January 16, 2015

slihmmicantrapaboutlovetrackcoverposterartwork

Torii MacAdams has a PO Box in Broad City

Inherent to “discovering” new rappers is to confront fear. It’s the fear that the next song you click will be so thoroughly backpacky that your appropriately-sized sweater is going to turn into a XXXL Triple 5 Soul hoodie, that everything in your iTunes will transform into unreleased and unmastered J.Cole tracks, and that your girl will transform into Palmela, your right palm. “I Can’t Rap About Love,” by Slihmm, threatens to do all that in its first fifteen seconds…and doesn’t follow through.

“I Can’t Rap About Love” is solid boom-bap when the worrying, apparently-not-portentous opening vinyl pops give way to New York-standard sleigh bells. Slihmm, a self-described “ugly nigga with attitude problems,” has the smart-ass swagger necessary to imitate Golden Era raps. On “I Can’t…” he worries he won’t be able to fuck a woman because she was raised right, but he piped on the first night “only ‘cuz [he’s] cute as fuck.” “I Can’t”’s instrumental deserves commendation, too– producer Brother Moon’s horns in particular are Lord Finesse-lite, which would be damning with faint praise were rap without Finesse like the NBA without Jordan*. Slihmm might not able to rap about love, but he raps pretty well about hittin’ skins.

*In his own words.

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