Image via Lul Boog/ Instagram
Support real, independent music journalism by subscribing to Passion of the Weiss on Patreon.
The Bay Area doesn’t sleep, and neither does Yousef Srour.
Welcome to the BAY AREA TYPE BEAT series, a recurring column in which Yousef Srour sheds light on Bay Area artists and Bay Area-adjacent artists. Each week, he handpicks five cuts that are either brand new or have been victims to the Spotify algorithm. Lo and behold, BAY AREA TYPE BEATs:
The piano keys kicking off “Perkys Kallin” immediately place you in the boxing ring. The single repeating note in the melody tenses your muscles. Ssrichh33 moves like a southpaw. Sounding wobbly, emphasizing letters in the alphabet that give his voice an unexpected sharpness, likely from sipping his “last deuce of quage.”
If you cut up “Perkys Kallin,” you’d be left with an album sampler pack featuring a compilation of at least ten different flows. Each has a different delivery, emphasizing different syllables in each word, making the next line as unpredictable as the next (Ssrichh33 wouldn’t be monotonous, but rather, polytonic).
With the same rasp as San Francisco’s ZayBang, Ssrichh33 begins each of his lines as if they’re sharp roars. Starting off each line with a ferocity that meanders off into the next bar, getting more and more noticeable as the song continues, but don’t let that make you think Ssrichh33 is without his own edge. He’s a natural-born fighter, inviting competition as the first words he utters are: “They said they want me dead, well tell ‘em come and get me.” He’s stone-faced. An observer to lives lost, the only thing that can really shake him to his core now is when he spills ‘Tris on his J’s.
EBK Young Joc is currently coping with loss of life and the pain of institutionalization. EBK Jaaybo has been once again arrested on parole violation and gun charges; Young Slo-Be passed away in his hometown of Stockton, CA; Bris was murdered years ago in Sacramento. Pictures of Slo-Be and Bris decorate HotBoiiz:4L’s cover, a gentle reminder that the tape is a time capsule of the two weeks following Slo-Be’s death. With his voice as intense as ever, Joc suffers through acceptance, craving vengeance.
Everyone has their “Pound Cake (Freestyle)” to the ever-nostalgic Nothing Was The Same outro. The song’s glassy sample immediately requires vulnerability, unveiling the curtains to reveal a display of neglected memories, tainted with feelings of self-condemnation. Young Joc chooses to flip the song into a push of confidence. The album’s closer sounds like a light at the end of the tunnel, a drill flip of tangible nostalgia and hope that things are going to change.
EBK Young Joc begins each verse hot, rapping before the first 808 even hits. He’s energized, trying to renew the nonchalant conviction he had before Bris and Young Slo-Be’s passings; the same conviction he had as they all rapped together on “This Ain’t Nun New” back in September 2020. Each word comes out either jaded or sedated. As the title track to the album would indicate, EBK Young Joc’s message is simple: HotBoiiz:4L.
Over a lute and the darkest of basslines, EBK Jaaybo released “Mr EBK” in the brief amount of time before his most recent arrest. Newly tattooed with “KASINO” above his left eyebrow, in honor of his uncle Kasino, and a cross on his cheek to match the image that once marked Young Slo-Be’s face, Jaaybo’s return home was bittersweet; however, this single is a return to braggadocio. Feet planted to the ground, eyes facing the camera, this is Jaaybo’s way of telling Stockton, and the rest of the world, “I’m back.”
Although he’s a bit disappointed his percocet wasn’t strong enough, giving brief insight on the subject in each of his verses, EBK Jaaybo is fuming with confidence. Irreverent and self-assured, he begins the song with a quick snap at his opps: “Long as I got this glock on me, I ain’t fearing shit.” Jaaybo wants to ruffle feathers in the name of fortitude; this is his showcase of what it means to be a part of EBK — a fearlessness cultivated by brotherhood.
Toohda Band$ definitely watches White Lotus. Aside from Toohda’s HBO album trilogy, he brings along Lil Tray and Lul Boog to rap over an obscure Italian vocal sample that oscillates at a bright soprano, immediately bringing to mind the theme song from White Lotus Season 2 (set in Italy). Rightfully placed as the Haye$Money 3’s first track, “The Money” brings together his friends and record label, HayesMoney and FOD Entertainment, respectively.
Together they’re rowdy, screaming at the top of their lungs, igniting the album with chaos. Lul Boog’s voice is gruff. His raps sound forced out of him, spoken from the gut, pushed out in scattered bursts. Boog’s followed by Toohda Band$’ verse, slathered with disses and the floss of the diamonds that stud the Haye$Money chains on the album cover. Overwhelmed with energy, Tray and Boog adlib over Toohda’s verse, even rapping along in the background as he says: “I don’t like how a bitch-!” Jockish camaraderie is the key to the three’s ShittyBoyz-type trifecta. One liners and swagger line their voices, and as Lil Tray lays the song’s final verse, you can feel him smirk behind the mic, attempting to stir as much jealousy as possible.
The Bay Area has its own slang. So much so that Lee Majors, Keak Da Sneak, D. Town, and B.A. can come together and produce a song with nothing but the word the “blap” as its hook. Synonymous with the word “slaps” today — as in, “Damnnnn, this album slaps like a motherf*cker!” — “blaps” refers to a bassline that’ll have you rocking your body, pinching your shirt and doing the Brookfield in honor of the late Mac Dre.
It’s refreshing to hear Oakland traditionalists come together for a posse cut that turns the word, “blap,” into a scat melody for the hook. The rambunctiousness never left this group of hyphy pioneers. With a looped, 2-bar baseline that thumps four down beat hits then two syncopated hits the second time around, drum machine claps follow, along with your body as it inevitably pops-and-locks in place.