Taking the relatively unknown Lissie’s slightly-better-than-the-original live cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and reducing it to a compellingly chopped loop that hones in on key lines “Crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit/ Feelin’ lit, feelin’ light, 2 am summer night”, Lis’ fiery “Hands on the wheel” howls, and her rendition’s thunderous rock lumber, then underlining all that with an itchy percussion track of a Southern rap aesthetic, the beat, helmed by D.C. team Best Kept Secret, is one of those instantly grabbing constructions that on first listen, you just know has left numerous other rappers’ fuming with jealousy over not being called upon to lace it first.
“Wheel”‘s appeal isn’t just born out of that monster of a back-track though, as pairing up Q and Rocky, two undie rap heroes both coming off strong 2011’s and seemingly on the verge of making even bigger noise in 2012, conjures up a spectacular moment all of its own.
Sure, what they’re offering here lyrically is thematically thin (“Weed and brews, weed and brews/ Life for me is just weed and brews..” repeats the hook), but having them side-by-side boasting of their shared love for getting faded feels like a major event nonetheless, their presenting of an on-the-cheap(-ish) hip hop star life that one can actually partake in, rather than aspire for or simply gawk at, leaving us ready for them to cook up a Watch The Throne-like duo project the 99% could truly appreciate.
As a bonus, check out two highlights from Schoolboy Q’s pre-Habits, pre-Setbacks days: his smoove Tribe Called Quest update “Bonita” and a Mistah F.A.B. & Tyga-featured riff off of Sleepy Brown’s “Can’t Wait”, both from 2009’s Gangsta & Soul mixtape.
“Can’t Wait” (feat. Mistah F.A.B. & Tyga) (DL):