TDE have listened to enough Pac to know that rhymes alone can be the blueprint for money-making. The “Black Lip Bastard (Black Hippy Remix)” is a week old and I feel compelled to ensure that everyone has heard it. Even though I know you’re reading this on the Internet, so you’ve already heard it. But context is everything, so slow your role. Now then. Between offering orations on the excellence of Kyrie Irving, Doc Zeus wondered yesterday whether another crew had it on lock like this since Wu-Tang. The only other possible answer is Dungeon Family, circa their late 90s run when the second generation (Cool Breeze, Witchdoctor, Slim Cutta) all answered with a round of records nearly as good as the opening ‘Kast/Goodie artillery. But until TDE release their World Party, I’m riding for the kids from the land of sun, smog, and Sativa.
TDE have no wasted movement, check swings, or warning shots. Since Section 80 or arguably sooner, they’ve been taking heads off — Hannibal Lecter music (said the Jay Rock). That’s the thing, when the guy commonly considered the weak link, was once considered the next chosen one of West Coast gangsta rap, you’re not building a movement, you’re building an empire. Like K-Dot tells everyone on the Puffy-riffing outro, he made six figures in Texas over independent shit. Other rappers ought to take cues: they matter because they make the music they want to make. Even when the hooks feel forced, they feel sincere. With rap as in writing, the moment you sense dishonesty, you tune out (with the exception of Rick Ross, the celebrated James Frey of rap).
Beyond the music, what makes people want to ride for these guys is that there are no gimmicks. No attention-grabbing videos or social media hysteria. They don’t do interviews with everyone and they don’t bombard you with half-assed freestyles over the latest greatest beat. The Ab-Soul review is coming later and I suppose I could have spent this time hyping up some other group. But that’s my point, with everyone else it seems like empty praise, this doesn’t feel like hype. This is just some shit you keep in your headphones and can imagine that 16-year olds will look back on in a decade and wonder why no one makes music like this anymore. Hell, Schoolboy even made me like a Childish Gambino song. Crews like this don’t come around very often. So stop asking Kendrick about the other ones.