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Damian Lillard Drops "Shook Ones Freestyle"

Lillard dropped a new track with V.I.P., their second (and Dame's third) in the last month.

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Damian Lillard has found himself back in the studio this summer, and well he should: the Portland Trail Blazers' two-time All-NBA guard has a cavalcade of tracks from the last few years, and most of them have been received pretty well by listeners, myself included.

His "Shook Ones Freestyle" is no different.

The beat is lifted from Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones," and to be fair, theirs is the better version, not just because it came first but because the flow is stronger and more honest.

The first verse in Dame's version is delivered by V.I.P. who has worked with Dame a number of times before, including in the track "Talk To Em" that dropped a few weeks ago. V.I.P. is a bit more relaxed here (as is Dame), since the beat is more chill, reminiscent of The Pharcyde or Tribe Called Quest if you're not familiar with Mobb Deep.

It shines as Dame takes over the second verse.

While it's not fair to call it a freestyle, he nevertheless brings energy and a solid, smooth delivery. He is not super fast and does not have the best range or enunciation, but Dame gets in the pocket and moves without forcing it, making for easy kick-back-and-chill rap.

As a rule, if you like cool mid-90s rap like Outkast and Pharcyde and Tribe and Camp Lo and who have you, you'll probably like most of Dame's stuff, or at least be open to it.

The lyrics (which follow, thanks to David MacKay) first implore action and self-improvement despite institutional disadvantage in V.I.P.'s verse. Dame talks about his upbringing, and how so many folks are working their asses off and don't ask for handouts, delivering it with punch and honesty. Earnestness isn't an easy thing to convey, but Dame can and does here for sure.

Dame dropped the track "Isley" last week: chill electronic rap is one way to describe it. Check out Lillard's SoundCloud page for more tracks.

Lyrics - "Dame D.O.L.L.A. featuring V.I.P. - 'Shook Ones Freestyle'"

[V.I.P.]

V.I.P.
Back at it again.
Summer. Six. Teen. (What it do?)
Dame Dollar (What it do?)
Rip City, what it do?

If the good die young, why I ain’t gone yet?
If the humble do spring, why I ain’t sprung yet?
While you worried about gold chains and Moet
Put your mind to the books, practice the safe sex
I mean, I’m really getting sick of these deadbeats
And how they look for a father in these cold streets
You need to pull up your tie, line up your gold teeth
Speak like a man when you approach me
You ain’t really doing nothing, the government pimpin’
Modern day slavery, we the ones trippin’
We the ones missin’
We the ones slippin’
We the ones itchin' but really ain’t grippin’
The knowledge, the power, we working long hours
And when we get our check, why we look so sour?
I think we need to wake up
They tryna play us
I’m looking like this ‘cuz no sleep is a must
Gone

[Dame D.O.L.L.A.]

Ay
Dame Dolla
Look, Listen
We back at it, man
Ay look

Last of a dying breed and they taking me for granted
I represent the ones working for it, nothing handed
The world is all backwards, how we lazy and demanding?
We ain’t working towards dreams, we just working towards mansions
And the money is the root of all evil
How easy they deceive you
Lately I’ve been feeling bad for my people
‘Cuz our "@" game cold, but real life slacking
It’s raining outside and we ain’t even wearing jackets
Still wet behind the ears, running from the facts
We don’t want to be statistics, but we adding to the stats
Try to stay ‘way from typical, further from hypocritical
Cautious of your circle, for growing is really pivotal
A lot of pride in my upbringing
In church I was up singing
My mama staring at me
That’s one reason I got to thank my fam and I felt ya
And even back then I was never feeling sheltered
I see my people struggle and they still don’t ask for nothing
We always gon’ keep it solid, I know when the times are toughest
I know when they gon’ be findin’
I know when they give ‘em somethin’
Don’t never try to finesse me
I know when a sucker bluffin’
Small circle, man, it’s hard to get close to me
I stick to who I am and not who I’m supposed to be
I never say much, they might say I’m awkward socially
Your girl Miss Parker and I’m Professor Oglevee
So y’all see one thing, the women see another
You see a baller rapper, not an educated hustler
So keep it real
I was fly before the money and the fame
You a cornball now if you was corny when you came
I’m giving game for the clueless
And the lost souls
This’ll be the map for y’all on lost roads
Words from a frog to all of y’all toads
I’m the new definition of all of y’all goals

Hello
Dame Dolla