Image via Niontay/Instagram
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Snail Mail is now Harley Geffner‘s mortal enemy.
This song and the beat has been the subject of much speculation, as snippets emerged and it took on a life of its own when people pasted together quelly woo, kyle richhh, and a bunch of other New York rappers’ verses over loops of the beat. It’s been thoroughly ripped apart and pieced back together in so many different ways that the original feels more like an amorphous blob than something to try to hone in on. So search “Snowfall KyleRichhh” on YouTube and find your favorite “UPDATED BEST REMASTER WITH NEW SNIPS” version, but for my money this is the one.
The song starts out with a meditative, almost dream-like chord sequence that was pulled from an emotional scene in an old Call of Duty story, and evolves into a club rap beat with all the requisite bounce. The aggression of the lyrical content from Kyle and ParanoidRapper is coated in a buttery encasing that softens the rough edges, and they both glide through the song in a way that makes you feel like you’re flying. This is Clams Casino-core with a club rap twist, and the effect is a euphoric flight simulator that is so entrancing you could almost miss that there are some really profound and serious thoughts being thrown around by the rappers.
New York, by way of Florida, by way of Milwaukee rapper Niontay’s new album Dontay’s Inferno is a mix of all his creative and stylistic influences, wrapped sometimes messily into a project that is more than the sum of its parts. He’s not just blending the disparate influences, he’s bending them to his whim. He pulls the tempered midwest flow in a direction that somehow feels both more and less blown out at the same time, he hops on those jazzy types of introspective beats his cousin and collaborator MIKE loves and turns them into slurry pimp rap, and he brings in elements of old school memphis, club, drill, and more as muses that he toys with.
The first single from the album, “Blitzberg,” is a shit-talking masterpiece that takes place on a boat where absolutely nothing happens. He, MIKE, an out of place white boy, and a few others sit around a small table bopping in front of some Goya juice, while someone with an iPhone shoots them with a few funny zoom cuts. Nion’s robbing A&Rs for the culture, lamenting over the empty feeling of running out of his drugs, and telling stories of serving out of the window in his mother’s home. The content of the song is fun and even if it isn’t acutely compelling, it’s the flows, filters, and style that creates this disorienting blur that speeds through your subconscious and leaves you with an addiction to the sound.
Baby D’s hook on “Threw The Day” is the magic fairy dust that lifts this song from being just another Milwaukee crew cut (all of them are good in their own right) to the stratosphere of elite regional rap. It sways back and forth with tonal lilts reminiscent of the comfort one feels when being rocked to sleep on a rickety subway, but it’s always smooth in its transitions. Lil Trav and 50K each have fun verses about getting money in different ways and levels of satisfaction with their money plays, but they’re glued together by the massive hook that engulfs the whole song with a more colorful bent.
As rap gets more and more sanitized and similar, the outskirts continue to get weirder and weirder. YunoMiles, who has gone viral a few times now for his unconventional approach, makes the type of silly rap that toes the line between horrible and actually really hot. He squawks the last line of every bar like a dying cockatoo, while rapping with a childlike charm about getting his ass beat for smacking his grandma with a thong. YunoMarr goes even further with the offkey mixing, completely blowing out the sound. It’s absurdism that has a funny shock value at its face, but even once the novelty wears off, it’s still sticky. By the third listen, you’ll be squawking at the cashier to not forget the calamari too.
Having served nine of his 12-month sentence for weapon possession charges, Mozzy’s team has continued to drop music steadily through his absence, and none of it has been better than his most recent, “Free All The Lifers.” It’s one of those Mozzy songs where he catches some momentum with his flow and stays in high gear for the rest of it. Over the supercharged beat, he raps about giving bonuses for hitting certain parts of the body, putting on the homies before getting expensive watches, roundtable meetings with politics and lasagna, and his inability to slip the charge that led to his current bid. Mozzy will be free soon to continue his decade-plus run as one of the best rappers alive.