White GZUS are neither white nor singular. They are Blanco Caine and GZUS Piece, brethren in Chicago’s Treated Crew, who blend trunk-shattering 808s rumbles with slow-rolling raps about stacking, macking, and other flamboyant style. In the past, they’ve flipped old beats to modern ends, re-purposing Triple Six and Raekwon for contemporary tales of shining in a decayed city. They remind me of a Midwestern analogue to Roc Marci, except if 8 Ball & MJG was more of an inspiration than Mobb Deep.
For their first single off their latest tape, Mink Weather, the GZUS’ return with a song that addresses the bleak conditions of not just Chicago, but urban streets world wide. It’s called “State of the Black Union,” and when I asked for more background on it, Caine mentioned that “Chiraq’ had already had over 300-plus shooting victims in just two months with innocent kids not just caught in the crossfire but recently targeted. It’s past time for bars like this.”
Produced by SC, the pair pour out prayers for every block, those who got life and those who got their life taken. They’re consummate realists, adherents to a broken code, going in on those who would betray the plug and their city. Their advice is old world and comes with its own credo. The evolution of a “playa is what playa was. Stay in school, respect women, and stay off drugs.” The wisdom is hard-earned, the words carry their own double meaning. GZUS is currently fighting a case for heroin trafficking, threatening the future one of the best rap groups out.
In the meantime, there’s the “Black State of Union,” in which they rap very well, interpolating 50 Cent, and offering pimped-out Midwestern riding music for those whose closets are pet cemeteries.