POW Premiere: Chris Crack’s “Came, Saw, Left Early”

Douglas Martin takes a look at rapper Chris Crack's prolific catalog, the single off his new record, "Being Woke Ain't Fun."
By    August 17, 2018

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Douglas Martin needs better patience to serve patients.

It feels almost cliche to write about how prolific Chris Crack is, but to avoid it would overshadow his sharp artistic development. In the two and a half years since Who the Fuck is Chris Spencer alone, Crack has dropped hundreds of songs over a spate of full-lengths, EPs, and digital singles. This wouldn’t be all that impressive if he weren’t one of the most intriguing writers in rap music today, his songs overflowing with imagery, characters cropping up and showing themselves out, Scorsesian narrative pacing, and enough shit-talking to shut down any corner of any Martin Luther King Boulevard in any city.

With each new release—keeping up is like a middle school cross country team trying to match steps with multiple-time 10k marathon winner—Crack continues to sharpen his craft. Right on the heels of his excellent 2018 projects ICYMILet’s Just Be Friends, and the August Fanon-produced This Will All Make Sense Later (a prelude/cryptic warning), Being Woke Ain’t Fun serves as Crack’s best project yet, finding new techniques and narrative openings as a writer, new stories to tell, new August Fanon beats to flatline before jumping out of the door in two minutes.

“Came, Saw, Left Early,” which might have been the title of my memoirs if not for this song, features Crack stretching his legs over a very familiar soul loop. There are lots of modes Crack slips into deftly—minimal Memphis bounce (Last of the Lean), soul-trap (his outstanding EPs with Tree on the boards) —but dropping his word-drunk bars over stuff like this he packs the most impact. On the song, he uses a popular Tupac acronym as a reaction to what society has fashioned him as, sips smoothies out of champagne glasses, and gives props to the teacher who helped him believe in himself. He asserts that the purpose of his shoulders are not to lean your head and spill tears on.

The video, directed by Born Ready Productions and filmed in Los Angeles, is psychedelic in its glitchiness. Bright and colorful and smooth, like the platonic ideal of L.A., Crack rides around in a vintage Cadillac drop-top while a woman with sunglasses, a Crack hoodie (merch that shit!), and a freshly rolled blunt takes the wheel. Blunt in hand, Crack kicks bars about Free Range Hoes as the city moves behind him at a rapid clip. The sun eventually sets and the roof folds back on top, and Crack and his driver make their way to an undisclosed location. It’s artful, gorgeously shot stunting to be sure, as visually stimulating as his bars are for rap-obsessed word nerds.

At the end of the song, Crack stumbles over a line and the song and video are abruptly finished, and it’s on to the next experience, one he’s likely already recorded a song about in the time it took you to read these words.

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