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New Rap Music

I am doing this again now. Sometimes. Shouts out to Jimmy Pitchfork and Jaron Lanier.

Joey Badass f/ Ab-Soul – “Enter The Void”

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from Waves single (Cinematic, 2012)

I’ve already said my piece about Joey Badass and it’s not the word to play but here his new jack old head style is stripped of its borrowed aesthetic and left butt naked next to the most underrated retired keystyler in the TDE camp. Joey was even kind or foolish enough to let Soul rap first here. And rap he does. It’s always great to hear him spitting about chakras and shamen, especially if you are like me and keep an Abstract Rude poster hidden behind your Gucci Mane poster like that Bo Derek shit concealed by a Rand McNally world map in a 1970s jail cell. (∞ NHJIC) But more than that he just sounds great while saying these words over this sort of low bitrate blaxpo tension that’s somewhere between Product Of The ’80s era Sid Roams and Pilot Talk era Ski Beatz.

I bought this off itunes because I always make a point to support independent music before I bootleg it. Strangely though the file took a good hour to download and for that alone I guess I have to begrudgingly salute Joey Badass’ loyalty to even the dial up modem technology of the days he fetishizes. (Prod. by Lee Bannon)

Don Trip f/ Starlito & Danny Brown – “Gold

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Don Trip – “Hold Back Tears

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from Help Is On The Way (Mixtape, 2012)

Hey three of my favorite rappers, all of whom spent most of 2012 in very different corners of rap game limbo, linking up to make a song that is very 2012 (because it is about GOLD). Danny shouts a lot because that’s what he does now but it provides a nice contrast to Litos increasingly mellow flows. Trip gets sort of murdered on his own shit here because, well, he’s probably the weakest rapper here as far as pure rapping ass rapping goes (and because he also raps last! What are guys thinking these days? There are rules to this shit). That’s not a diss though, Don Trip is very good at rapping, it’s just that Danny and Lito are slightly better. I would not be mad if Danny was introduced as a part or full time hip cousin member on Trip & Lito’s Step Brothers 2. It’s a move that would definitely get them a much deserved bump in blog buzz. Pookies are running this blog rap shit in 2012 except I hope Danny Brown never goes back to his home planet.

And not to detract from Trip at all, “Hold Back Tears” is another standout from his recent tape, finding Trip doing what trip does best – writing brutally honest shit about family business. (prod. by The Futuristiks)

Chief Keef – “Love Sosa”
from Finally Rich (Interscope, Dec, 18)
One of the reasons I kinda pulled out of the Chicago drill scene so much this year when I was in on its earliest incarnation hard last is that, while it first functioned as a mess of bugged and distinct production choices, seemed like everyone was deferring to the old Young Chop formula once Keef hysteria set in. Give it a name and it turns stagnant. So few of these kids are great rappers, but so many of them are good rappers in the right context. But when there’s only one context it just kind of gets boring. So it’s great to hear Keef indulging in this sort of darker and borderline demented aesthetic with “Love Sosa” which in some ways might be a better record than his best record “I Don’t Like.” Of course the fallout has already produced some laughable imitations so I dunno is history repeating itself? And is French Montana the new Soulja Boy?

Cue David Drake arguing with me about nothing for a thousand days and nights in the comments and yes I heard fucking “Haters” and it’s outstanding and no I’m not mad at lost kids who want to name their own lost kids DRILL but I’m a grown ass man and I’m not trying to hear a dozen Lil Mice make the same record over and over again. (Prod. by Young Chop)

Rich Kidz – “Kool On The Low”
from Straight Like That 3 (Mixtape, 2012)
And “Kool On The Low” does roughly the same thing for the Rich Kidz/Travis Porter/Roscoe Dash that “Sosa” is doing for Drill music. I’m sure is at least partially informed by Future but probably by some natural maturity too. (It’s probably worth mentioning that Travie were already headed in this direction with their completely overlooked and awesome “Ain’t My Fault.”) (Prod. by London On The Track)

