I used to stand on rooftops with two Glocks
Figuring, how do I turn my Timberlands to Crocs?
Usual Suspects by Rick Ross (Ft. Kevin Cossom & Nas)

Metaphor

As he is growing older and realising how hard it is to leave the old fast life you are caught up in and the poor life (timbalands) to being an older wiser man and have money to afford crocs.

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Imagine this, the Nazareth had to get from rags to rich Usual Suspects by Rick Ross (Ft. Kevin Cossom & Nas)

Nazareth is a word play on one his alias God Son — Jesus who is called Jesus Of Nazareth since he was born in that city. Nas used to schemin how to go from poor to rich — rag to riches.

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[Produced by DJ Frank E, Kanye West & Mike Dean] Blame Game by Kanye West (Ft. John Legend)

“Blame Game” is built around a recreation of Aphex Twin’s track “Avril 14th”. The track starts off with John Legend singing an introduction lasting a minute. The records production is lush, cello-driven with predominant piano. It has a very soulful sound while Ye´s lyrics and voice varies between angry and subsequently less antagonistically and repeatedly confesses:

I can’t love you this much

Kanyes forceful deliver and expresses hurt and contempt. At times like a ballad.

West’s vocals are considerably distorted throughout the track, from naturally clear-sounding and ominously pitched-down as it pans back and forth, as they are sped up, slowed down, edited substantially, and altered in various ways, giving the song a ominous and brooding mood. The effect is almost psychotic, suggesting three or four inner monologues fighting over smashed emotions.

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[Produced By: Kanye West, Mike Caren, Mike Dean & No I.D.] Hell Of A Life by Kanye West

It kicks off with the bright piano knocking and uses a distorted bassline. The record blurs the line between reality and fantasy, romance and sex, religion and love — a recurring theme that the album is centered around and fittingly named after. The production is nightmarish, feverish, grotesque and grimy in nature, which is drawn from progressive rock and stoner rock. Like other songs on the album, for instance “Power”.

Aesthetically the production is influenced by psychedelic rock, that features equally baroque braggadocio inspired delivery. The primarily bombastic production is littered with abrasive riffs and brooding, heavy synths. The record contains 2 samples:

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Success, McLaren, women staring
My villain appearance
Success by Jay Z (Ft. Nas)

Explaining how it is to be famous, Nas’s wealth and status has attracted a lot of attention from the females they are just staring thirsty at him, especially since women like bad boys and Nas has an even better appearance — that of a villain. Also a reference to his song “I´m a Villain”.

Schoolboy Q talked about these kinds occurrences with women just staring, in an interview that was quite interesting. As well as success means Nas having a fancy car like the McLaren.

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[Produced by Jeff Bhasker & Kanye West] All of the Lights by Kanye West (Ft. Alicia Keys, Alvin Fields, Charlie Wilson, Drake, Elly Jackson, Elton John, Fergie, John Legend, Ken Lewis, Kid Cudi, Rihanna, Ryan Leslie, The-Dream & The World Famous Tony Williams)

The massive composition of “All of the Lights” incorporates instruments such as drum ‘n' bass breaks and brass fanfare. Piano, cello, orchestra and keyboard are used and it makes for a universal anthem.

It starts of with the musical interlude consisting of a prominent cello with orchestra and piano played by Elton John leading into the song. Then, then horn kicks in for the hook, it uses snappy drums polished off with some trippy delays on the vocals. While later actually 14 uncredited artists vocals are incorporated to sing. Overall, like many records on the album, it´s a culmination of his earlier work — flashes soul sampling off The College Dropout, baroque/the symphonic pomp instrumentation off Late Registration, gloss and maximalist production of Graduation and electro emotionally exhausted theme of 808s & Heartbreaks.

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And I be stunting, stunting like I got my first chain
I be stunting, stunting like I got my first chain
First Chain by Big Sean (Ft. Kid Cudi & Nas)

Stuntin is a slang for high class flashing of your jewelry, money riches etc. The first chain is a Roc-A-Fella chain so either he could be just flashing of his jewelery or telling everyone about how he was signed by them.

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The money come down, then climb up, but when it come again First Chain by Big Sean (Ft. Kid Cudi & Nas)

Kid Cudi is moving up in the world!

When he is getting paid he is climbig the metaphorical ladder up in networth, careerwise, towards his goal etc.

Note the contrasts come down — climb up.

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[Produced Dawaun Parker & Rahki] Black Boy Fly by Kendrick Lamar 1

The production has plenty of change ups throughout the song to keep you more than entertained without being overly produced. The main piano melody is catchy and hypnotizing with everything from electric guitars, synths and brass sections to compliment it.

Peep the video below for a complete break down into detail of the beat how to make it by Rahki, one of the prodcers of the track.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pDcGFciIXo

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[Produced by Jay Electronica] Queens Get The Money by Nas

Minimalistic beat 101. It´s cold Jay Electronica beat, stripped bare of drums. The piano throughout the whole record is a looped sample from “Summer 78 (Instrumental)” by Yann Tiersen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXLj_drORd0

It also features a lion roar in the beginning of the song for the statement that Nas will really go in on the beat and pull no punches.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHbj6bQJgsg

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