I apologize for not putting out a bi-weekly hip hop roundup two weeks ago. I honestly just lost track of the days. But hey, can you blame me? I’m a college student in his senior year living off of Dr. Pepper and Cheese Doodles. I have a 40-page thesis with a due date that keeps me up at night; and I need to start applying for jobs. But most importantly, Halloween fell on a thirsty Thursday this year. I normally write this column on a Thursday, but I’m a 21 year-old living in Salem, MA. Do I need to say more?
Side note: For those who truly care; I dressed up as McLovin’ from Superbad for Halloween. You can imagine the reactions from people my age when they saw me at the bars wearing an old person’s vest (like when McLovin was first introduced in the movie). I had the fake ID attached to my shirt and everything. I probably ended up on three different Snapchat stories that night. One guy had to be five beers in, and couldn’t stop laughing. It was cool being famous for one day on the biggest holiday of the year, in the wildest city on the planet in October. Anyway…
There’s been some great rap music over the past four weeks from all different points of the country. Some of it is hectic, some of it is woozy, and some are just straight bangers. For this week, I’ll shoutout three songs, and three albums. Let’s get into it, shall we?
The Best Singles
PlayThatBoiZay (feat. Denzel Curry and ANONYMUZ) – “Poison Klan”
Couldn’t have asked for a better Halloween present. Only a rapper out of Florida could turn a famous children’s nursery rhyme into a bass-heavy horror extravaganza. Denzel Curry somehow raps emo-driven bars without sounding corny-and PlayThatBoiZay (who’s aptly featured on the closing track on Curry’s phenomenal Zuu project) does his best Ski Mask the Slump God impression.
The real standout is the other Miami native ANONYMUZ, who spits with the same vigor and swag as early Lupe Fiasco. Boy, I hope a new Raider Klan forms. That would be magical and terrifying all at once. Fuck SpaceGhostPurp.
Notable lyric: (From ANONYMUZ) “Slide through the night like I’m Ra’s al Ghul/All that talk doesn’t make ya’ll tough/N****s really ain’t built for the way I move.”
*88Glam (feat. Lil Keed) – “Bankroll”
The single cover looks like something out of Red Dead Redemption, but it’s one particular lyric from Lil Keed about Call of Duty that hypes me up every time. Young Thug found a himself a great clone (literally Keed’s gruff voice reminds me of anything off of So Much Fun).
Meanwhile, the duo of 88Camino and Derek Wise is bound to blow up at any moment. I’m surprised they didn’t do so with their “Lil Boat” single from 88Glam2. They probably will soon enough though. This won’t be the song that does it, but “Bankroll” is a nice little breezy trap banger. Excited to see what they have in store for their next project set to drop before the end of this year.
Notable lyric: “Ridin’ with the sticks, yeah, we shootin’ like Call Of Duty/
Bentley truck got Forgis on it, we not ridin’ no hoopty/
VVS diamonds on me, got your ho like “Oowee.”
Larry June – “Around the World”
Talk about a real boiling pot of sounds. There’s the gorgeous horn arrangement in the background of a swirling synth-line. There’s June’s 80s-influenced flow filled with lyrics about the humdrum of daily life. There’s also a groovy trap backbeat from the mid-2010s. Inject all of that with a late-90s west coast chorus, and you’ve got the perfect concoction of rap’s finest eras. Keep an eye out for this guy.
Notable lyric: “Dippin’ movin’ back in action
Mobbin’ stackin’ bitch what’s happenin’
Like a credit card I need my balance
My whip cost a mansion the one in Atlanta”
ShittyBoyz – 3Peat
If you love the current trend of scam-rap anthems (thanks Teejay6x), then you’ll love this new record from ShittyBoyz-aka the trio of StanWill, BabyTron, and TrDee. If you enjoyed the 1980s dance music phenomenon, you’ll also love this album. Personally, it was the swift pace and constant double entendres that set me over the edge. I love when music is fun and hilarious at the same time. The sports references and Damien Lillard sample were also glorious.
I don’t know how long this trend will last, but if it ever does reach the mainstream, we might need to go back to cash.
Notable tracks: “Jet-Li,” “Star Player,” and “Game Breaker.”
Reese LAFLARE – Final Fantasy
I’ve been following this guy for a couple of years now-ever since 2015’s Dsnrtrapn2 to be exact. He has an ear for uniquely off-kiltered beats and great features. His newest album is no different. He has the talent to make a real push as a rap/pop crossover artist. He just needs more nuance and originality in his love songs. But hey, how can someone posing as Prince for an album cover fail? The personality is definitely present.
Notable tracks: “Aladdin,” “What’s Real” and “Hol’ Up.”
Aka Solo & Pink Siifu – Black Sand
Passion of the Weiss writer Steven Louis put me on to this album. Boy, was he right when he said you will lose track of time listening to it. Between Siifu’s immersive soundscapes and Akai’s urgently monotone rapping, there’s so much to unpack underneath the sand. It’s really just a phenomenal meditation on the back experience and all of its trials and tribulations. Akai carries an uncanny ability to branch his personal experiences out to the world in the most queasy way possible. Prepare to be absorbed in the darkest parts of the mind.
Notable tracks: “Luna’s Sol,” “2K4eva,” and “Galaxy Eyes”