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Stunt This Summer

summer2

J Money f/ Yung LA – “Summer”
The Internet, 2014
A few months ago the two most important overlooked innovators in modern Atlanta rap history reunited for a song about how great summer is and of course it fell far under the radar because that’s where these guys stay. “Summer” is everything you could possibly want from two guys everyone forgot – it’s old-swaggy but not especially outdated or redundant, it’s autotuned but only a little bit and it delivers more joy in under three minutes than K Camp does in all of his songs combined.

Bas f/ J. Cole – “My N***a Just Made Bail”
from Last Winter (Dreamville/Interscope, 2014)
An unexpectedly nice little cut from J. Cole’s nigh-ungooglable weed carrier who some how got to put out an album on a major label at a time when even Lil Wayne can’t get a release date. Bas doesn’t get in the way here and Cole himself shows up with a typically Colesian verse (Frederick Douglass was the Frederick Douglass of rhetoric, buddy) but much like the only other J. Cole song I’ve ever enjoyed the track owes its success to simple but smart sample selection. (In both cases I was like Hey Well At This Guy Is A Pretty Great Producer At Least before realizing that no Cole did not actually produce either song.) The loop here sounds familiar but not immediately recognizable – it could very well just be Generic Brazilian Guitar #43 – still it makes a nice enough addition to the Copacabana backpack rap canon alongside J-Live’s “Don’t Play,” Consequence’s “Don’t Forget ‘Em” and uhhh I guess this pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas single. (Produced by GP808 and Hottrak)

Bobby Shmurda – “Hot N***ga”
from GS9 – Shmoney Shmurda Promo (Mixtape, 2014)
So “Hot N Word” and its similarly Vineable sister record, “Shmoney Dance” are leaving this rap nerd with intensely mixed feelings. On one hand it’s nice to hear some buzzworthy and modern New York rap that isn’t of either the Joey Badass/Peter Rosenberg snapback nostalgia assembly line or the French Montana spineless industry dickriding variety and Shmurda does do a good enough job of flipping what previously seemed like a middling Jahlil Beats produced Lloyd Banks record into something that actually has some life in it. On the other this shit is so deeply indebted to Chicago and while Chicago kids still drop songs of this caliber and format on a semi-regular basis, as well as ones that are infinitely more interesting, you can already see thirst bucket New York industry vultures circling. Inevitably this means doing all sorts of logistical gymnastics to discredit the lyricism of native Drill rappers, as if King Louie and Lil Herb never existed, while of course still indulging in the same wide eyed poverty voyeurism that at least partially fueled the initial internet rise of that genre two years ago. I mean in the inaugural Shmurda post at Complex, Insanul Ahmed actually wrote “Bobby and his friends feel like authentically rowdy New York kids—the kind that get into fights on the train” and there aren’t enough underscores in the world to match an emoticon to my face when I read that sentence. Anyway I want to start all over printing the text from my blog posts onto sweatsuits the way Rowdy Rebbel does with Biggie lyrics.

Young Moose – “Posted”
from Out The Mud (Mixtape, 2014)
If you want to talk final form post-regional rap then look not just to the hard body Brooklynites pretending to be from the Southside of Chicago but also to Baltimore rappers who are somehow making great Baton Rouge rap songs. With “Posted” and about half of his Out The Mud tape, Moose rightfully acknowledges Louisiana, 1997-present – and not Atlanta, 2009 or Chicago, 2011 – as the creative apex of modern street ra, which puts him in the esteemed company of Doughboyz Cash Out and Frankie Tha Lucky Dog.

