I’ve never been one to sit down and follow along to the lyrics when I listen to an album, but there were a few lyrical moments from local artists that really punched me in the gut this year. Here are some of my favorites.
“I got big money, all facts, petty bitches can fall back” – Kamaiyah on E-40’s “Petty”:
The words aren’t exactly thought-provoking, but Kamaiyah’s delivery of this line made me stop what I was doing, spin around, grin ear-to-ear, and immediately start the song over just to get to this line again. The choppy cadence leading up to the rhythmic flow of this line felt like an ode to Uncle Earl, who she somehow manages to steal the spotlight from on “Petty”. Kamaiyah’s a goddam star and is showing that she deserves to be one with every verse.
The entire second verse of Apache‘s “The Riot”:
Man, Apache knows how to have fun while disturbing the peace. The second verse of “The Riot” references burning cars, smoking cocaine(?), employment as a Molotov Cocktail thrower, and chicks, he wants to see some chicks! These guys are just so crazy and out of control, wow! Glad to see Apache making sure rock and roll ain’t dead in San Francisco.
The “Woo” in the middle of the sax solo of Ezra Furman‘s “Wobbly”:.
OK, so this isn’t really a “lyric” and “Wobbly” came out in 2015, and it sounds like Ezra has left the Bay. That being said, I didn’t spend a lot of time listening to Furman’s outstanding Perpetual Motion People until this year, and it’s my list so I’ll do what I want. Anyway, the fact that Furman can seamlessly place a simple, laid-back-yet-joyful “Woo!” in the middle of an album full of gut-wrenching, heartbreaking lyrics and top notch songwriting is incredible. There’s plenty of moments that I anticipate throughout Perpetual Motion People, but none of them bring me pure joy like that little “Woo”.
“So I watched her place all morning, and I couldn’t believe what I’d seen…I saw another man, doin’ the dishes, I saw him holdin’ hands with my Marie” from China‘s “Just Another Outlaw”
China’s Pool of Tears has sadness to spare, but this little detail from “Just Another Outlaw” especially stood out. Yeah, our narrator ignored his friends’ warnings about this woman and he’s kinda stalking her, but the image of another man doing the dishes made me see what he sees and feel what he feels, and kinda feel sympathy for him. It’s a simple visualization that made a good song damn near perfect.