Chris Rivers Is Man Enough To Take A Kanye Classic & Make It His Own (Audio)

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Still in his early twenties, Chris Rivers often makes vivid and powerful records about growing into manhood and taking on responsibility. The Bronx, New Yorker who was just entering grade school when his famous father Big Pun passed away, had a lot of navigating to do on his own. He looks back from a place of strength, not seeking pity throughout his sprawling discography.

That is the aesthetic of “You The Man.” Not based on Nas’ 2001 song, this cut uses the piano from Kanye West’s 2007 “Everything I Am” as the instrumental. Chris uses the sparse keys to vent in a very real way. “I don’t know me / How could I be a phony / I only act how I feel, and lately I’m feeling lonely / That’s why I been on my dol’y / B*tches, they came and go / Extending the third node / I just, huh, wanted someone to hold me / I can’t get that sh*t from the homies / But they hold me down, like density does / I never mentally love / My-self enough to feel empathy, thugs / Would question me, cuzz / The shelter was in they vicinity,” he raps, before addressing the former temporary residence of the Rios family during harder times.

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Rivers proceeds to rap about the challenge of making relationships work, and recalls coming of age in a rough-and-tumble borough. The beat features new accents, different than the Graduation original. The thought, passion, and revelation of this song make it stand apart from a simple beat-snatching freestyle. This demonstration taps into everything great that Chris Rivers is.

Last year, Rivers released his Delorean album, featuring Styles P, Lil Fame, and Sheek Louch, among others.

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Photograph by ShotByDonnie.