“Mama Proud” by Tito Lopez (2012)
Currently lurking way down at #95 on the hip-hop charts. This has got a really gorgeous beat by up-and-coming production duo The Futuristiks with a bit of a new agey #based vibe. I love these cloudy, floaty sounds and I’m glad that in a post-Take Care radio rap world where Frank Ocean is charting high this sound has a shot at going full mainstream. Clams has got to be my favorite producer in this vein (plz download Instrumentals 2 immediately if you haven’t yet), but some of his beats overwhelm the sheer sound of the vocals, robbing focus from the rapper. This is fine when the rapper is Lil B or Soulja Boy pretending to be Lil B, but it doesn’t quite work for more adroit rapping. Here Futuristiks have successfully captured that raw Clams emotion and made it a little less epic, a little more understated, so that we can actually give the majority of our attention to the rap itself.
The hook is massive, “I just want my mama to be proud of me / that’s all I want,” makes my heart hurt.