I'll be the judge of that.

DOPE Digest Vol. 17 – Beyonce, The Giver, Young Jeezy and MORE

DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

Beyonce and Nicki Minaj- Flawless remix

caroline: Unless you live in North Korea, you’ve no doubt  heard or read about this Bey/Nicki remix released this past week. It’s not the very best remix I’ve ever heard, but let’s be honest – that’s not why we care about this song. This is the first collabo between two of the baddest bitches in the industry, but more importantly, it’s the first time Bey Bey has acknowledged the now infamous elevator incident. I read countless headlines along the lines of “BEYONCE FINALLY ADDRESSES ELEVATOR INCIDENT”, only to be disappointed that her mention is more of a hint via the single line, ”  Of course sometimes shit go down, when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator”. Duh fucking duh, Beyonce…stop being so coy!

In all seriousness, I’m very into the epic female empowerment happening here. These two ARE exceptionally flawless, in addition to being two of the most important and dynamic female rappers the world has ever seen. Given how monumentally talented they are, I could have done with a little less vocal manipulation and auto-tune in favor of something a bit more raw…but I’m not complaining. I’m happy this happened and I’m hoping to see more where this came from.


BK: This song is pretty dope, and I’m very excited about Nicki’s new album. I also feel like the Jay and Bey tour looks sick, and I’m jealous of anyone who has gotten to go.

HOWEVER. Much like the other’B’s we (read: the internet) never criticize (Breaking Bad and Boyhood)  I am growing a little tired of the Beyonce worship that has been going on for years. She is a very talented performer, she seems like a great wife and mother, and I’m hopeful that all the divorce rumors are false… but she is NOT a good rapper. Sorry guys, she’s not. I don’t like the guttural thing she does, and I think hearing her opposite Nicki exposes her shortcomings.

She’s a great singer and I am all for her albums, her performances, and her family. Just leave the rapping to someone else.

The Giver trailer

caroline: Have you guys gotten a chance to watch the trailer to the highly anticipated movie The Giver yet? It comes out next week and it looks like everything we hoped for and more. Based on the children’s book by Lois Lowry, The Giver is about a futuristic, seemingly utopian society that winds up being more of a dystopia. If you’re anything like me, you were assigned this book in middle school, got away with barely reading it, feel regretful about it as an adult and now looking forward to this movie as a refresher. Or maybe you just really love Meryl Streep and/or Katie Holmes movies. Either way, we’re both in luck!

I’m no Roger Ebert, but judging from the trailer this movie looks very well-done. From what I can remember, the book had a seriously creepy vibe which seems to have translated well to the big screen. I’m also a sucker for a movie that features a well- rounded, all – star cast. But we’ll see! We have to wait until next week to see if the movie lives up to everyone’s expectations.

BK: Unlike most of our fine readers, I didn’t read The Giver until I was in college (Children’s Literature – it was a serious class I promise), but I think that a later reading gave me an understanding and excitement about the book that I might have missed if I’d read it as a Young Adult.

The cast for this movie looks amazing, and there is something exciting about seeing a new film attempt the Wizard of Oz-like transition from black and white to color. I worry about how the internal monologues will translate from the book to a movie, but that is the case with any novel-to-movie transition.

Getting Meryl Streep in this was a stroke of brilliance, and I can’t wait to see her playing opposite a soulful Jeff Bridges. The visual effects look solid and even the kids seem like they might be talented, which is a huge plus. I’m excited, and I think we’ll have more on this when the movie debuts.

The Chainsmokers – Kanye feat. Siren

BK: I wasn’t sold on this track until I revisited it with a Lone Star (or two), but the more I hear it the more I’m convinced it will be a perfect Friday night song. Everyone loves Kanye, and truthfully if there was anyone I could be like, assuming the child of Jack White and Jack Black is not possible (how good would that be) I think Kanye might be tops on my list.

The vocals are decent, but the beat is excellent. The lyrics are catchy and novel enough to make this one a potential radio hit. Put it on before you leave the house, I think it’ll be a good decision.

caroline: Braden, my boy! You don’t want to be like Kanye! You’re way too kind and even-keeled for that shit. I don’t want to be like Kanye either, so it’s no surprise that I don’t care for this song. I mean, haven’t these guys listened to Kanye’s music?! They should sit down and listen closely to “New Slaves” and then talk to me about wanting to be like him.

I do agree, the lyrics are catchy (a bit TOO catchy) and I could totally see this being a radio hit, however I personally would never punish my radio by keeping this song on.

BK: That’s what the Lone Stars are for, Caro! Don’t forget the LONE STARS!

Young Jeezy – Me OK

BK: OK Jeezy, OK! This is something I can 100% get behind. I haven’t spent any significant time with Young Jeezy since he released “Put On’ with Kanye back in 2008, and I can’t say I missed him too much during that time. Once this beat kicked in though, it was as though those six years never happened and I was back calling out my devotion to my city. Or small New England town, as it were.

Welcome back, Jeezy.

caroline: It’s so funny you included this, because I was JUST walking around listening to Jeezy the other day wondering where the hell he has been. I don’t think anybody has hung out with Jeezy since 2008, and while I didn’t miss him terribly, I find comfort in the fact that he’s back rapping this mediocre song  to me on Youtube.

I’ll be keeping my ears to the streets incase Monsieur Jeezy happens to release something worth listening to.

Katy Perry – This Is How We Do

BK: I treat Katy Perry the way most people treat Beyonce. She seems cool, she’s self-aware, and in my eyes she can do no wrong.

This track is the perfect follow-up “Last Friday Night (TGIF)” and I am glad it was released while there is some time left to enjoy it this summer. I like the vignette-style of the video, I like the lopsided haircut she sports, and I definitely like the dancing Pee-Wee Hermans. This song is excellent and I’m glad it’s getting recognition before September.

caroline: Oooo GIRL. I love this video! In true Katy form, it’s splashy, colorful and kooky. How outrageously fun does it look to be in a Katy Perry music video? How do I get that gig?

I’m very in love with the dancing Pee- Wee’s, her hair and all of the cartoony food imagery. The only thing I’m sadly not in love with is the song itself, but that could change after I hear it in every bar, restaurant, store, bodega, drug store etc. 100,000 times.


DOPE Digest Throwback: Blink-182 – What’s My Age Again?

BK: Oh Blink-182, how I’ve missed you.

I heard this song in a bar this week and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. When Enema of the State came out in 1999, Blink-182 was at the top of their not-giving-a-shit game. This was before they got serious and came out with some depressing (and generally much worse) music in the mid-2000s prior to their break-up and solo projects (which, eesh).

This video is one of the most memorable of the TRL-era, with the whole band running naked through the streets and generally having the best time ever. When this song came out, being 23 years old seemed like a LONG way off – but now that I’ve left 23 far behind me in the rearview mirror, I can think about that (stupid) age with a certain fondness. Maybe I’ll go streaking tonight for old-times sake.

…Or maybe not. Happy Friday.


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