“1942” by G-Eazy not historic, but still pretty good

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Spoiler alert: “1942” by G-Eazy featuring Yo Gotti and YBN Nahmir has nothing to do with World War II. For those unfamiliar with popular alcoholic drinks, 1942 is a type of brown tequila. The clarification is necessary because the number is significant in American history and could lead to expectations of the song that just shouldn’t exist.

Still, the song does remind audiences of the best that rap and hip-hop have to offer. The song features three rappers each with his own rhyme scheme, a common theme that ties all the verses together, and a hypnotic, nuanced bass line that will keep audiences dancing and listening.

“1942” by G-Eazy an instant classic? Maybe

The arrangement of the song is unusual in that G-Eazy does not take the starring role in his own song. Instead he is sandwiched between the featured rappers, and they seem to get more lines than he does. YouTube video pundits consider this to be a weak move on G-Eazy’s part, but it really just looks polite.

The song begins with Yo Gotti. His deep voiced delivery has a touch of rasp. He brings a laid back menace to the song that fits the soundscape. Each of his lines end with either a word to rhyme with “trip” or the word “that” (usually pronounced “dat”).

G-Eazy slightly more nasal and higher voice contrasts well with Yo Gotti’s as he takes the second verse. He talks about having expensive things, he refers to a Porsche costing 100 ( as in thousand dollars), but “this costs twice that.” The background is punctuated by a gallery of what sounds like instigators that laugh at the disses, make a drum roll sound with human mouths, support with “yeahs” and echoes. More than likely these are done by the rappers themselves, but the effect makes it sound as if they are surrounded by vocal hangers-on. And, he manages to work Halsey’s name into the lyrics.

The song’s chorus is handled by Yo Gotti. There the sipping of the title beverage is mentioned. The song is a litany of ideas that the rappers live by. A common theme is “I don’t follow rules and they don’t like that.”

YBN Nahmir sounds young and takes more of an in-your-face-approach. He rhymes with long “I” and “O” sounds. He stretches them out as in the pairing of “likewise” and “drive-by.” He, too, drops the names of his designer shoes, talks about his fast car, and brags about his amorous prowess.

The song itself posits rappers as outside of so-called “normal” life. In the midst of their fast-paced lives full of material gain and the issues of their friends (dogs) and women, there are sips of “’42.”

The role of bass in the song cannot be over-emphasized. It has a classic sound, as in back in the mid-late 1980s when cars first began to vibrate from the bass in the speakers. While the ideas of the song might not be new, the approach and sound of “1942” make it an instant classic.

 

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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