We were flipping through the Trae playlist in our iPod yesterday, and "Swang" came on. "Swang," if you'll remember, was the Big Hawk and Fat Pat-assisted second-best song from Trae's irreplaceable Restless album. It was swirling, ethereal wonder of a track, but the thing that made it a staple of any best-of Trae list was that not only did Big Hawk pass just a few days before Restless came out, but it featured one of Hawk's most poignant (and sadly prophetic) bars ever:
"I would give my last breath just to bring you back, bring Screw back, matter of fact, bring the whole crew back."
You could almost hear the sorrow dripping out of your earbuds. The whole thing had a creepy, foreshadowy vibe to it. And when we were listening to it yesterday, for some reason the first person we thought about was the likewise deceased Big Moe. Moe, who passed away two years ago, was one of the most inherently likeable members of the then-worldbeaters S.U.C. He was big and mean-looking (but in a cool way, not a dick way), had all manner of all purple outfits, and was just local enough to where you could ask people if they listened to him and then make fun for being lame if they said no. It also didn't hurt that he made several songs that almost perfectly captured the zeitgeist of his time. Such as..."Mann":
During the year 2000, if you didn't refer to something as being "like... mann!" then you were a bona fide d-bag. (Example: My new PrimeCo phone is like... mann!) "Mayne," or any other variation of the word "man" is also acceptable. Oh, and you get extra credit if you actually switched from Motorola to PrimeCo phone simply because Yungstar said he did. You get rewarded in the rap world for blindly following orders blindly, just like the military."The Purple Stuff":
We dare you to find somebody built to wear a bowler hat more perfectly than Big Moe. Even the guy in the famous self-portrait with the apple in front of his face agrees."City of Syrup":
A lot of times we'll hear a song and immediately hate it. Then a few weeks later we'll realize that it's okay. Then a few weeks after that we'll start to really like it. And then a few weeks after that, we'll play it every single time we get into the car. This song is one of the few that was able to skip right past those first three steps into the Listen To It Every Day status. Some others: "Lights" by Journey, "Shoop" by Salt n Pepa, and "Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Take from that what you will."Why, Why":
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How to be Instantly Cooler in Two Steps: 1. Click play. 2. Shut your mouth. Done."Just a Dog":
We were in college when this song was really, really popular on The Boxx, and we argued with our roommate for a good two hours that when Moe says "I was at the club one night" he was actually saying "I was all fucked up one night." We still believe this. Big Moe is the only person in the history of radio to have tricked every single censor into allowing him to say the word "fuck" without consequences. When we get to heaven, we will have a great big laugh with him about this.