Ever since Tree started to stumble in his previously steady flow of great bluesy, soul-imbued rap music and SE over at RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA put me on the The B.I.D. II, Spodee has been my go-to guy for that rare, as Tree would put it, “soul-trap” blend that actually works. I can’t speak with certainty on the personal histories of Tree or Spodee but they at least sound like rappers that grew up going to church, and their album/tape titles certainly support this hypothesis – Tree with his Sunday School series, Spodee with The New Testament as the subtitle to the above mentioned project. Feel what you need to feel about ol’ Yahweh and his followers but that Southern church environment can bring about something very special in a musician. From Coltrane to Pimp C we see it manifest; there’s an endlessly compelling mixture of conviction, levity, and humbleness that comes from the best versions of that atmosphere and some of the best artists we’ve had owe much of their persona and style to it.
Spodee – All I Want
“All I Want” may not have the same clear-cut gospel connections that a song like “Don’t Say My Name” has, but even among the distorted synth bass and ticking hi-hats, the church still seeps out in the lilt and drawl of his cadences in ways that humanize the often lifeless and mechanical Atlanta sound of 2016. His lyrics don’t grip my heart like Tree’s best moments do. Whether or not you agree with the sentiment, it’s hard to debate that “I call ’em all hoes, I ain’t have a sister” or “I’m a better gangsta than my father was” are incredibly compelling lines that Spodee has yet to rival, but there’s a very satisfying forward momentum to this track that makes you not really mind, at least on the first few listens. I haven’t heard the new tape yet so I can’t speak on its consistency, but my money is on Spodee to deliver the warmest, most human rap music out of Atlanta this year, unless Archibald SLIM leans in on Don’t Call The Cops 2 or something.