TRPL BLK x DJ Prince – “Windows 95”

Yo, this is like the dopest reference I’ve ever seen to an operating system, ever.

Detroit rapper TRPL BLK and Long Island producer DJ Prince came together last year to put out National Debt, a woefully overlooked record with a lo-fi, almost mechanical sound and grimy lyrics on….investing. Hell yeah. TRPL BLK and DJ Prince are about their money, but it’s more than small-time grinding on the street (even though they’ve got a moment or two for that), they’re working smarter, and their plans include stocks, bonds, and business investments. One moment on National Debt BLK is lyrically murking fools with ice cold barbs and the next he’s promising to chip some money towards his girl’s new business model. It’s a great mix between hood shit and grown folk goals, and a consistent theme throughout the record is the desire to get paid by any means… But especially means that will pay dividends. Most importantly, this game is for everyone, and the album has many moments where BLK urges women and minorities to start planning big. Prince’s instrumentals are pretty damn solid too, being often skeletal and off-kilter in sound, but effective and fairly memorable on his choice of samples and loops. This record is definitely one listen for the cold days, where you sit back, spark one, and start plotting your empire.

Now, what do I remember of Windows ’95? Well, CD-Roms were dope. Felt good not to be messing around with MS-DOS all day. And that jazzy, multimedia background was the coolest shit ever. Never woulda thought a two decade-old operating system would end up in a fucking rap banger but here we are, on this DJ Prince solo track, as he describes his grind as “being old school like Windows ’95.” Here he runs through women, dismisses wack emcees, starts his own company after failing a drug test at his crappy job, and gets on his way to getting that long money. And to drive it home, the beat, from guest producer Dusty Fingerz literally samples the operating system’s startup chime for part of the instrumental (nostalgia bomb), which is terrific with its clattering drums and synth beats. Plus, this video is so damn out there with it’s mid-’90s detritus mixed with Prince having fun.

Hustling anthem or really, really, really low-key Microsoft ad? Well, I wouldn’t put it past these two cutting a deal with Bill Gates. Just another revenue stream, right?