Roc Marciano – “Deeper

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from Reloaded (Decon, 2012)
When I reviewed Roc Marciano’s Reloaded for The Wire last month I described him as hitting a wall as a rapper while his production expanded but the more time I spend with the record the more its seems like the opposite might be true. The production, while perfectly functional, reveals itself to be thinner and less dynamic on repeat spins but as it does so these bluntly hilarious little rhyme bursts of idea and imagery come out to the surface. Here he says things like “i copped a coat in mongolia” and most viciously “dressed understated at the steakhouse,” things that sound better coming out of his mouth than they do coming out of your brain’s mouth. Style-wise it’s some lightweight MF Doom shit, but in terms of humor it’s almost as if he’s doing a more advanced/successful/straight faced take on the referential absurdism of dudes like Action Bronson and Riff Raff. Of course nobody is going to give a fuck in the cooler corners of the internet because he’s not a not a white guy looks kewl when you reblog his photo and he isn’t tight with select members of Odd Future Wolf Gang Befriend Internet Kewl White Rappers All.

Check out my website about beats for an interview with Roc. (Prod. by Roc Marciano)

akaFrank – “Racist (My Dick Ain’t)”
from The Boycott (Coming Soon, 2012)
When I saw one time Diligentz member akaFrank open up for Iamsu earlier this year I laughed at some length at the ridiculously smart dumb concept behind this song. Then I forgot about it and was deeply confused months later when I found the phrase “Dick Ain’t Racist” as a standalone note in my Iphone (along with the similarly perverted take on Bay Area liberal politics “Occupy The Pussy,” which is forthcoming). Well I’ve since figured it out obviously and it still makes me laugh today. (Prod by Joey Cool)

Z-Ro – “This Ain’t Livin”
New Rother, mayn. He is free from Rap-A-Lot but still eternally sad which is good for us and probably bad for him.

Dyemond Lewis – “Wordz Of The Wize

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Damn I really put two Pro Era records in this post, I’m about to trade in my tattered Air Force Ones for a pencil drawing of a pair of fresh Ones that I reblogged on Tumblr while babysitting my little sister in a pair of Supreme slippers that my mom bought me. Oh fuck now this is going to turn into a fashion blog before the end of the paragraph. Anyway I don’t know who this Dyemond character is or how exactly he fits into the the structure of that crew of young biters but there is something resonant about his particular choice in chew toys. Specifically, he is on some sloppy swing Heiro Emporium dub jazz loop shit instead of some demo tape sent to Stretch & Bob shit (though naturally there was probably a huge overlap in these two demographics). So yeah I am being a hypocritter about all of this but hey I like the way this kid raps on this song. There’s a joy to it that’s absent in a lot of these Tumblr rap records lately. I asked my in-house sample snitch to ID this very familiar and probably quite obvious beat and he said PROLLY THE CRUSADERS. I am not going to listen to a bunch of Crusaders records to find out so yeah sure let’s just call it The Crusaders. You will be hearing from their lawyers, Dyemond. And also from Tajai’s lawyers. And from Lord Finesse’s too, just because. (prod. by Marvel)

Meek Mill f/ 2 Chainz – “Freak Show

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from Dreams & Nightmares (Itunes Deluxe) (MMG/Atlantic, 2012)
Nicki Minaj f/ Tyga & Brinx – “I Endorse These Strippers

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from Roman Reloaded Reloaded The Re-Up Again (Young Money/Universal, 2012)
Here’s to mining superfluous deluxe editions and cash-in reissues for their standout tracks so you don’t have to buy them or spend an afternoon trying to find just the right torrent. “Freak Show” is liver than basically anything on either rapper’s album. The Nicki song is crazy too on some digital blips and boobs boobs boobs moves, even if the world could do without the dudes on there. (Which is true of every song she’s released with dudes this year.) Mostly I just wanted to make that joke about Reloaded Reloaded Reloaded Reloaded. I do not have to make any jokes about a song called “I Endorse These Strippers,” that one writes itself. Love Roman. (“Freak Show” prod. by The Renegades; “Strippers” prod. by Juicy J[!] and Crazy Mike[?])

