Torii MacAdams hasn’t left the condo for a week now.
Jamie XX ft. Young Thug – “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”
Jamie XX’s production is consistently marked by an overbearing preciousness. “I Know There’s Gonna Be” doesn’t rectify that issue, but Young Thug nimbly tip-toes between cutesy steel drums and snaps like a giggling, blond dreadlocked man-child on FAO Schwarz’ floor piano.
Lil Boosie ft. PJ – “All I Know”
Lil Boosie is many things, but forgetful is not one of them. “All I Know” is both a triumphalist ode to Boosie’s freedom and success and a big “fuck you” to his doubters, sneak dissers, and unspecified haters. Remember: while you’re criticizing Boosie, he’s on a camel in Dubai.
Boosie was worried Touchdown 2 Cause Hell was going to be too hard, so he added J.Cole to the album.
Fat Trel – “Georgetown Intro/Molly Bag”
Kanye West deservedly takes a lot of shit for being a bad A&R, but Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group’s roster is also worthy of ridicule. Gunplay is a talented, inveterate fuckup with a Swastika tattoo, Wale is a pretentious fuckup with an overinflated ego, French Montana doesn’t speak English, and Stalley was last seen in Atlanta, impersonating Rome Fortune. Fat Trel was, in retrospect, probably doomed from the start.
Oval shaped like Ross himself, and spitting unbridled malice, Trel was cast in the mold of a rap star that no longer exists–gangster rap has returned to the underground and taken Fat Trel’s career with it. Trel can’t sing or dance, and doesn’t have enough fashion sense for his face tattoos to be considered kooky, all of which makes it hard to apportion blame for the apparent stagnation of Trel’s career. Surely some blame belongs to MMG, though, who’ve yet to issue an official Fat Trel debut album. “Georgetown Intro/Molly Bag” appears to be portions of two different tracks from Trel’s upcoming Georgetown mixtape. “Georgetown Intro” comes closer to capturing the aggression of “Respect With The Tek,” Trel’s breakthrough single in the hardly halcyon days of 2011. On “Molly Bag,” Trel doesn’t sound bored so much as outmoded. It’s 2015, Trel, and it’s time to stop making Juwanna Mann jokes.
Father – “Please Stop Making Fake Versace”
Father’s verse on Maxo Kream’s “Cell Boomin” has conditioned me to press the next button whenever I hear his whiny drone. “Please Stop Making Fake Versace” sounds like it samples an alarm clock, which is ironic, because Father’s voice is basically a snooze button.
Mark Ronson ft. Mystikal – “Feel Right”
Mystikal is a convicted rapist and domestic abuser. Mystikal is also one of the most talented rappers to ever emerge from Louisiana, which puts my ability to tolerate his malfeasance to a very stern test. The video for “Feel Right” has a young boy peering over his belly to lipsync Mystikal’s wide-eyed and unhinged verses, all while dancing. It’s as impressive and adorable as it sounds. But, below the surface deep glaze of short-term entertainment, are feelings of impossible-to-suppress dirtiness and moral turpitude. There’s no easy answer to this problem– and everyone is welcome to confront issues of artists’ personal failings how they please–but I know that every Mystikal song I hear is tainted by his felonies.
A$AP Rocky – “Everyday”
Every new A$AP Rocky song feels like a study in his own niche, Houston-Harlem amalgam genre. Rocky’s internal monologue probably sounds like poorly written ad copy.
Money Makin’ Nique ft. Reese – “SWV”
I first heard Atlanta’s Money Makin’ Nique on Alex Piyevsky’s blog, Steady Bloggin, almost five years ago. Five years is a long time in rap music, especially in Atlanta, a city perpetually generating the Next Big Rapper. Nique’s relatively slow pace has probably prevented his career from reaching the heights his talent would dictate, but his output is still consistently enjoyable fare. “SWV” doesn’t have the vocal tics and women’s-clothing-eccentricity of Atlanta’s avant garde, it’s just uncomplicated raps about getting money.