I was recently asked to make a list of my Top 20 favorite rap songs of all-time. This is an absurd endeavor, one prone to immense subjectivity, and impossible to accurately assess. But it was obvious that Baby and Clipse’s “What Happened to that Boy” had to be on it. Maybe it’s the Neptunes beat. Maybe it’s Pusha’s very complex but heartwarming exegesis about his niece’s delight at feeling chinchilla (age 4). Or maybe it’s just the bird call that rivals the “Ca-Caw” in the first scene of Bottle Rocket for all-time great warning signs (no disrespect to the Talking Heads, all disrespect to Coldplay).
I don’t love Cousin Stizz’s “Shoutout” exclusively for it’s throwback use of the bird call (with a little bit of the Gucci “burr”), but it helps. It also helps that the beat reminds me of the opium glaze of Harry Fraud’s “Bird on a Wire” or maybe “Peso.” Cousin Stizz, straight out of Suffolk County, shouts out that his weed is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious while smoking the wobbliest blunts in recorded memory. I’m not here for perfection; I’m here for efficacy. And there is something ruthlessly effective about this song, the slow crawls through the Boston suburbs, Stizz adapting Southern trap slang to a Northeastern climate.
But rather than swiping triplicate hi-hats and 808s, the beat matches the feeling of summer days so humid it hurts to breathe. The pace is as sticky as the weed. The hook engulfs you. It feels like the aural equivalent of taking bong rips before noon and being so discombobulated that you’re only capable of walking to the 7-11 for a Slurpee. The effect is nostalgic, but not the effects (save for a Jeep Wrangler worthy of Masta Ace). No boom-bap bludgeon. No club pandering. Just the feeling of the drugs squeezing their vice grip and the visions of money. Stizz deserves a shout out of his own. He vaporized this.