Mista Cain – “I Try”
from Lou Cain (Cain Music Group, 2012)
Boosie’s still locked up for a little longer at least we have his children – figurative and literal – running around Baton Rouge with something similar to his style. “I Try” is some of that deep dish pain sorry momma rap music that the world always needs more of.

Mouse On The Track f/ Fiend – “Get High, Get Loaded”

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from Millionaire Dreamzzz
Also Mouse is still running around BR too. And he rescued Fiend from that resin-crafted prison that Smoke DZA and Young Roddy and all of those other guys who put 420 in their album titles have happily resigned themselves to so he could make some real ass Louisiana funk shit. There is some amazing music on Millionaire Dreamzzz – including a song where Mystikal says “NOT GONNA PAY A LOT FOR THIS MUFFLER” in a strip club – but you guys keep ignoring Mouse in favor of talking about how Trinidad James has next or whatever. *Does Birdman handrub while slowly backing away from the internet.*(via TM)

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47 Responses to “New Rap Music”

  1. David Says:

    wtf is up ur butt

  2. David Says:

    I mean if you want to avoid arguing w/ me dont misrepresent me as some kind of lil mouse stan or as if ive been pushing undeveloped rappers as the next big thing or something

  3. David Says:

    Anyway isn’t my dick ain’t racist just a play on ‘my dick is prejudiced’ by tweedy bird loc

  4. CrowleyHead Says:

    Boys, be nice and focus on how we can finally get Skooly to drop a solo tape and become a star and not get dragged down by Kaleb’s dead-weight.

  5. Noz Says:

    David the internet isnt as serious as you think it is.

  6. David Says:

    idk u seem to be taking it pretty seriously up & down this list, complaining about tumblrs & fashion blogs & such. iirc hip websites are all posting the new roc marciano too.

  7. Noz Says:

    yes i live in constant fear of supreme slippers.

  8. Daps Says:

    My inner nerd tells me that Dyemond is using an old Marvel beat called “Wordz of…”, found on the B-side to a Saukrates 12″. Love that beat.

  9. GG Says:

    YO i think i sent u an Ask – but this works – any idea when/what z-ro’s plan is for his first full length release post-rap-a-lot? i figure if anyone’s gonna know it might be you

  10. Noz Stan Says:

    Yo David Drake you are s shitty critic.Tom Breihan Knows more and has better taste in rap and dat nigga still watches wrestling.

  11. Brandon Says:

    all love Noz, but i feel like their should be a mention of Kevin Gates amongst the BR guys making moves at the moment….”Lou Cain” was solid, but not as good as “make em believe”

  12. David Says:

    “Tom Breihan Knows more and has better taste in rap and dat nigga still watches wrestling.”

    idk at least ive never repped for big baby ghandi or ‘lords never worry’

    kevin gates had a full album called ‘in the meantime’ that is dope too & has more new material than ‘make me believe’
    but he asked for money for it so naturally it has a lower profile. dope record tho.

  13. dalatu Says:

    Mouse has been putting out quality solo music the last couple years, but he ain’t Tumblr-able and kind of a known quality. I mean, while No Limit/Cash Money is getting a comeback, but there isn’t any rap value in Trill Ent anymore, and no young popular rappers are claiming the importance of Trill Ent.

    That Ab-Soul verse is great, but considering he put out the best album of the year that shouldn’t be too surprising.

  14. Noz Stan Says:

    David,drill is a fucking fad. Your tumblr was only interesting when you were dick riding Gucci.

