03 Greedo & ZMoney Go ‘Dumb Dumb’ on “California to Chicago”

Steven Louis takes a look at another new Greedo track.
By    July 31, 2018


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Steven Louis still doesn’t have his World Star exclusive.

Zernando Tate was an ascending star when he was sent to Cook County Jail for a probation violation. Jason Jamal Jackson was an ascending star when he was cornered into a 20-year plea deal. The shared experience between ZMoney & 03 Greedo—and so many others robbed by the carceral system of a career in hip-hop—is tragic, but their collaboration, “California to Chicago,” traffics in other energies. It’s fuzzy, minimal, and self-assured. It eschews the obvious; it murmurs what you’d think it should shout. The drugs come from California, the guns come from Chicago, two subjects of the so-called justice system taunt. Performed effortlessness is a skill, but an effortless vibe from men whose prime years have been stolen is something else. Ron-Ron’s undulating beat is punctured only by the kick drum. This is ASMR gangsta rap. How Greedo & ZMoney stay cool is beyond me.

A few weeks into his prison sentence, the self-proclaimed Wolf of Grape Street has already put out this joint, a video with Casey Veggies, and a full-length with Nef the Pharaoh. I usually feel a deep discomfort engaging with the releases of locked-up musicians. Greedo’s output feels different. The walls do spit bars now, and they still feel connected to the person whose personhood is being ripped away. Shit, for the moment, they feel buzzy, simple, like almost nothing at all.

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