The Celebratory Dread of Shy Glizzy

It’s hard not to like Shy Glizzy. Within a minute and a half of the first song on Laws 3, he rhymes Lil Boosie with Karrueche. He rocks the Doc Sportello sideburns with aplomb and he basically...
By    December 10, 2014

Shy-Glizzy-Awwsome

It’s hard not to like Shy Glizzy. Within a minute and a half of the first song on Laws 3, he rhymes Lil Boosie with Karrueche. He rocks the Doc Sportello sideburns with aplomb and he basically sustains a certain menace despite possessing what Naya Rivera would scoff at as: the Big Sean physique. But over the last several years, Glizzy has emerged as D.C.’s greatest artistically legitimate national hope. Fat Trel squandered his momentum to be a MMG pear carrier. Wale has spent the last 36 months begging Jerry Seinfeld to give him the original puffy shirt (interesting trades were considered). While Yung Gleesh remains limited to being only the second most famous member of the Slutty Boyz.

But there is Glizzy, who recently signed a distribution deal to Lyon Cohen’s 300 Entertainment. It’s unclear if an artist like Glizzy can become a real star, rather than a potent regional limelighter who drops the occasional hit that gains traction on YouTube and Vine. If Boosie still can’t get a full-length album released, what hope does someone like this have — who clearly fits into same pattern of mixtape after mixtape of quality street music. The concepts never get very complicated. He envisioning the ballers who will mourn him at his funeral, his inherent cockiness, the perils of cuffing season, and how he has no problems with hood by air.There is a song called “Money.” It’s not about the Martin Amis novel.

But like Boosie or Starlito, who Glizzy would appear next to in the magical Pandora algorithm, there’s always a looming sense of heaviness.  Take a song like “Better Days,” where even a normal celebration of wealth turns into a melancholic rumination about the pain of his past and everyone trying to murk him. It’s not easy being El Jefe. If anything an artist like like Glizzy thrives on the tensions between his dreams and a hardened sense of realism. Neither money nor sex can bring peace, but he’s too rowdy to want the latter. This is both aspirational and a warning. He’s said in interviews that D.C. wants him dead or in jail. But interviews are superfluous. Scratch the surface of almost every song and you’ll find that same feeling of dread.

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!