  15. David Says:

    oh no a fad!!! you’re trying too hard

  16. nico Says:

    with the exception of the chief keef shit – all this sucks…. SUCKS. not your fault though noz… just says a lot bout new rap music. whattup with captain murphy doe?

  17. Brandon Says:

    hey David, i like “in the meantime” but it doesn’t seem as solid as “make em believe” …there are some weird mixes on some of the records too. But Kevin Gates might be THE most underrated rapper in the world in my opinion at the moment. He can really really tell a story!!

    Lil’Mista and Gates need to link and actually make some music together.

  18. Ok but Says:

    this song called chum dropped not too long ago

  19. CrowleyHead Says:

    This song called “Chum” is meandering and pointless. Earl needs a new rapper to hopelessly copy for an identity. I mean… Even Vince moved onto pretending to be Boldy James from Tyler. Who is Earl, a dictionary with feelings?

  20. frank Says:

    Nice post, Noz. Have a good Thanksgiving.

  21. sisilafami Says:

    i’m still trying to figure what YMCMB is doing with kevin gates…

  22. martin balm Says:

    are you paid by livemixtaped? bitch move, they are cunts on the web. Overseas gives fuck

  23. RNT Says:

    Drill is not a fad actually it’s really just their take on the music they grew up listening to and influenced by (Bricksquad). I mean the lil homie that got chipped off was apart of his own group called Bricksquad. I think most writers just have a hard time embracing an artist that gets virally accepted too quick. There’s no difference between the music that Flocka and Keef make.

    The same people that wrote off the idea of Flockaveli being the best album of 2010 are now going through some type of strange ratchet/trap phase in 2012 making Keef’s music more socially (network) acceptable…

    Bottom line just listen to whoever you want and dont worry about who’s listening to them.

  24. Patrick D Says:

    R.I.P. Lil Phat

  25. Brandon Says:

    hey Sisilafami , it doesnt look like Kevin Gates is with YMCMB anymore for some reason…it wasnt stamped anywhere on his last release…so i dont even know.

  26. David Says:

    Yeah but his last release was dropped as “KVN Gates” so idk

  27. David Says:

    yeah yams is right btw and noz’s blurb is just abt arguing w/ some imaginary position he thinks ive taken regarding this scene. notice he doesnt respond to anything ive actually ever written, its just generic ‘sometimes these kids are good and sometimes they’re not,’ as if i didn’t say the exact same shit about chicago’s scene closing off possibilities in the wake of keef’s success (http://somanyshrimp.tumblr.com/post/32074840781/drill-reflections) in my own writing already. i don’t know what i’ve said he thinks i would argue with here unless its just lazy trolling. Durk, Keef and Louie are all original & talented artists w/ distinct identities; beyond that there are artists in chi who’ve had some good songs w/ unique production but also a particular geographic sensibility. I’ve detailed in other places why this is a distinct scene w/ its own space and it’s certainly less marketing-conscious than ‘rachet’ music is imo.

    for what its worth, tho, drill pre-dated brick squad stuff, that just had a big impact on the younger dudes from the drill scene. much as a lot of bay area dudes incorporated new york influences, because that was what was popping around 2000 in the bay and thats what they came up on.

  28. Brandon Says:

    @david , maybe YMCMB owns the name kevin gates or something? so he couldnt release anything under Kevin Gates…he just posted on twitter “the luca brasi story” coming soon as well. so who knows whats going on….i know i just want more Kevin Gates at the end of the day. so underrated.

  29. Complex Magazine Says:

    Complex presents: the top 25 pointless online David Drake and Noz arguments!

  30. CrowleyHead Says:

    @David & Yams; so we’re both going to pretend that contemporaries of Keef like say, Chris Mille didn’t completely lobotomize their own sound to try to ride the “Don’t Like”-hype? I’m not saying I’m 100% for the Noz position, but we’re not supposed to come out of a scene with one uniform sound and only three stars, especially when we had a lot more going on pre-“Don’t Like”.

