Screwston, Texas

New Houston Rap: Beyoncé's Remix Isn't That "Flawless"

10:32 Saturday night.

That's when I got a phone call about a new Beyoncé remix hitting the Internet.

10:34 p.m.: that's when I realized Beyoncé decided to rap about that infamous elevator fight between her husband and her sister and laugh about it. The bar itself, "of course sometime shit goes down when there's a billion dollars on an elevator" has already become heavily quoted on Instagram, and used as gossip-blog fodder to become a clear "explanation" or "addressing" of said fight. It may be the most talked-about thing surrounding this "event song," rather than just another bar in a long line of great ones.

Think about it: the combined billionaire status of Jay Z and Beyoncé didn't make that elevator thing major -- Solange did. If that were the case, we'd hear about billionaires slap-fighting with one another all the time. Steve Jobs would have cold-cocked Bill Gates with an old Apple monitor; Oprah would have laid hands on Warren Buffett. And so on and so forth.


Matter of fact, are we sure Bob McNair never thought about punching out Jerry Jones? I mean, shit DOES go down when a billion dollars is in an elevator!

Two things come to mind regarding Bey's "Flawless" remix with Nicki Minaj. One, their universes should have come together a long while ago. It's one thing to say you did a track with The Lonely Island; it's another to play Six Degrees of Separation and go through Rah Digga, Bow Wow, Devin The Dude (worth it), Slim Thug, Bun B, Amil, appear in a Case video and, finally, be part of the worst song on your husband's great collaborative effort with the guy whose wedding you two avoided, before reaching Minaj.

The second? As a whole, the remix isn't even that good. Judging by Beyoncé's flow, where she riffs on dudes wishing she was their baby mama (among other things), we're thisclose to getting a full-on Beyoncé rap mixtape. She even mimics Nicki's animated voices to announce Minaj's arrival, only for Nicki to offer arguably the year's most cringeworthy bars by referencing Michael Jackson's death, Conrad Murray and the drug that killed him. Oy vey.

For a remix, "Flawless'" zaps any of the original's feminist and impactful power. The original half of the song is the one where we all had to "Bow Down" as Beyoncé sneered at us about not being just a wife but also being from Houston, while using enough local rap slang to evoke the need for a city-centric remix. That half is the one Nicki -- and for that matter Lil "Petty" Kim -- should have flexed all of her creative muscle on, rather than mucking up one of my favorite OutKast tracks ever, "SpottieOttieDopaliscious."

But at least the latest batch of Houston rap releases hasn't sullied my mood.

Lil Keke feat. Yo Gotti, "Work" When Lil Keke tipped down to Atlanta to help put together his Money Don't Sleep album, I'm pretty sure he saw Drumma Boy and immediately told him, "I need something to talk about making money and hustling!"

Fine, that's damn near every Lil Keke conversation, but "Work" is straight-up gothic trap gumbo from Drumma and a man who knows about more white than anybody in the South, Memphis' own Yo Gotti. Fans got an early preview of the record on Keke's Album Before The Album III project and here you can get yet another street anthem from Don Ke.

More new rap on the next page.

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Brandon Caldwell has been writing about music and news for the Houston Press since 2011. His work has also appeared in Complex, Noisey, the Village Voice & more.
Contact: Brandon Caldwell