Image via BigXthaPlug/Instagram
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Harley Geffner would make all doggy healthcare free as President.
Perico with the DJ Drama tags all over it sounds special. It’s a match made in heaven, and one that we’ll be hearing more of with their upcoming Hot Shot project. Even though Drama has diversified his portfolio, those tags have always hit hardest over the true street bibles: Meek Mill’s early tapes, Gucci’s The Movie, Jeezy, Wayne of course, and the list goes on.
Perico is old school. He gives out free game like an OG coaching up the youth, and he sounds so at-home on this track. Everything in his life feels high stakes, and Drama only adds to that feeling. From the hook, he’s a movie star. But when he pulls in Old Testament scripts, he’s almost immortal. So when he says nothing formed against him can live, it feels foretold.
BigXthaPlug is living what’s left of the American Dream. Over one of those sweet types of samples that feels like it’s infinitely in the back of our brains from childhood, Big rips through stories of his come up. From sharing one piece of chicken and not even being able to afford weed, he’s made it to the Givenchy-wearing lifestyle. The subject matter, though true and fairly miraculous, isn’t necessarily novel, but Big’s pounding voice makes anything he raps sound awesome. His new tape is a really fun listen.
It took me an hour of staring at a blank page listening to this song over and over again to come up with absolutely nothing. Death is so permanent, confusing, and ubiquitous that it leaves you speechless and empty. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up. It’s an error message that you can’t click out of that provides no explanation for what’s wrong or how to fix it. It just is. Lil Keed was one of my favorite artists ever. “Long Way To Go” is just more evidence in his stacked case for a Hall of GFame jacket, with everything that made him so wonderful on full display.
The autobiographical details of Big Sad’s life, as told through his music, contain real and radical examples of community and generational trauma. During this therapy session disguised as a song, Sad takes us through the experiences that bred his mentality. It starts off with an honest admission of survivor’s guilt: he lost everyone he ran with either to the grave or to jail, so he thinks to himself, “how the fuck am I still here?” It must be really lonely.
Couched in this survivor’s guilt, his whole life feels massive. Like everything he’s doing is for more than just himself. So the stories from his childhood take on this sort of protagonist air to them. The trials and tribulations almost feel like a training montage – waiting by the door for his mother to come home at 7 years old. Taking his pistol to school because “you seen the news, you seen how they did my homie.” These experiences, though awful and traumatic, formed the man we hear over the mic. The man who took those stories and shaped them into a career. It’s a story not only of trauma, but of steely determination, and taking the worst hand and making something out of it. It’s a reclamation of his circumstances, and it’s very powerful to hear him tell it.
When it comes to piano-laden Detroit beats, the more terrifying the better. It should sound damn near like Michael Myers is creeping up on you when these guys start rapping. On “WAKE UP,” Bandgang and friends tap into that energy with a beat that sounds like it’s going to jump you in a dark alley and a video filmed through what feels like tactical night vision with that green tint. Each verse has its highlights, and the money is clearly everyone’s top priority here. For The Godfather, he starts his verse getting money then going back to the crib with no distractions in between. For Biggs, his money is calling before he even wakes up and you might catch a bullet if you try to come between. For Teejae, he’s so serious about his money that he’ll do a hit on someone who’s not even an enemy if the price is right. And finally, Javar closes out the song with a rare verse, gloating about stealing so many Monclers it looks like he’s hosting a Coats For Kids drive.
Crenshaw’s Steven G is so smooth with it, his songs are best consumed rolling through town on a warm summer evening. The type of night that has you thinking about how great life can be. The air is crisp, loved ones are by your side, and laughter fills the space, while Onna Gang’s synthy keys dot the vibe. You don’t need to digest a single word he says to feel the silky energy change your mood.