This website is user-supported. Any donation is immensely appreciated: https://www.patreon.com/passionweiss
Sometimes Jack Riedy runs over his own bananas.
The cover of Slimeball 3, the new mixtape from Young Nudy, is a portrait. The Atlanta rapper is portrayed in cartoon form, with all the grace of a XXL screen-printed t-shirt. With oversized bloodshot eyes, a bulletproof vest, and a smoking gun in hand, Nudy’s avatar could pass for a video game mascot: Crash Bandicoot of the bando.
Young Nudy raps about street life with a carefree attitude fitting for a pixelated protagonist used to dispensing obstacles without question. His delivery begins with a mutter reminiscent of his cousin and frequent collaborator 21 Savage, but extends up to a taunt, voice bouncing between pitches like he’s circling you pointing and laughing. On “Do That,” he brags “love seeing a mama cry, nigga, love seeing feelings get hurt.” Nudy is not the type to write elaborate metaphors, but he is devastatingly direct. Why make threats when he can skip straight to his target’s mother crying at the funeral?
After working extensively with Pi’erre Bourne on previous tapes, Nudy only included one of his beats on this project. Straying from the producer with the most recognizable tag this side of Metro Boomin is a big bet, but it pays off. Nudy has a truly impeccable ear for beats. The credits for Slimeball 3 include up-and-comers as well as established hitmakers like Wheezy and Metro himself. Joe Millionaire and Tasha Catour lay a foreboding choir sample under “Robbin And Gettin,” just low enough to make you wonder if you imagined it. KidHazel’s “Unemotional” is built around a Fisher-Price xylophone. The recorder on Cubeatz and Maaly Raw’s “InDaStreet” warbles like the player can’t hear himself over the kick drum rolls. With no featured rappers to support, the beatmakers and their range of textures all complement Nudy’s shit-talking.
Two-thirds through the tape, there’s a track that lives up to the cover art. On “Sherbert,” Nudy raps over what sounds like Mario Kart music. The rhythm is standard Atlanta trap bounce, but the synths soar upward like they’re announcing a high score. The BL$$D beat sounds like something Lil Yachty would croon over, back when he was still using actual Super Mario 64 samples. It’s a beat for bending corners on Rainbow Road after picking up a star, sipping on syrup to mellow out the power-up.
The music is Mario Kart, but Nudy’s attitude is more like Grand Theft Auto. Nudy is flexing about everything: his weed strain, his sex life, his dirty money, his arsenal. When he raps “AK-47 keep your chin up” in his loose flow, it sounds motivational. Nudy raps like he’s hit five stars, but he doesn’t care. He revels in the notoriety, the NPC cruisers chasing him through East Atlanta.
“Sherbert” is the highlight of a consistently excellent mixtape. Nudy shows off sixteen stellar producers across fourteen tracks, boasting about his coins all the way. Nudy has been quickly improving his craft and building his hype since the original Slimeball two years ago. Slimeball 3 leaves us ready to hear Young Nudy’s next level.