For the last couple months, I’ve wanted an excuse to cover certain topics in a shorter, more concise manner. Sometimes, I can’t pull together 1000+ words about EVERY single song, TV show or movie so I created this new series, Fresh Goods, to allow me to give easily digestible takes on entertainment happenings without the full length fluff.
Mozzy is perhaps one of the best under-appreciated rappers in the world. Rather than gloss up what his life is like, everything about him is rooted in realism. He’s not interested in rapping about anything other than his everyday reality. The pain and violence riddled throughout the album is representative of Mozzy’s real life, giving the project a sense of heaviness missing in music today. That was the takeaway I gathered from Beyond Bulletproof. He says on “Boyz to Men”, “them cold cuffs’ll turn a boy into a man ‘yall……. Nightmares of being captured in a standoff.”
Despite the odds and circumstances, Mozzy’s stories are almost motivational in a sense. Particularly on “I Ain’t Perfect”, he powers through his everyday struggles and continues to beat the odds in spite of the conditions he was handed. He uses his platform to look out for his people and the people who need it, in the same spirit as the late Nipsey Hussle. Beyond Bulletproof is filled with authenticity and outstanding rapping, adding another excellent effort to his stacked catalog.
I remember my introduction to Lil Baby with “Freestyle”. I knew instantly he was a superstar in the making as the song felt like a career-defining moment. Like Young Thug on “Lifestyle” or Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like”, it was one of those undeniable records that could push an artist’s career to the next level. Lil Baby’s new album My Turn is another huge step in the right direction towards being a long-term fixture in hip-hop. He has this infectious energy to him, reminiscent of Lil Wayne circa 500 Degreez . Lil Baby comes with a never-ending fountain of flows, shredding every beat he hops on. On “No Sucker”, he continues a massive winning streak with collaborator Moneybagg Yo, trading flows back-and-forth nonstop and showcasing their chemistry. There’s excellent guest work from Gunna, 42 Dugg, Future, and Lil Wayne but what the real highlight of My Turn is Baby and Young Thug on “We Should”.
Young Thug’s flawless second verse truly capture everything that I’ve slowly grown to adore about his music. Lil Baby is destined to be a major player in rap for years to come.
Pray 4 Love
I’m not the first person to say this but listening to Rod Wave is genuinely saddening. His voice carries so much pain to it that’s as beautiful as it is deeply devastating. It’s very specific to him but it’s something incredibly tangible for me about his music. It’s very rooted in the spirit of the South and his sadness and frustrations are very familiar in people I grew up with. His ability to capture his environment through his production and voice is incredibly impressive. There’s really nothing especially complicated about his music, a lot of the production is somber pianos and country-fried guitar licks. But that’s what makes it so good, there isn’t a ton to it, making room for emphasis to be put on Rod Wave and his singing. Honestly, Rod Wave’s sound is just Blues music with a mix of rap for a new generation with a new assortment of troubling problems. He captures the same immense pain BB King does on a classic like ”The Thrill is Gone” or Buddy Guy on “Feels like Rain”. I genuinely think Rod Wave has a potential cult-classic up his sleeve. More than anything, I hope he gets some help because he has a lot of pain and trauma he needs to unpack.
The Magic of New Girl and the Anti Friends Agenda
Due to quarantine, I’ve found myself re-watching Fox’s hit TV show New Girl rather than actually checking out new shows and movies. It follows the same general structure as fellow the Caucasian-favorite Friends but New Girl is way—at least 10 times as much—better.
For starters, the characters are a lot more enjoyable and easier to root for than the Friends cast. There’s no way I can ever root for a David Schwimmer relationship and Matthew Perry looks like a dickhead on that show. Every main character on New Girl is incredibly likable: quirks, warts and all. Most of the relationships—save a few of Jess’, played by actress Zooey Deschanel—are all great and the dynamics between the characters burst with genuine chemistry. The character development throughout the seasons, especially for Schmidt—Max Greenfield—is organic and beautiful to follow; a feeling I could never get out of Friends. The pinnacle of New Girl is when Coach—Damon Wayans Jr.—returns in Season 3, instantly becoming the glue for the show’s dynamic. I love New Girl , a personal favorite in the realm of rom-coms. Here’s how I’d rank the seasons:
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 2
- Season 6
- Season 1
- Season 7
The Great Sandwich Debate
One of my followers on Twitter (@samuelrobinsonJ) was kind enough to send me money during a time when I couldn’t make any. In return, I decided that he could pick a topic for me to write about. His selection?
Admittedly, the last thing I wanted to do was to dedicate a whole 1500 word article on whether or not I prefer iceberg lettuce or spinach. So, rather than solely discuss the Subway menu, I turned this into an excuse for my fat ass to rank the best sandwich spot—of the ones I’ve been to.
Let me get this out of the way early: Subway is dead last. Whether it be a cold or a hot sub, it’s wildly underwhelming despite its cost. To be fair, I don’t like a ton of cold subs that much anyway, I’m pretty simple. If I’m doing turkey, I only want mayo, pickles and maybe tomato on toasted bread. With ham, I only want cheese and mayo with a side of chips to fill in the crunch.
The hot sub is where my preference lies. With Subway out of here, that leaves Jersey Mike’s, Which ‘Wich, and Firehouse Subs.
Which ‘Wich can go due to fluctuating between great or potentially a waste of money depending on the location and day. In the championship game that leaves Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike’s and Jersey Mike’s is the winner in a seven game series.
It may sound a little crazy but I really only go to Jersey Mike’s for one of two things: The Philly cheese steak or the buffalo chicken cheese steak. Do I know if any of the other sandwiches are good? No clue. Do I need to? Not necessarily. I go with consistency here and I’m never let down by my options here. While Firehouse, has a good BBQ Brisket sandwich, it wasn’t enough to avoid the gentlemen’s sweep. If I’m taking into account that Firehouse has those freestyle soda machines, they take the win all day but I’m staying true to sandwich judging here. Jersey Mike’s is the champion, the end.
If you want to send some funds my way, I’ll consider writing about a topic of your choice on a future column or long-form article. Just DM me on Twitter (@CalebCatlin) for the CashApp. I’ll be back with another one of these soon.