Album of the week: Bbymutha – Muthaland
The only time Brittnee Moore is told to shut up is on the intro track to her official debut album Muthaland. Marcus Zuckerberg-the host of a talk show from the fiery depths of hell-continuously interrupts an excited fan (played by Bbymutha herself) who’s ready to spend 24 hours inside the anamorphic amusement park. This will be the final time Moore is brutally dismissed by a toxic man, because what follows is pure stimulation and riveting hyperbole.
Bbymutha is a 30-year-old single mother of four from Chattanooga, TN. Her southern drawl is equal parts unperturbed and subtly fierce. a sound bolstered by her unvarnished pen and intense chutzpah. Sometimes, she’ll either be straight up shitting on you (especially on “Pink Poop Emoji”), or eating your soul, and THEN taking a shit on you (especially on Bbymutha’s Body”). Even when she’s not explicitly stating this, the attitude says it all.
To merely focus on the fecal matter though would intrinsically diminish her expansive versatility as a lived-in storyteller. Something as simple as a vocal snippet at the end of “Roaches Don’t Die” (where someone she knows tells a story about a roach being in his food as she’s taking care of her kids) adds humor to a this seeming triple entendre. With 25 bass-heavy tracks, Moore is able to shamelessly sidestep between infernal catwalks (“Spooky Mutha Mansion” and “Cocaine Catwalk”), fantastical clairvoyance (“Dream Sequence” and “11 11”), and empowered maternalism (“demonology” and “Bbbymutha This, Bbymutha That”).
Moore is also impressive as a pure rapper. She spits verses with noticeable precision and dead-eye tenacity, as peppery thoughts unfurl into vivid summaries (“I met this motherfucker/Day later I fucked him/Day later I robbed him, both without a rubber”) She talks a big game, but unlike some of her contemporaries, Moore backs it up with swagger, self-awareness, and astute hegemony (“yeah you’re a nice guy, but I’m a bad bitch”).
Most importantly, her writing completely decapitates the misogynoir conventionalism found within the genre’s history. She toils with intersectionality through nuanced explicitness and assured floridity, only simplifying things during choral chants. The obvious connection would be local legends Three Six Mafia, but Bbymutha’s spin on this devilish landscape is balanced with flourishing wit. Concepts are intertwined, human genitalia is chronicled in allegiance, and Moore is proclaimed as king and a queen without blinking an eye. “Muthaland” is a nonstop funhouse where gender is neutralized, and spirits float above our heads. To be honest, it’s one of the more progressive albums of 2020 without straight up showing it. It’s concise, head-spinning emotion wrapped into a thousand different journeys without ever feeling convoluted.
The psychedelic excursion is reinforced by Rock Floyd’s (a local producer) spellbinding keys and momentous drums. Together, both him and Moore conjure a paranormal world where Halloween is year round, and the underworld is somehow more fun than what’s happening above the ground. What a debut.
DJ WhySham (feat. CakeSwagg and Kay Wattz) – “We Run the City”
The title for DJ WhySham’s new single is totally on-the-nose. Yes, Shamara’s been running Boston for awhile now. She’s highlighted up-and-coming artists from the area with the “Boston’s Got Next” series, performed at notable venues like Haley House and House of Blues, and DJ’ed for Elizabeth Warren.
Sham’s done all of this while being the official hitmaker for hard-nosed local legend Brandie Blaze (you can watch her and Blaze speak on finding success in Boston during this great Dropzne documentary, which highlight’s Boston’s historically murky music scene). She’s done everything without truly starting yet.
If “We Run the City” proves anything, it’s that WhySham is ready to fully immerse herself into the collaborative revolution we’re currently witnessing in Beantown. In this scenario, Sham’s slow-building keys and UK/Brooklyn-esque drill patterns fit perfectly next to Kay Wattz’ vigorous sneers and Cakeswagg’s polished effervescence.
The track itself carries this championship-ready feel fit for the “city of champions,” but beyond that, there’s a bigger message embedded in the entire aesthetic. During the aforementioned documentary, Cambridge Hip Hop Collective co-founder Aaron King talks a bit about how it can sometimes be difficult to create a safer space for women artists during the Bridgeside Cyphers (mainly because of misogynist lyrics from male counterparts or sound problems). To counter this, Sham is making an alternate space for non-binary and binary women to express themselves freely without judgement. “We Run the City” wholeheartedly represents that, and I’m sure Sham’s debut album-which is out on all platforms September 7-will confirm the sentiment. I can’t wait to listen.
Jackboy – “Pray To God”
Jackboy’s new album Living in History succeeds in capturing the Florida MC’s tortured past and hopeful present. “Pray to God,” the project’s intro track, displays his stout versatility as a vocalist from all angles, while simultaneously capturing his forward-thinking mentality (“Can never stop rocking all this ice/Work hard, it didn’t happen overnight”). His singing/rapping see-saws between Calboy’s high-pitched contortions and King Von’s stripped-down ruggedness. He continues to be one of the most exciting performers from the south.
Daboii – “Bill Gatin'”
I’m sad that SOB x RBE and Shoreline Mafia-two of my favorite rap groups from the west coast-are seemingly finished as collectives. Much like the Toronto Raptors (the team right now), they each had distinct qualities within their group that I thought would only work within the context of a team setting. On “Bill Gatin,'” Daboii proves me wrong. Like, really wrong. The xylophone groove and punctured rapping have been stuck in my head for days.
Chief Keef and Mike-Will Made It – “Bang Bang”
The rapping and producing is simply spectacular in this song. The video, hilariously cinematic. People want the old Keef back, but to me, he’s always showed creative growth.