Rap Song of the Week breaks down the essential rap and hip-hop tracks you need to hear every week. Check out the full playlist here. This week, Lil Wayne hops on Run the Jewels’ remix of “ooh la la.”
Mixing the cutting edge sensibilities of Run the Jewels with their love for Golden Era hip-hop thanks to contributions from the legendary Greg Nice and DJ Premier, “ooh la la” instantly became a standout entry in their catalog when it was released in 2020. For the remix, El-P and Killer Mike recruited Lil Wayne, another veteran MC who has nothing to prove this deep into his career but continues to go toe-to-toe with the best rappers of any generation.
Only getting better with age as he turns 39 years old this September, Wayne has been on a hot streak this year, popping up on tracks alongside rappers he inspired such as Polo G and Roddy Ricch while also lending assists to his protégé Drake and Nicki Minaj. On “ooh la la,” Weezy’s bravado and neverending flow is a nice addition to the track, as he crams internal rhymes into every line while shouting out his collaborators.
“I can boom shakalaka your medulla oblongata,” Tunechi raps. “Kill a mic like El-P and Killer Mike, feeling like/ DJ Premier, it’s my world premiere tonight, feeling right.” While the rest of the track is unchanged, Wayne’s contribution makes Run the Jewel’s already great track even better.
The collaboration is also the latest example of how hip-hop has matured as a genre. At this point, it’s no longer expected for an MC to fall off when they hit a certain age; instead, the truly great rappers figure out a way to adapt to the times without losing what made them great.