Image via Fenix Flexin/Instagram
Donald Morrison thinks about Rio Da Yung OG every day.
RMC Mike has done more than anyone to keep Rio Da Yung OG’s name ringing bells as the latter serves a 44-month prison sentence for drug conspiracy charges. On their Dumb and Dumber mixtape trilogy, the two Flint, Michigan rappers exhibit a rare chemistry: these are partners in crime, living out a doomed destiny with guns bigger than dwarfs, houses built like castles and enough codeine cough syrup to fill a moat. Are they the best rap group since Outkast? It’s possible.
“Lucid Nightmare 2” is like if your most problematic friends decided to get extremely high and freestyle over a reworked “Lucid Dreams” beat. “I’m finna overdose on drink, bro let me die, caught the opps walking down the street, shot them 70 times, just know you’re on my good side if you catch me high,” Mike says. Then Rio picks it up with “I don’t like to drink lean with Mike, because I’m scared to fly.” With exaggerated charm, they bring the best and worst out of each other, like two brains are forming to make one extremely lean-addicted mass of tissue and damaged neurons.
Watching the four-year-old video for the original “Lucid Nightmare” – where they dance and posture in front of a Michigan gas station – it’s a little surprising how young both Rio and Mike look. Neither knew how far their punch-in raps would take them back in 2019. It’s a shame Rio hasn’t been around to enjoy his success, although Mike, YN Jay, and Rio’s blood brother Louie Ray, have done more than enough to push the collective agenda forward. This surprise sequel should continue to hold fans over until Rio’s release from prison some time in early-to-mid 2024.
It’s nice to see a new Fenix Flexin video that features b-roll of OhGeesy. The two Shoreline Mafia rappers hadn’t been seen together since the group officially announced its split a few years ago. Since then, both Fenix and OhGeesy have led successful solo careers and have managed to stay relevant in an extremely over-saturated Los Angeles rap market. They recently reunited for a show about a month ago, reigniting rumors of a new Shoreline Mafia tape or at the very least a collab between the two. The video for “NEW GLOCK” shows a united LA scene, with cameos from OhGeesy, Xavier Wulf, 03Greedo and Eddy Baker, giving a sliver of hope that the fractured New LA movement headed by Shoreline Mafia, the Stinc Team and 03 Greedo may be finally beginning to heal after all.
Mac J has the weight of the world on his shoulders. The Sacramento-based rapper is still reeling from the deaths of his two best friends and closest collaborators, Bris and Young Slo-Be, both killed in the past three years. Mac J currently runs Bris’ Youtube page, making sure the Tricky Dance Moves rapper’s name stays alive, while continuously dropping music of his own. “Engine Ina Trunk” has a beat that kind of reminds me of Cam’ron’s “Welcome to New York City,” complete with towering synths that sounds like a cinematic ode to a wounded empire. Bay Area legend Philly Rich joins Mac J on the aspirational track, saying “I’m still waiting on that ‘Rari truck,” while Mac J keeps it less specific, willing to settle for anything with an engine in the rear.
Cash Money millionaire B.G. is back after more than a decade in prison with perhaps the funniest titled First Day Out styled song ever, with “WAAAAHHHHH!!!!,” which I imagine is the noise someone makes upon being released after 11 years in the pokey. While the description of the song says he’s still stuck in a halfway house, B.G. has wasted no time heading to the studio and releasing a nearly six-minute long screed commemorating his return to society. I couldn’t help but smile as the song begins with B.G. bemoaning “that get back is a motherf*cker,” over a trap beat that could have come out back when Jeezy still went by Young Jeezy. Welcome home B.G.!
Underground rap nerds have been pining for a new Gangrene album for the better part of a decade. Oh No’s dense wordplay always sounded best over Al’s brooding production, with the two artists building off each other’s underground rap sensibilities to create a labyrinth of shady characters in a perpetually dark Los Angeles.
“Royal Hand” features dizzying production that creates a built-in momentum for the two rappers to quickly flex their double-time flows, with the video showing the two rapping in a dark, abandoned building, with only gas lanterns to light their way.