Lil Uzi Vert – “U.Z.I.”
from Soundcloud, 2014
Alternately you could look to Philadelphia rappers who sound like Atlanta rappers but then again that’s hardly a new development. One of but a handful of interesting records to come out of the post-Young Thug world that I once dreamed of and now fear, “U.Z.I.” has been getting regular burn from my mixshow crush DJ Diamond Kuts. Uzi is not quite fully evolved as a rapper and if you were to strip him from this beat that might be more apparent but goddamn it seems like Charlie Heat’s glass clank and trunk rattle textures could carry just about anyone. Respect due to any rap producer aiming to make Yeezus and “Sh!t” sound thin. (Uzi also has a song called “Meek Mill” that sounds nothing like Meek Mill, simultaneously speaking to Meek’s influence and sorta kinda non-influence in the same wheezed breath. If this kid or any kid could learn to rap like Meek while moving like Thug we would have a problem on our hands. Teach this hypothetical rapper how to rap about something other than guns – or at least how to rap about guns in a more original and thoughtful manner – and you’d have the best artist of our time.)

Lupe Fiasco f/ Ty Dolla $ign – “Next To It”
Yes Atlantic Records For T.I. Clearance has become a genre unto itself and this collab reeks of the same roster dart board Frankenstein sensibility that has ruined almost every single single this label has dropped in the past five years but I’m oddly not mad at it. It’s a very rare intersection where Lupe doesn’t come of as particularly pedantic and Ty doesn’t sound like a creep. Plus the beat, laced by Ty and one time Sa-Ra partner Shafiq Husayn, is a bit of a low key slow motion slumper. I’d like to think that they are purposely microprocessing “Where Dey At” here but it’s more likely that they’re just rocking with an “Ayy Ladies” atom from some internet Insta-Ratchet Sample Kit.

Lil Blood f/ Young Nu & HD – “The Infrastructure”
from Heroin Music 2: The Red Walker Story (Livewire, Coming Soon)
When you spend as much Rasputin’s credit on new local Bay Area rap CDrs as I do you quickly learn that, for all of their talents, most of these nu-mobb Livewire/Bearfaced/etc. dudes live or die by their production. Listen to a few them live here, atop of the type of flutes that only Beanie Sigel could hate.

Plies f/ Luke – “Thick”
Plies is one of my favorite rappers of the 21st century and squares always look at me crooked when I say that but at least part of his appeal lies in his breadth and adaptability. It’s been four years since his last retail album – THANKS LYOR – and he’s been playing the same style roulette that anyone at the bottom of a major label roster is subject to in 2014. Naturally this has meant a handful of the sort of cloying for da ladies records that have kept him in rotation for the duration of his career. But he’s also managed to cover a lot of new ground both conceptually – crying in the shower, fucking the preacher’s daughter and even dropping some well intentioned first response conscious raps – and musically as well, jumping on some truly heavy sample based shit and even beating Jeezy to the Southern-Ratchet fusion punch by a few months . “Thick” is the latest and least expected of these deviations, and while it maybe isn’t quite as great as it could be it’s a goddamn 2014 Miami bass record (err… Ft. Myers Bass?) and Uncle Luke himself is on it so of course it’s pretty great.

Leikeli47 – “Fuck The Summer Up”
(Youtube, 2014)
Yes these ladies are straight running hamster wheels on the zeitgeist with the ASAP-vision video and the pastels and the cutesy gunplay and the careful anonymity via Spring Breakers balaclavas – I stumbled onto this organically via late night Youtube mainlining and of course Fader had already posted it because it’s like one of their interns’ visionboards come to life – but the beat alone warrants some kind of mention. Those stutter vocal structures, produced by I Don’t Know Who, are enough to dilate all pupils, sounding like COH Meets Cosey on tremendo blap. Plus, y’know, it’s about summer summer summertime like the title of this blog post.

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56 Responses to “Stunt This Summer”

  1. CrowleyHead Says:

    Leland Austin Died For Our Sins

  2. the ghost of earl weaver Says:

    Noz shutting down the summer *prayer hands emoji*

  3. The White Shadow Says:

    Sorry to do the fragment of a sentence thing, but:

    “the post-Young Thug world that I once dreamed of and now fear”

    Care to elaborate on this? Are you just in fear of an onslaught of rappers who’ll jack the most superficial elements of Thugga’s style (weird sing-rapping!) and profit, or is it something else which I’m too tired to realize right now? (Insomnia, man. It sucks.)

