In 22 minutes, Cam & China do what they’ve been doing since 16: smacking rivals and talking shit with the fury, creativity, and grace of Kevin Garnett. Following a run of excellent singles, their new eponymous EP is the first project that the twins have released since the dissolution of Pink Dollaz. It is everything you want from rap, if you believe that rappers should be able to spit bars that sound like they’re ripping your soul out through your nose, and then being capable of singing a catchy hook that can fill that void.
It starts off with a few dark minor chord piano keys, and then the best sibling duo since Pusha and Malice rap about oncoming wolves and their own extravagance. There are no misses that follow. In the half-dozen years since first emerging, the Inglewood duo learned all the things that transform raw rappers into impressive artists. They’ve mastered their craft, but dodge the self-seriousness and showiness that plagues most people who have studied so closely. The hooks are infectious, the writing is intricate, the syllables meticulously layered, and the cadences seamlessly shifting into double and triple time. There’s even a song produced by J Hawk, the legendary jerkin’ producer who made all their early Myspace-platinum singles. It sounds like the post-ratchet era version of “Pretty Boy Swag” and there is a C-Murder interpolation. This is what we were waiting for.
If they first gained attention for being teenage girls rapping about oral sex with more effectiveness than anyone since Akinyele, they’ve gone far beyond the deserved early praise. The sisters have the sort of chemistry you usually only find in Golden Age groups; they might be the best modern pairing apart from Run the Jewels. Even though the themes rarely extend beyond than their own greatness, the destruction of their rivals, and the token love song (“In My Feelings”), Cam & China somehow make old concepts sound fresh. They’re rapping about how they’re better than everyone else because that’s an accurate self-assessment. It’s one of the best EPs of the year. If the Rams are smart, they’ll have them singing the national anthem before the first game.