I’m calling it – we’ve officially moved from cicada hi-hats to frying bacon hi-hats.
Lil’ Baby – Large
Y’all ever notice how only mid-career rappers have ladies in their videos? Really young and really old rappers don’t bother.
Big Scoob – Bitch Please (feat. E-40 & B-Legit)
Maine Musik & TEC – Go Crazy
Whether you think Young Thug is the greatest ever or a total disgrace, there seems to be a general agreement that the words in his songs don’t matter – it’s all about the delivery. I can see how a listener might come to this conclusion on first listen; he does have the most exciting and interesting delivery of any rapper in recent memory. But it’s amazing how many people don’t notice that the great thing about Young Thug is not just that his voice and adlibs and timing are virtuoso-level, it’s that even when you dig through all this ornate embellishment he’s often saying some very compelling things. His imagery is vivid, his metaphors are complex, his references surprising. He doesn’t draw attention to any of these facets of his style but they’re there for those that put in the effort to search, and his music absolutely rewards this close listening.
I gave up trying to predict the course of Thug’s career long ago so I’m not going to hang my hat on the notion that this is a “new writerly direction” for him, but I think this is the most convincing argument for his lyricism yet. Typical to his style, you still have to dig a bit to find the beauty in the words, but isn’t that what art is for? To train us that beauty is everywhere if you can dig a little bit and look from the right perspective? The most noticeable lines in the song are about how much money he pays for his bodyguards, which in and of itself doesn’t have much emotive power behind it, but placed centrally in a song about his dedication to and the sacrifices he’s willing to take for his family this line transforms from confusing brag to touching revelation. Hopefully this can be the starting point for people who’ve written off Thug’s lyricism up until now. If you feel anything listening to this song, go back to the other ones that didn’t feel like much and see if there’s some lyrical substance you missed under the squawks and shouts.
Young Thug – Safe
Earl Swavey has many talents, many we’re all probably not even aware of (seems like the kind of dude that might hit you with a surprising depth of knowledge about anime, or a flawless technique for cooking the perfect steak), but the most unique and captivating is his uncanny ability to at all times sound like he’s smiling when you hear him rap; to the point where watching him lip sync his own rhymes is kind of distracting when the ear-to-ear trickster grin you ears register doesn’t appear onscreen. This is a fun vehicle for him though, makes me think he could give Ezale a run for his money with a DJ Fresh linkup, if it was in the cards.
LNDN DRGS x P On The Boards – Let Me Be The 1 (feat. Earl Swavey)
In honor of Boosie’s newest single here are the top 10 songs on the subject.
Do rappers ever do inverse-remixes where they cut out all the guest verses from the original and rap the whole track themself? We need that for this:
S Dot da Fly Guy – Poles (feat. Notice Tay & Ron Rugga)
It’s a good thing I didn’t know about Yung Smoody when I gave Kodak the Best Pronunciation Award for 2016, it would have made the decision much harder.
Yung Smoody – Kickshit
I guess I got too cocky in my last post thinking I was on top of discovering relevant music happening in my backyard, because not soon after a certain midwestern writer put me on to Koran Streets, a Berkeley rapper that you would never expect to be from Berkeley from how gruff and downtrodden he sounds. In the music I’ve heard thus far, he harnesses some Jeezy energy in his style, and conjures associations with Jacka with his East-Coast/Bay Area flow blending, but also clearly has an aesthetic of his own that is humble, diverse, and often very heavy. This track seems most relevant for this outlet with its unexpected and effective instrumental build. I’m going to have to keep doin’ my homework on these secrete talented rappers from around the way.
Koran Streets – Pinky Ring