There's a lot of nonsense generation-beef among rap fans these days, but the truth is, rap has always been a deeply historical art form. The reason the "6 in the Morning"/"Boyz N the Hood" flow works so well is here is the same reason it worked for Ice-T and Eazy-E. There's a subtle irony in that nursery-rhyme cadence. When extraordinary details of his life are rapped in such a straightforward pattern, the contradiction magnifies that intoxicating sense of nonchalance. As a result, the "Elm Street" flow feels as fresh today as it must have three decades earlier. It also gives Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo instant song structure, something his other records miss. There are no hook singers, songwriters, or expensive producers, yet "Elm Street" feels whole.

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