Album of the week: Sada Baby – Skuba Sada 2
It would seem that in a world where social distancing is becoming more and more prevalent by the day, a “jerk” challenge would spark from various TikTok accounts. This eccentric dance move goes hand-in-hand with Sada Baby’s eccentric-and sometimes somber-brand of Detroit street rap.
Ever since 2018’s “Bloxk Party,” the Cheeto-bleached fiend has jerked and slid his way across YouTube’s shadowy crevices. Unlike a lot of underground savants, Skuba Steve extends his character beyond the coldblooded raps. Everything he does is strikingly theatrical-whether he’s stoically stepping out of an ambulance, performing an abbreviated version of the “Thriller” dance, or welcoming people into the “red zone.” I’ve learned more about Detroit’s cultural landscape through Sada’s videos than any modern U.S. history class I’ve taken in school.
Skuba Sada 2 is a collection of songs from those educational videos over the past few months. I’m glad they were able to go on streaming services, but I’d personally rather listen to them while watching Sada boogie his way through different snapshots of his hometown. These tracks are great either way though.
Quelle Chris and Chris Keys- “Sudden Death”
Quelle Chris and Chris Keys have a collaborative album on the way, and both songs they’ve released in preparation-“Sudden Death” and “Living Happy”-showcase the allegorical juxtaposition of happiness and unpredictable demise (at least in my opinion). The former features Quelle singing high-pitched rationalizations involving life’s stark imperfections. Stylistically, it’s very Tyler, the Creator-esque.
I’m curious to see the political or social direction both artists embark on. Quelle has a knack for penning staggered mediations, especially on his Guns project from last year. He exudes raw energy, even amidst the squeaky vocal affects and drowning piano keys.
Mac Hefner (feat. Chicken P) – “Kitchen Talkin'”
Milwaukee continues to successfully spread their DIY artists across rickety trap hi-hats and vividly descriptive songwriting. Anytime you see the TeeGlazedit tagline, you know you’re getting a slice of an artist’s headspace from Wisconsin. Mac Hefner continues that trend with a detailed account of crack-cooking’s addictive structure-particularly when there’s nowhere else to go for consistent income in a world where people outside the borough could care less about you. This track is plainly heartbreaking, and yet, very informative.
Baby Smoove: “Hellcat”
Not since The Weeknd has someone been so disinterested and simultaneously entrapped within life’s hedonistic luxury. Baby Smoove is perusing through an empty mansion while smoking up a puppet and talking about the girl he’s about to call back because of how fire the sex was. He does all of this while rapping in a drowsy cadence that could very well contend with Lucki’s drugged-out contemplations. This video is essentially three parts (there’s a “White Runtz” interlude in the middle”). All of it is fascinatingly berserk.
JPEGMafia – “Covered in Money”
JPEGMafia sarcastically raps about how he’s going pop while hanging out of a car window in the dead of the night. He then somehow seamlessly transitions into auto-crooned spitting as a tribal chant and marching drums are replaced by twirling synths. He explores the allure of money in the first half, and the recklessness of fame and currency in the second (“lose it all for the nut like Louis C.K.”). He bluntly addresses the shallowness of music streams, especially after the death of an artist. JPEG encompasses so much in one song; and breathes fire in the process. (“shoot your tour bus, we gon’ increase your streams”).
Shordie Shordie – “Fucc Friends”
Yeah, fuck that show.