I’ve already done the sales pitch for Co$$ and the first leak from his forthcoming debut, Before I Awoke is further validation. Subtly paying homage to 2Pac (“my thoughts are so deranged“), Co$$ and Blu assert themselves as LA’s best one-two combination this side of Pau and Kobe. There’s a lot to unpack in this song, the Leimert Park-raised Co$$ struggles with atheism, the death of his father, thoughts about doing heroin, and attempting to teach his seeds. But you’d be forgiven for missing it if you just drift off with the brightness of Beatnik Dee’s bronze sun and green trees beat. Blu attempts to rhyme every word and comes close.

This is not “throwback rap.” You don’t need to read Proust to know that nostalgia is a legitimate inspiration for art. Songs like this illustrate why people used to be able to say they liked underground rap without coming off sounding stupid. And yes, everyone apologizes for the existence of Sage Francis.

CO$$-‘Through The Flames’ Ft. Blu (Prod. Beatnick Dee) by BEATNICKDEE

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