    I mean, it’s getting like we’re in ’05-’06 when the Majors said “Okay, Snap Music… DFB, D4L, and… No, that’s it, we’re good.” before switching to whatever new sonic trend happened the week afterwards. By that right, if all the media hype switches to say… The Invasion, and then you have all those kids who super-diluted their sounds now switching it up again? And then Chicago becomes old news, and the scene is left with nothing for years again.

  31. David Says:

    ??? i think you’re forcing historical parallels in the 2nd para. but i already said i agree w/ the first part bro, & linked to a post i made saying as much from this summer. you’re doing the same thing as noz & assuming i’m saying something that i’m not.

    anyway if u want ‘entertaining’ beef then maybe stick to http://www.galapagos4.com/6997/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21556

  32. Emynd Says:

    Keef’s success will probably wind up stagnating the chicago scene more than it pushes it forward. Thats essentially what happened with meek in philly. Prior to meek’s grand hustle and mmg signings, he was the biggest rapper in philly but there was a healthy street rap scene that wasnt devoted strictly to aping him. At this point, it feels like every rapper in philly is just trying to recreate the meek formula in hopes of following his footsteps. There are obviously some noticable exceptions to this generalization, but i think in this day and age, breakout stars from a specific region dont encourage artistic growth in their home region’s sound– they limit it. I dont know the chicago scene intimately enough to argue that this is currently happening, but i personally feel like it’s probably inevitable.

    It really sucks that street rappers are still so devoted to the major label rap system

  33. Brandon Says:

    @emynd curious as to who those other Philly rappers you might be talking about? the ones not following Meeks lead and doing their own thing

  34. David Says:

    In the wake of his success, a lot of people started doing knockoff versions of what he’d done & the sound did ultimately shrink, although that wasn’t the case at first; I mean at one point, you had Durk over footwork tracks and Reese over Kells samples and Louie’s stuff with a huge variety of producers & sounds, like basically the entire city at one pt. was feeding him different kinds of beats, and that’s just in the drill scene alone. Not counting guys from outside of the east side (tree, treated crew, save money) or even on the east side but w/ distinct approaches that they havent deviated from (giftz, YP).

    i’m not convinced that its necessarily going to turn into a situation like in Philly, because enough artists already have catalogs & creative styles of their own, but there’s no doubt that his success had narrowed a lot of the approaches people were taking by the summer; at that pt andrew barber was talking about how many keef imitators were sending him stuff. It would be nice if ppl focused on the independent grind tho obviously, and it would be nice if the media showed more attention to the entire scene instead of mono-maniacally focusing on keef

  35. corpsey Says:

    ”Danny shouts a lot because that’s what he does now”

    Yeah I think its a bit of shame how most if not all of Danny’s post-XXX material wot I’ve heard has been in ‘that voice’ (then again maybe the shame is that I haven’t listened to all that much). Makes sense I guess, because being kerazayyy is probably what pushed him into the spotlight more than anything (and he does do that well). I’d definitely love to hear a D.B./Lito collaboration if Danny was up for doing more introspective stuff too cos him and Lito are two of the most honest/perceptive lyricists around.

    I think ‘Reloaded’ has more highlights than most recent albums but personally I can skip more than a couple of tracks. As you perhaps refer to in your post, the production is what seems to vary in quality to me – some of it is excellent (”We Ill” ”The Man” ”Flash Gordan”) some of it sounds like knock-off Madlib or summat.

  36. oa794yqt Says:

    David, you are taking music analysis way too personally. Crowley is not trying to disprove you, I think he is simply adding examples to certain points of the conversation. This is not the dark side of dissensus. I think instead of constantly bringing it into the personal realm you should stay in the musical realm here because people are not attacking you, people appreciate what you do, but codification is anti-futuristic and should be further broken down & talked about.

