Album of the Week
Shootergang Kony: Red Paint Reverend
Currently my favorite album of 2020, Shootergang Kony thoroughly combines dizzying LA gun talk from past projects with heart-wrenching meditations about death, departure and biblical revelations. His versatility shines within his quick diversions from sunny landscapes to desolate narrations about his past incarceration. One second he’s infatuated with a buss down Rollie (“Bussdown”), the next, he’s ruminating about people who’ve switched up on him (“A Sinner’s Story”). For every piece of jewelry he acquires, there seems to be someone creeping behind his back. There’s never a moment of calmness; which makes for an invigorating experience.
This project sounds like his most expensive to date, which is great, because all of the added resources are used to their full effect. Every idiosyncratic bass fluctuates with a purpose; every drum bangs like an Earthquake. Kony sounds more confident than ever, calling on some of California’s finest (OMB Peezy, Mozzy, Nef the Pharaoh, etc.) for an ultra-melodic, neo-noir aesthetic; ripe for LA’s warm, yet visceral sophistication.
Notable Tracks: “Jungle,” “Bussdown,” “Cash Back,” “Glock 21”
Saint Lyor: “Aunt Jemima”
Brockton’s Van Buren Records continues a scorching hot streak thanks to Saint Lyor’s newest track “Aunt Jemima.” The meteoric spitter just wreaked havoc on Eastern Massachusetts in preparation for his upcoming project, If My Sins Could Talk. His jubilant persona radiates off the precipitating piano riff like a chameleonic extraterrestrial. Lyor can shape shift into different moods with the pizzaz of a Young Thug and the flow of a Kendrick Lamar. Sometimes he’s taxing the hell out of you; other times, he’s sending you to the Lord. In one scenario, Lyor is Malcolm X; the next, he can’t spell average. Either way, he’s hot boxing the turf in the backyard while trying not to second-guess himself (that includes not spilling D’USSE on his clothes).
Most importantly, he’s making his girl’s pussy smile like Aunt Jemima while you’re stuck on planet Earth. Maybe Lyor is the reason for this mild winter we’re having.
Notable Lyric: “I make your bitch pussy smile, her shit look like Aunt Jemima”
GuddaBoy Gang: “No Cap”
This is probably my favorite song from the burgeoning Arkansas collective. Tuka, 727 Fatboy, and Shaun G. seamlessly trade verses with the free-flowing spirit of Detroit’s hardboiled underground. Tuka strums the gun like a guitar while each artist raps about robbing, shooting, and strap-ons with the same swagger portrayed in every one of their YouTube videos.
It’s also amusing to hear Shaun G. reference Lonzo Ball as a player on the New Orlean Pelicans. Like how often are we actually going to hear a line like that in rap? Normally, hip hop artists reference LeBron, Kobe or Kevin Durant; you know, big-time players. I love how a small market franchise like New Orleans reached a spotlight.
Notable Lyric: “I’m a D-I robber I like to take pesos/Drac hit your face I ain’t talking OVOs/Drinking that milk, you sweet like some Oreos.”
Adam Snow (feat. Freddie Gibbs and Tedy Andreas): “9 to 5”
Adam Snow’s best-known single is a collaboration with Gucci Mane and OMB Peezy titled “Pray For Me” (2017). The long running record producer makes atmospheric beats that swirl into the ether with undying beauty and escapement. He captured that in the aforementioned collaboration, and he does it again on this new track with Freddie Gibbs and Tedy Andreas.
The melancholic Gosepl choir churns like a cult, and the electric guitar reverberates as if it’s trapped in a desolate room. It’s the perfect concoction for Gibbs and Andreas to talk about their helpless lifestyles that seem to be stuck in a depressive deja vu. Freddie particularly sounds more sorrowful than ever, as he stoically breathes into the camera while pondering his decisions.
Notable Lyric: “Empty stomach with a full clip/Different day but I proceed to repeat all the bullshit/9 to 5, it don’t pay the rent/Sick and tired, let’s go hit a lick/Get it lit, run up, shoot the brick”
909 Memphis (feat. Egovert): “All That”
Found this laid-back single while listening to WiFiGawd the other day. I can’t help but long for the days when the temperatures reach 90, and the sun set at 9 o’clock. This track is bright, fluorescent, and slightly heartbreaking. Summer love at its finest.
Notable Lyric: “I’ve been looking for a certain feeling that we both have, but that’s enough”