Son Raw might take on Grimes tomorrow.
Don’t look now but Mad Decent affiliates are actually releasing music that’s umm…decent. Now I refuse to apologize for bashing Diplo because that dude is a carpetbagging bumbahole who’s never seen a trend he couldn’t exploit for 5 minutes but for once, this rape-n-pillage attitude towards music may actually be paying dividends. Specifically, label affiliates Baauer and UZ are at the cutting edge of the new trap movement.
If you’re confused by that last statement, let me explain: while Lex Luger’s 2 year dominance of the mixtape game inspired every other kid with a computer to download a cracked copy of fruity loops in hopes of getting that Wiz Khalifa money, it ALSO got the attention of a Bass music scene sick of Brostep but unwilling to abandon the 140BPM & half-step tempo. The results are “Trap Music” as genre or Trap out the trap. So far so wack and on paper it’s easy to chalk this up to another irony drenched Hipster-hop shitbag from the cultural movement that brought you Spank Rock. But as Jeff cannily puts it, what irks in theory can work in practice and this shit is actually pretty good.
The key is in the rapping, or lack of it. Whereas music from this scene usually comes with a corny white girl or the producer’s one black friend rapping garbage all over it, Baauer and UZ’s recent releases have been gloriously devoid of terrible verses. Maybe it’s because the current Hip-Hop scene is so supersaturated with terrible honkies on the mic or maybe you just can’t spoof 2 Chainz but instead of having Riff Raff spit hot fiyah all over these tracks, the producers wisely keep them raw, emphasizing the hi-hats and snare rolls that have so far defined this decade in rap production.
Is it new? Not in the slightest considering even Luger’s beats are basically rewarmed versions of what Memphis was bumping the 90s. But it’s hard to cry “cultural theft” when they guys behind this riddim jacked it themselves and as much as I like Flocka, he’s not terribly missed once the bass drops. With the Low End kids all over this stuff and plenty of room to grow, instrumental Hip-Hop may have found another way out of its imitation-Dilla impasse of off-beat snares and marijuana-fueled lethargy and if you’re like me and having a hard time stomaching the fact that a lot of this stuff is coming from Mad Decent, all you really need is a cracked copy of Fruity Loops…
MP3: UZ – Trap Shit 6/9 (left click)
MP3: Baauer – Harlem Shake (left click)