    Anyhow, cool to see another CB update.

  4. Michaelangelo Migos Says:

    The people currently stanning for Hot N*gga who ignored Wu Wuu Wuuu last year are definitely paedophiles, imho.

    Internet is really gonna suck if FrankieThaLuckyDog does give up writing about Louisiana rap because DJ B-Real has blocked him.

  5. noz Says:

    Shadow – A lot of horrible fake Young Thug songs have already been made. It’s not an easy style to replicate wel..

  6. Goosey Says:

    Not feeling any of these.. You heard Trap House 4? Fucking great.. Also watch all of I Love Makonnann’s videos.. That guy is gonna be a star.

  7. noz Says:

    it’s good to know what goosey does not feel

  8. The White Shadow Says:

    I go through life only paying attention to genuine Young Thug songs and it rarely fails me

  9. Goosey Says:

    PS Bobby Shmurda is the worst rap alias ever.

  10. Sam Duck Says:

    young moosh, so weird hes so into baton rouge jig music…even sayin “out the mud” and callin out BR.

    i fuck with it

  11. barndog Says:

    omgomgomg

    is it like some post-its or like some posters? either way whoa

    ugh plies is too good

    on the fuck the summer up, on the 2nd half of the hook, that’s the sang and dance ‘na-nah, nah nah, na-nah nah’ right? that sorta fucked my head up, like are asappers starting to get jiggy?? could be great?? or am i dumb??

  12. hotbox Says:

    The young moose joint is nice.

  13. giorgio Says:

    these rappers have good names and even better songs

  14. Post Regional Thug Says:

    Posted is a good song, a lot of these are good.

    Stall, so “Sa-Ra” was short for “Search Results” this whole time. Dunno if thats gonna catch on like Goodie and ASAP tbh, Creative Partners.

  15. sisilafami Says:

    frankie still doing it : http://frankiethaluckydog.blogspot.be/2014/07/review-1410-bubba-perfect-timing.html

  16. noz Says:

  17. Rafael Says:

    There are a few other nice cuts on Bas’s LP. “Last Winter” features a great Jones Girls flip.

  18. Z Says:

    glad to see ya posting some rap by women. so much out there right now–especially on the drill scene. good shit

  19. Syl Says:

    Why are you suddenly afraid to write the word “Nigga” when it’s part of a song title?

  20. noz Says:

    idk apart from direct quotes in artist interviews i’ve always thrown asterisks on it here because i’m not really trying to have a dumb word potentially derail a good conversation but hey here we are and here it is doing it again

  21. noz Says:

    jk this was never a good conversation

  22. Post Regional Thug Says:

    Is anyonre on Frankie’s list of approved commenters? I signed up like 2 years now and bubkus.

    Frankie’s isolation from tumblr/crowd participation is def part of his secret.

  23. Post Regional Thug Says:

    And HHFB would clearly be rap internet Fantano if he started vlogging.

  24. bob backlund Says:

    whoah, “Posted” is really tough! Been looking for Baltimore rappers with vigor (looks like that’s where they’re from) for a while now. TYBNoz

  25. The White Shadow Says:

    would not be mad if Fantano got dropkicked off youtube

    The Moose song is great. Shmurda’s rapping on that song is a competent Chicago homage but as a scene New York hip-hop is deader than a bag of washers. I do like how the beat incorporates crows cawing and thin horror movie organ, reminds me of old Three 6 beats in that way.

    Lil Uzi Vert did a really bizarre song with Lil B on the hook recently. It’s on some mixtape that features a hilarious Thugga/Quan song as well.

  26. The Human Digest Says:

    That same sentence from Insufferable Ahmed has been haunting me. I’m also confused because Rowdy Rebbel (hurts to write) seems like a more interesting rapper than Bobby Shmurda (ouch)but it also seems that he just watched all of Z-Money’s videos and decided to become a rapper.

