“Looking for Trouble,” initially released as part of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Fridays, makes a dream collab come true as Kanye West and J. Cole join forces with Pusha T, Big Sean, and Cyhi The Prince.
The lack of cohesiveness downgrades this song from what it could’ve been. The only verses that are somewhat similar in subject matter are Kanye’s, Cyhi The Prince’s and Big Sean’s. Pusha T and J. Cole widely differ in their topics.
Pusha starts the song by talking about drugs and death. His flow is decent, but his rhyme scheme is simple and easy to follow. The lyrics aren’t too imaginative and one never gets the sense that Pusha is exiting his comfort zone in the track:
All I see is black roses, drug dealer poses
Shoveling that devil’s angel up they noses
The Audacity, war brings casualty
Bitch have my son before I face that tragedy
I order hits, she orders mahi
Kanye then talks about his riches and women. His verse isn’t mindblowing or particularly memorable, but it has a couple of amusing rhymes and a consistent message:
Take off that Givenchy and let’s get raunchy
I have your face looking all Captain Crunchy
Soon as I got salad, I spent it all on dressin’
French, to be exact, that Balmain was impressive
Hedi Slimane leathers
Big Sean’s contribution to the song is similar. He picks up the pace of the song, as reflected by the change in the beat. His message is similar to Yeezy’s in that he’s also flaunting his wealth and women. Big Sean also takes a moment to address his critics and deems himself a future legend of the hip hop industry:
Does he sound like ‘Ye, Jay, or Drizzy Drake?
Meanwhile, I’m chillin’ with all these niggas, counting all this money you ain’t
Consider yourself lucky to see a legend before the prime
A killer before the crime, a B.I.G. before the dyin’
Cyhi The Prince’s verse starts with the topic of race and violence, but eventually transforms into a discussion about earning his riches. It’s a more humble approach to the one Kanye and Big Sean took (“Ain’t nothin’ silver spooned, I came from the soil, bruh / But now I’m eatin’ off of Raffaello Gold”), but there are also some poorer lyrics (“Royal Flush, so kiss my royal nuts”).
The beat then slows down, almost coming to a complete halt, before J. Cole jumps in. In a stark contrast to his public personality now, Cole calls himself the Chosen One. He’s a godsend to the rap industry (“This the rap Moses, scratch that, Mary and Joseph’s son”), comparing himself to icons like Jay Z (“Never say I’m better than Hov, but I’m the closest one”).
J. Cole’s style in this track can only be described as in-your-face. He’s forceful and braggadocious about his success and what’s to come in his career:
But when you’re this high everybody’s a midget
All this mean mugging from niggas that mean nothin’
Could it be my position is one that you dreamed of?
Went from quarter to broke to half past rich
Overall, all of the verses in “Looking for Trouble” are at least decent. The beat is enjoyable and has slight tweaks to sync up with each artist. The only minus is the lack of a shared message.
You can follow Wilko on Twitter @wilko_mart_cach.