I'm Bleminem

Rhymefest: Gone [ft. Kanye West]
Rhymefest: My Beat
Rhymefest: Tender Thug
Rhymefest: Chicagorillaz [ft. Mikkey & Bump J]
Plugg City: City On My Back

"Subtext" implies subtlety, something Rhymefest proudly professes to lack -- blue collar baller he's angling to be -- but for lack of a better term let's jooks with it for a minute. A line of rapperly discontent runs straight through a pre-mixed, pre-Brion/soaring strings/ebullience, etc. version of "Gone" (with the verse Fest recorded for Kanye appearing where Cam's and Consequence's eventually did) to "My Beat," where (get your analogy game up) RF is to Super Producers as GZA is/was to Record Labels. W/R/T "Gone," say sour grapes and maybe you're right, but that in turn implies that Fest's rationalized his non-inclusion, that he's already come to terms with it and said f-that. Yeah, yeah, "Jesus Walks." Obviously it's not the first time dude's been jerked, or at least tweaked, so you might expect he'd expect it. But it doesn't sound that way, which is much more interesting.
"When it was all said and done, I wasn't on the song...I just think you need to hear and judge for yourself whether or not you think this is a joint that I shoulda been cut off on or not. Call me & let me know what you think. Hit me on Myspace or something."
And funny. And wrong. Rhymefest's verse, while enjoyable for lines like, "I'm tall in the game, you ni***s small like Willow," is un-special (though intriguing's how both Ye & Fest kick that "What you rappers could get is a job from me," line which sounds more and more Fest-ian than West-ian on repeat listens...hmm). Who the fuck wants blue collar when you can rock chinchilla 'round your neck? What's missing? Not you. Honestly bruh, there's barely a valid comparison. Cam might never rap over a beat more suited to his style than that; maybe same goes for Quence. And that I like Fest is the killer. But I digress and the drama continues...
"During the making of this album, a lot of people tried to gouge me on beats & tracks & features...You know who you are...I'm a tell you exactly who it is."
Maybe the goofy inverse of T.I.'s "I'm Talkin To You," Fest names names on "My Beat," which is, um, his beat, yet with a different strain of the venom Tip bares for not-this-guy-and-no-sorry-not-that-one-either. Pharrell & Chad? "Overrated-ass ni***s." Kanye and Cool & Dre? "I love that track, but I can't pay." Consider: "All you did was chop and loop that/ I wrote the rap, how you produced that?" Despite all that half-arsed-aggro, doesn't ever seem that dude could mean mug around too long; in fact he plays distemper for jokes most times, which charms (See: "Tender Thug," whose titular softie might just be Slim as well, or at least sounds like. Plus, the ad libs are beyond compare). The hardest shit on here is the Training Day sample (Denzel: "King Kong ain't got shit on me.") at the top of NO ID's "Chicagorillaz" -- deservedly holding down the, erm, hot-fiyah #6 position on the tape -- and that should be no offense to Fest. Denzel Washington is, obviously, a bad motherfucker. But where Tip don't need a metaphor, apparently Fest doesn't either. And that's OK.