  27. noz Says:

    at this point “more lyrical” usually means less interesting but for real i don’t think either of these guys are especially interesting or lyrical. the more time i spend with both songs the more it seems to just be the right collision of good energy and production. which, of course, you probably could’ve also said about keef in the “bang” era. i get that they’re young and that there’s room for growth but the same is true of any number of the little post-keef street rap youtubes that pop up twice a week from places that aren’t new york.

    fwiw i think keef is and has always been a considerably more inventive writer than either of these kids. i mean compare the shmurda shit – which is just blunt cliches about 9 millis and getting neck falling on obvious rhyme schemes – ball out/fall out/all out – to the elasticity of something like “turn your ass to tofu / turn your ass to thai food / do a drive-by by you” of course the main difference is that keef is not at all interested in enunciation and this not only alienates lazy listeners but also adds fuel to the same respectability / regional biases that have colored every awful conversation about new york rap v rap from elsewhere since before either of these kids were born.

    but that’s what’s so great about keef’s continued dive into full on mumble rap. he’s saying fuck you to the lyrical police while still evolving lyrically. i don’t always love the end results but i’d much rather hear him do that than take the waka or b no really we can rap route where growth as an artist is measured solely by ones ability to impress 40 year old lox fans.

  28. noz Says:

    and i think keef is a bit of a strawman/outlier in the drill sphere anyway. there are songs on the new durk tape where he raps circles around shmurda in the old world lyrical sense but then again there are also weirdo emotional autotuned messes that would immediately turn off any hip hop conservative.

  29. The Human Digest Says:

    That’s my problem with Lil Bibby – just because a rapper uses typical rhyme patterns doesn’t mean he’s an interesting or even good rapper. When the drill scene shifted more and more towards autotune/singing/weird drug influenced shit to the point that even dudes like King Louie are mimicking new rappers to try and stay relevant, everyone points to the person who is a very normal rapper and assumes it must be good.

  30. David Says:

    I’m not clear why people keep bringing up ZMoney in this conversation since I don’t think he sounds like them, and he’s not really drill, even if he’s intermittently influenced by it (“4 None”). I doubt Shmurda or Robby know his music since he’s not really known outside Chicago region/rap nerds. From what I can tell in NY scenes that still exist—and they do exist, in places like Flatbush, Brownsville, East New York—the post-GBE stuff has been pretty big. The GS9 tape closes with a flip of Keef’s (2014, not 2012) record “Pull Up,” although in terms of rap styles these guys seem more into the New York-ish delivery end of drill—Herb, Reese, LA Capone, stuff like that.

    That said I don’t see a reason to be pessimistic about Bobby Shmurda’s music really, although there is def reason to be pessimistic about the things liable to be written about it.

  31. David Says:

    Also I noticed on the GS9 tape, the more New York and less drill-sounding the record was, the less interesting it tended to be. “Of course I’d say that” but it’s the sparks of NY swag meeting this more modern sound that make this stuff notable at all.

  32. Post Regional Thug Says:

    it is, or was anyways, kinda a tradition to have a token conservative “actual #bars” song every now again. Theyd often sound awkward cos it wasnt usually anyone stepping their game up, theyd just conform to NY patterns or rap more in the pocket or whatever.

    Like with Juvie I think thats what Money On The Couch was supposed to be, even though Whos Tha MF or Solja Rags are arguably more impressive if less orthodox. There was actually what sounded like one on that Mac Mall/Khayree album a few years ago which is ridiculous if true thats hes insecure three decades later. Bun had a bunch of these moments too imo like “thatll show em”

  33. Post Regional Thug Says:

    RHQs an example too, hes actually a fairly straight ahead punchline 1-2 1-2 dude when hes not singing and a kinda bland one at that. Which was disappointing cos from his singles he sounded like he mightve had something going

  34. Post Regional Thug Says:

    It also left a lot of people open to saying sub-keith murray space shit that dont even make sense that you can tell they clearly werent comfortable saying, wish I could draw up examples but theres def plenty.

