Max Bell bought Mac his first mall.
The man pictured above isn’t tripping—except he is. The pills just smacked; the drank and the kush will continue to circulate post Instagram upload. He’s Ezale. He’s from Oakland. He was bouncing next to Kendrick Lamar in the “Alright” video (see 4:06 mark). He might be the Bay Area’s next MDMA-addled emissary.
Although you’d be forgiven for having missed “Five Minutes of Funktown,” Ezale’s Whodini lifted Oaktown odyssey, you’d be remiss for not clicking play below. While Sage and Su rose to prominence marrying Baton Rouge’s ratchet and hyphy inside their bedrooms, Ezale was probably on the turf, armed to the gold grill, slanging and skirting black and whites to Mac Dre deep cuts.
Since the release of his initially overlooked 2013 mixtape, Drug Funnie, he’s emerged as an equally animated reincarnation of the late Andre Hicks, ostensibly the only person to rival the number of pills the Vallejo rapper popped in a day. The beats on Drug Funnie aren’t original but Ezale makes each song his, crafting beguiling hooks, rapping simple and direct lyrics with unshakable rhythm and an endearing effortlessness. His voice is clear, each word enunciated; yet it still houses the lilt of the perpetually lifted. Even if he weren’t rapping about drugs, you’d know he was on them.
“I Ain’t Trippin Off Nothin” is the first wholly original Ezale song. Produced by someone(s) named The Plug Sound, the bass knocks and the percussion, for lack of a better word, slaps. It succeeds for because of its minimalism, because of the bells and whistles (literally) sprinkled like white on green.
As he does on every track he’s made available to the public, Ezale continues to split the difference between druggie, thug, and mack with inimitable style and seemingly inexhaustible energy. Everything on the scale is weighed twice because thizz is in the juice; he will call Stretch because his girl wants to see Sage. The night won’t end until dilated pupils are unintentionally closed. The video begins and ends with dark scenes antithetical to the unbridled turn up in between, but fear and loathing are inherent in all substance-induced hazes. When those feelings and illusions subside, Ezale will be at it again. Tripping and not.