  37. emynd Says:

    Notable current Philly rappers that aren’t direct descendants of Meek:

    Grande Marshall – recently signed to Fool’s Gold and while obviously influenced by the whole A$AP sound, he’s still got his own vision and is a significantly better writer than all them dudes.

    Redi Roc from Ape Gang – really aggressive Philly street rapper who’s damn good at doing really aggressive Philly street rap.

    Truck North – Roots crew affiliate that is just a really solid, traditional, east coast lyrical rapper. No wasted lyrics and also not on some corny scientifical ish: just great traditional boombap rap. He just needs to put out more material

    There’s probably a ton of other stuff I’m sleeping on because I don’t have the energy to follow allflamerz.com or hit the mixtape spots buying 10 horrible mixtapes to find a handful of good material.


  38. David Says:

    @ oa794yqt i’m taking it ‘personally’ because it was made ‘personal’ in noz’s initial post

    @ emil i’m not sure what you’re trying to say except that there are guys who don’t sound like meek in philly too. the initial thing i argued w/ noz about prior to this post was his contention that what was happening in chi was no different from stuff happening everywhere (he also contended, as he reiterates here, that it was about some novel production approaches–and proceeds to link to 2 dgainz beats (drill scene) and one random one-off). but there was, in fact, A Scene here; it was never a one-artist thing, it was an entire culture & mentality that multiple artists working in concert & for sizeable, concrete & local audience had developed; the three most distinctive rappers ended up being louie, durk & keef, and a few years earlier it was pac man; their fans were in a network of high schools on the east side, a series of clubs in the south suburbs and thru the mixtape circuit. this was a real localized culture & scene w/ its own slang, its own dances, its own diverse approach to rapping. when keef blew (and the others to lesser degrees) the style coming out of the drill scene narrowed, particularly over the course of this summer.

    Initially, i received flack for saying that this was a ‘scene’ or that something was happening what’s happening ‘in every city’ because the sound was, to many ppl’s ears, too similar to street music in other parts of the country. i maintain that 1) the production sound WAS distinct, if only b/c the handful of chicago producers were working to please the same audiences & same clubs, even if it was derivative of ATL sounds that still dominate clubs here, and 2) that a scene’s ‘sound’ extends well beyond the literal keyboard noises/drum programming to culture: slang, style, values, politics, and especially in the youtube era, visuals. It’s a multi-valent thing, as opposed to the rachet scene which as far as I can tell is more based upon a similar kind of rhythmic bed & production approach, rather than a network of particular clubs? I don’t know, I haven’t really read anything about the actual social space where ‘rachet’ music exists.

    So yeah sure of course there are other artists doing different sounds in EVERY city. That doesnt change that the drill sound was distinctive in a number of ways that differentiated itself from other scenes.

    Anyway, I hope that clears up where my thinking was on this

  39. noz Says:

    who are you arguing with?

  40. emynd Says:

    Jesus christ, DAVID. Brandon asked me to name some artists from Philly that didn’t sound like Meek so I did. Me listing 3 rappers from Philly was in no way me “trying to say” anything at all to you, bud. Calm down.


  41. David Says:

    @emynd fair enough didnt see that,
    @noz you

  42. David Says:

    Sorry if this isn’t clear, but this blog post isnt the only thing im responding to here; when i said i ‘caught flack’ im not making it up or something, im responding to things noz actually said to me & that other ppl have said as well. I’m not ‘mad’ or something altho I am being specific & detailed

  43. rg5 Says:


  44. Chris Says:

    Joey’s music is growing on me by the day

  45. Cocaine Howard Says:

    “And he rescued Fiend from that resin-crafted prison that Smoke DZA and Young Roddy and all of those other guys who put 420 in their album titles”

    Comments like these void opinions.

  46. J FRESH Says:


  47. BC Says:

    you should explain what you mean by “style-wise it’s some lightweight MF Doom shit” regarding the Roc Marci record. i don’t see that. there wasn’t much humor in that record at all.

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