  35. barnes Says:

    so interesting that being ‘dexterous on the mic’ (lmao) is still such a thing. like what is the endgame for wearing this stance in 2014? ahmed and his friends feel like authentically intelligent adults? the kind that wear bow ties at the theatre?

    also they should be careful w that 40 yr old lox, it usually spoils after a few days…

  36. Shane Says:

    Did you catch this new keef track?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRCNrl5iWwY
    enunciating again

  37. B.S. Says:

    I think I feel asleep halfway through “Thick”.

  38. David Says:

    @Shane he’s been rapping w/ that delivery all summer, all the tracks w/ 12hunna are like that. altho not at that speed.

  39. The White Shadow Says:

    gina,

    u mad

  40. Shane Says:

    @David yea I think what I meant more was that he wasn’t pausing when rapping, he didn’t “aye” once in that song

  41. Tiaffo Says:

    I like it

  42. David Says:

    @Shane yeah word he’s actually kinda going for a “lyrical” vibe on that record at some level

  43. public school whitey Says:

    also, thanks for putting me on to the Common / Lil Herb track.

  44. FRFR Says:

    WTF how did plies know I was hurting for a 2014 bass song with uncle luke?!!?! and I agree with you NOZ everytime I tell people about plies they look like they wanna kill but those same people will profess to me that chief keef is the messiah I just laugh and keep it moving

  45. jim Says:

    “so interesting that being ‘dexterous on the mic’ (lmao) is still such a thing.”

    I agree but at the same time the side repping the most for the opposite viewpoint goes to bat for some bullshit too, where certain rappers who’re just straight-up bad in every aspect, not just “technically,” are given props for some elusive quality they supposedly have

  46. sisilafami Says:

    jim could you provide us with an example ?

  47. David Says:

    He’s not wrong but those rappers seldom get out of the 2-3 blog posts stage. Unless they’re white

  48. jim Says:

    “jim could you provide us with an example ?”

    Versace Versace Versace

    Chief Keef

    Future/Young Thug type is more my speed, I don’t see what the aforementioned artists do that hasn’t been done better by other artists (although Migos have had an influential/annoying flow)

  49. jim Says:

    also David Drizzy I know your writing, you’re a good critic except for the taste fascist part. ‘Specially with Gucci a few years back, lol how hard is it to understand that some people aren’t gonna care about how clever your lyrics are if you always deliver them in a complete mushmouthed non-dynamic flow

  50. David Says:

    Never mind, he is wrong.

  51. David Says:

    How am I being any more ‘taste facist’ than you, here?

  52. swag dad Says:

    bobby shmurda is a rapper from new york city

  53. sisilafami Says:

    oh jim I feel sorry for having asked that to you.

  54. jim Says:

    “How am I being any more ‘taste facist’ than you, here?”

    cuz you couldn’t comprehend obvious reasons why people wouldn’t be into/critics wouldn’t care about a rapper you were obsessed with. I mean shit I like Wayne’s music even since he’s allegedly “fell off” but I get why people might not like his voice/his lyrical approach. Your take is cuz someone had so much “buzz” and you liked ‘em a lot that there was no real reason to dislike them

  55. barnes Says:

    “the side repping the most for the opposite viewpoint goes to bat for some bullshit too”

    to me that makes a bit more sense. i’m saying it’s interesting there are people (or brands) who want to make it clear that they are drawing a line and that they are on the old-fashioned side of it.

    on another note i just now listened to the lupe track and liked it, am wondering if i should be listening to more lupe or if i am safe in continuing with not listening to much lupe

  56. David Says:

    I can entirely understand why some ppl don’t fuck w/ Gucci or Keef or whoever although I find arguments about gun toting promoters of violence more compelling than people claiming either rapper doesn’t have a “dynamic” flow.

    But right now you’re saying chief keef & migos are just “straight up bad in every aspect” which sounds more like taste fascism to me than anything.

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