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Lil Tjay / Jay Gwuapo– “Goat” / “Back Then”
There’s this wonderful event every June in New York called Summer Jam. You’ve probably heard of it. Lovely people from Brooklyn, Queens, Uptown, Bronx, Staten Island, and New Jersey gather at MetLife stadium for a day of cookouts and Funk Flex monologues. Everyone has their best Canal Street Migos outfit on and stands for the National Anthem which, of course, is “We Gonna Make It” by Jadakiss and Styles P.
Summer Jam is admittedly not as important as it once was. But there’s still one thing that’s true for New York rappers: The city can never be yours until you grace that Summer Jam stage and the crowd reacts like Michael Jackson has just been revived for one last performance (performing everything but his Drake collaboration).
A Boogie was the one who got the Summer Jam co-sign this year. He performed twice, a full set early on and a mini-set between Remy Ma’s showcase. The crowd that night treated A Boogie like a god. You could look around as everyone recited the words and grown men who definitely care way too much about masculinity let down their guard and sang “Timeless” as passionately as the Billy Joel MSG crowd croons “Piano Man.”
A Boogie has the city in the palm of his hands and his influence is beginning to ripple through New York, reaching two of the most promising up and comers, Lil Tjay and Jay Gwuapo.
A Boogie’s high pitched melodic moan has been clowned for a minute now—most famously, Lil B accused him of sounding like Dej Loaf. New York doesn’t seem to care and Jay Gwuapo of Brooklyn and Lil Tjay of the Bronx have both been inspired by his use of melody, taking it and making it their own. On “Back Then,” Gwuapo simultaneously sounds like he’s creating a love ballad and scammer anthem, while Tjay on “Goat” channels the street anthem side of A Boogie that initially made him a marquee name in the Bronx. Judging by their early and quick success, this is just the start of a new wave of A Boogie inspired rappers in New York.
Scrappy Doo– “Silky”
Do you like art? Good, I thought so. Meet Scrappy Doo. Watch his video for “Silky.” The New York drill scene will never be the same. Wow, they’re poorly twirling outside of Brooklyn landmark, Vinnies. Did they just burn the poly durag? Yes. Is he rapping off beat? Yes. On purpose? I don’t know. The worst rapper in Brooklyn is Scrappy Doo and the best rapper in Brooklyn is Scrappy Doo. Are you confused? His name is fucking Scrappy Doo, you should be.
Jay Dee– “Enough is Enough”
One of the issues in Brooklyn’s drill scene is that everyone is at the same level. They all linger around the same views, do the same shows, and have the same inspirations. When everyone is so similar, it’s difficult to stand out and it’s why the premier rapper in the genre is just whoever released a song in the last couple of days. Jay Dee has some of these issues, but standing out amongst the rest isn’t one of them.
Jay Dee’s voice is what’s key. On “Enough is Enough,” it’s energetic and slightly deviates from the typical Brooklyn drill rap pattern—which always stays true to their bible, otherwise known as G Herbo and Lil Bibby’s “Kill Shit.” Some dislike Jay Dee’s voice and pompous fans of the scene want him banished from Brooklyn’s YouTube pages to this lesser realm in their minds called SoundCloud. But if this scene is ever going to become something more, a variety of rappers will have to be welcomed and allowed to prosper. Jay Dee is beginning to get the chance and he’s not squandering it. Now, let’s just get him a producer.