Don't judge a single by its album art. I guess it doesn't work as well as not judging a book by its cover, but I think it holds true here. I mean, weren't all books leather-bound when that saying rose to prominence anyway? Were they just judging the quality of the leather? The binding? The calligraphy? I digress. Anyway, the art for "Feelin' Myself" looks like some 2002 50 Cent/DMX clone with Olde English typography and a worn leather border. The only thing it is missing is a few bullet holes and a parental advisory sticker. Oh wait, there it is. Well, you'll be happy to know that Nipsey is both a formidable wordsmith but has no interest in posturing or flexing.
"Feelin' Myself" is a tacklebox of a song. It has so many hooks I don't even know where one ends and another begins (get it?!?!). I guess I'll start with the beat. One would think that using a 2-second sample to anchor the entire song would come with some risks, but the snippet Nipsey uses here is some Kanye West level Motown mastery. It also helps that Lloyd's chorus (is it the chorus) is the pitch-perfect smooth self-assured groove that balances the street vibe of Nipsey's verses. Of course, Nipsey has his own counter-chorus which dovetails nicely into his second verse. As if these two (three?) catchy morsels weren't enough, a female voice drops in briefly to swoon and validate the claims of these young men.
Did I say Nipsey is good with words? "Got your kids college 'round my neck" is one of those hilarious "let-me-put-my-insane-wealth-in-perspective" lines like Biggie's "Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay" and Wayne's "Stand on my money, head-butt Yao Ming". I know next to nothing about Mr. Hussle, but let's hope he has more of these up his sleeve.