which makes Drake’s decision to shout out the equine Dutch goalhanger a little confusing. What makes it even more headscratching, though, is that, and I appreciate this lesson here is just for our American readers, RUUD VAN NISTELROOY HASN’T PLAYED FOR MANCHESTER UNITED FOR THREE YEARS. Has Drake just been sitting on that line since 2006? Did Drake catch a YouTube clip of that time RVN hit a hat trick past Charlton in 2003 and just assumed it’d recently happen? I mean, if you actually update it to where he’s played for the past 1000 days, you get “Me and Rich real like Van Nistelrooy”. Which also works as a line. “Me and Rich got Dutch like Van Nistelrooy”. Exactly the same. “Me and Rich direct cousins of Kauto Star like Van Nistelrooy”. Maybe not as much.
“Morgan Blu”, on the other hand, doesn’t have any pointlessly confusing lyrics, but it does mark the first time I’ve ever been aware of Blu being worth a damn. Actually rhyming over beats that aren’t seemingly stolen from meditation tapes will do that to a rapper. Did you realise the kid who played Ferguson in Clarissa is now 32? Makes you feel damn old…