Rap Up – Week of 5/1/15

French Montana, Chinx Drugz, N.O.R.E., Earl, Troy Ave, Kevin Gates, Baraq, Peewee Longway, Calliope Var, Ray Vicks,
By    May 1, 2015


Torii MacAdams is banned from Internet TV

French Montana ft. Chinx Drugz & N.O.R.E. – “Off The Rip”


The Peter Principle indicates that in the workplace, one’s qualifications for promotion are usually based on one’s performance in prior, less demanding roles. Thus, one is promoted to one’s level of incompetence. Somehow, French Montana has been promoted so far beyond his abilities that he’s reached not so much a plateau of incompetence, but a plateau where his cultural caché has temporarily rendered his relative incompetence irrelevant. Montana’s a bad rapper, but doesn’t seem like a bad person so much as someone fattened by a surplus of manna, unaware that the surplus is dwindling.

“Off The Rip” is passable, but under-utilizes NORE, the precedent for whom French Montana is a pale imitator. This is the peak of Montana’s largesse–the impossibly stupidly named Chinx Drugz has a bigger role reciting “Bloody Money” lyrics than New York’s all-time most quotable coke rapper.

Earl Sweatshirt – “Solace”

Earl Sweatshirt isn’t the only introspective young rapper, but he might be the one most capable of expressing his emotions in ways that don’t feel affected or trite.

Troy Ave – “June 5th”

 we have decided not to share this music, find it if you want

Real lyrics from “June 5th” are “I made my name in these streets, like a real nigga/I keep them pistols in my Jeep, like a real nigga/I make sure all my homies eat, like a real nigga/I fuck your bitch and go to sleep, like a real nigga.” Since “June 5th” is essentially a rap version of Mad Libs, let’s do our own!

I (Verb) in (Location) like a real (Adjective)

I keep (Noun) in the whip like I’m (Celebrity)

I got a pound of (White Celebrity or Synonym For The Color “White”), shippin’ out the country

I (Verb) your bitch and (Verb) in the (Automobile Make or Model)

Throw in some barely-cryptic homophobic slurs and you, too, can be Troy Ave!

Kevin Gates – “I Don’t Get Tired (Remix)”

I eagerly await Kevin Gates’ TED Talk about his folksy tales of innovative booty eating techniques, complete with a slideshow illustrating the finer (finest?) points of anilingus.

Baraq ft. Peewee Longway – “Struggle”

I can’t claim to know much about Baraq other than that he’s from Washington D.C. and hates Shy Glizzy. Peewee Longway, on the other hand, has made a name for himself as a member of 1017 Brick Squad. Longway feels like a bet hedged against label mate Young Thug by 1017; Longway’s prolific, less outwardly strange than Thugger, and has a gut akin to Gucci Mane’s monument to lassitude and wealth. The two-ish years since 1017 signed Longway and Thug have made it abundantly clear which of the two is a star. On “Struggle,” Longway does a passable Thug impersonation, a tacit admittance of Thugger’s tentacular influence in Atlanta.

Calliope Var ft. Ray Vicks – “NO 2 BR”

If you grew up in what was one of the three projects for which UNLV titled their album Mac Melph Calio, it’s highly likely that you can rap. Calliope Var is no exception. On “NO 2 BR,” Var, named for the since renovated and rebranded Calliope (or “Calio,” depending on pronunciation) Projects, teamed up with Baton Rougian and former Boosie collaborator Ray Vicks to celebrate their respective cities. According to Commandante Jeff Weiss, no one in Baton Rouge knew anything about Vicks when he and Boosie released Under Investigation, which would prove to be a prescient title–shortly after its release both Boosie and Vicks landed in prison. Vicks was also mentioned in Kevin Gates’ “IDGAF,” lending credence to the idea that Vicks was, or is, more well known as a hoodlum than a rapper:

“Young Troll just hit the phone/

But he don’t keep it a thousand/

Ray Vicks just jacked him, and he ain’t even see bout that”

Street politics aside, Vicks and Var kill this…just not in the way that reportedly got Vicks’ brother convicted. “NO 2 BR” is set to be released on DJ Dow Jones’ forthcoming mixtape of the same name.

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