August 7, 2014

Brad Beatson is rocking very loose pants

UGLYFRANK of ILLFIGHTYOU is simultaneously technically proficient, at ease, and captivating. Aside from Isaiah Rashad, he might be my favorite new rapper to emerge this year. On “Bossa,” he shows off an alter ego that’s reminiscent of Kendrick’s “we off a pill and Remy Red” tone, throughout the song. While I’m at it, UGLYFRANK possesses that ScHoolboy Q skill of lodging a line so deep into my skull that it’ll only be cured by seeing it live: “Black thoughts, White bitch, Black Rambo.”

There’s also the slow-mo voice, skating in Vans, and goofy ringleader hijinks on display that lend credo to ILLFIGHTYOU’s comparison to Odd Future. But I don’t think that’s a fair analogy. Sure, their sounds are a little harder than what the Greater Seattle and Tacoma rap scenes have been used to these past few years (sans BSBD, Nacho Picasso), and Fox News would probably shriek in horror if they saw this video, but likening them to Odd Future is discounting their exceptional rap skills.

“Bossa” is the second video from UGLYFRANK’s solo debut, The Bobby Hill EP. That EP is produced by the KReam Team, which includes fellow ILLFIGHTYOU rapper/producer, KHRIS P. It’s full of hard bass and synths, and a grocery list of lyrical rap tropes, but they sound fresh when paired together because UGLYFRANK works so well with the production. There are references to Flockavelli and Purple Rain, production on “90” that’s reminiscent of G-Funk, and he covers Drake’s “November 18th.” He drinks too much, he smokes too often, he’s depressed and pops xanax. He’s hungry. The West Coast renaissance rolls on.

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