First Play: V-Zilla's "Unsigned State of Mind" vs. Young Sensation's "Showcase Skillz"
Houston exists largely as its own market. As such, rappers here tend to not like to -on the record, anyway - rank themselves or their albums or songs against each other or
each other's. So we'll do it for them. Email sheaserrano (at) gmail (dot) com.
The Songs: This week, we've got music from two opposing ends of the rap spectrum: V-Zilla's angst-ridden "Unsigned State of Mind," where he redoes Nas' "New York State of Mind," vs. Young Sensation's brassy "Showcase Skillz."
Semi-Necessary Boxing Analogies: V-Zilla and Young Sensation (right) are, ostensibly, from opposite ends of the rap spectrum. With Zilla, there is never any flash, no pomp, no grand celebration. On his songs, it's always just him trying to rip your head off for four straight minutes. He's like Mike Tyson early in his career, when he'd come out to the ring in just a towel, those black shorts and some serious bloodlust.
Young Sensation is grandiose, showy and much more overt with his intentions. He's gonna dance around a bit before he puts you on your tail feathers. And then when he does, he's gonna dance around a bit afterwards to. He's Floyd Mayweather, except probably a lot less racist.
The Better Title: "Unsigned State of Mind"
Going in, there was no question what was going to happen in this song: Zilla (left) was going to air out some grievances about having never been signed to a proper deal. You always get extra points for being thematic.
The Better Production: "Showcase Skillz"
Mostly because about 900 other people have (rightfully) tried their hands at redoing "New York State of Mind."
The Better Line: We wanted to go with the "Ay, yo, we hate you Zilla. That's cool, fuck you too." line from "Unsigned State of Mind," but this one from "Showcase Skillz" ultimately won out:
"Getting head in Atlanta, call it Shawty Lo/ Ha, ha. Dey know, dey know."
All the way around, that's a pretty well-developed line.
If You've Only Got Room On Your iPod For One, Upload: It feels like this has to go to the veteran V-Zilla's "Unsigned State of Mind," doesn't it? Young Sensation makes a very good showing, but the chorus-less "Unsigned..." is just a tad too venomous to keep at bay.