Harley Geffner might move at the ref.
A2 x Octavian x Suspect x Yxng Bane – “Flair”
I’m a sucker for multi-colored seizure-inducing videos. Especially if they’re accompanied by a wobbly beat. British rapper A2 brings the latest, recruiting an all-star cast of UK talent to show off their flair in an abandoned warehouse over a see-sawing flute.
Known more as a Partynextdoor type in the UK, A2 starts off with some unusually laconic lines before Suspect thrashes in with a monstrous “SECURE THE BAG” hook. Octavian wriggles his way through with some sleek bando bars and Yxng Bane, who typically traffics more in afro-swing vibes, rolls right with Suspect’s bag-chasing energy, emphasizing every syllable in “I get money in my sleep, you ain’t a goat boy you a sheep (baaaah)”
FKi 1st x G Perico x 03 Greedo – “OOH”
FKi 1st has such a great ear. And not just with his production, but with his song craft and curation. He always knows which artists are going to sound best doing what over his tracks. “OOH” is the lead single off his newest compilation tape, Good Gas Vol. 2. And LA’s G Perico and 03 Greedo do exactly with FKi’s sunny production what you’d expect them to.
The two are astonishingly frictionless on the track. It’s like Perico’s nasally voice sheds a layer and out slithers a triumphant Greedo for one of the highest flying hooks of the… fall? It’s a shame it had to be, to borrow a term from my co-conspirator, Beach House 3’d.
Lil TJay – “Slow Grind”
Lil TJay is putting out the music that A Boogie should be. He’s only 17, but the Bronx-native has been as consistent as they come since he first started dropping last year. In the video for cashmoneyap-produced “Slow Grind,” he oozes the confidence of a young star, bouncing around in Supreme goggles and ruminating on his preordained come-up. Boogie’s been on auto-pilot in recent releases and TJay is poised as anyone to swipe his spot in the larger rap consciousness as the best young melodic dude from the Bronx. Nobody who’s jumped Lil B deserves to be in anyone’s consciousness anyways.
Kodak Black x Einer Bankz – “Testimony”
I’ve always enjoyed rappers singing over Einer Bankz’ ukulele, but sometimes they fall a little flat and the end product can sound forced. Kodak’s “Testimony” is the best Einer Bankz video yet. Fresh out of the pen, Kodak sounds soulful as ever, singing about God watching out for him through the darkness. He’s on the verge of introspective tears by the end as he rips off his glasses, looking physically pained talking about going blind and feeling like his life froze.
If this and his most recent track “If I’m Lyin I’m Flyin” are any indication, it looks like we’re in for a whole new phase of reflective Kodak and I can’t wait.
Quando Rondo x Rich Homie Quan – “Rich Homie Quando”
Rich Homie Quan was a top 3 rapper to me for a very formative year of my life. But listening to new RHQ drops almost feels like a novelty of a bygone era at this point.
Never did I think someone would be able to encapsulate and breathe new life into his style so effortlessly as Savannah’s Quando Rondo. Rondo knows he’s a stylistic progeny too, dropping Quan-isms like “that right too” all over his new tape, Life After Fame. He captures Quan’s intonations so well and is only slightly less vivid of a story-teller. He lacks Quan’s grizzle, but his voice is silkier for longer stretches.
This beautiful torch-passing ceremony is some months old, but still found a spot on the new tape. Quando jumps in with a 16 from the leaks.
13, I was thuggin’ hard, by 14, off the porch
15, I was totin’ pistols, by 16, up the road
17, I was writin’ raps, goin’ hard on every hook
By 18 I was in the county, no money on my books
And it revs up Rich to counter with a verse detailing every year from 13 to 25. He went from running in his cleats to smoking weed, from catching charges to reading books.
Supposedly, the two have a whole tape on the way. As lovely as that sounds, what I really want is for someone to make that Melly introduction so we can finally get the second Rich Gang tape we’ve all been waiting for.
Lonny X – “Swervin”
There’s a podcast I listen to called Nothing Much Happens. It’s a 15-minute bedtime story that has you focus in on the details of mundane things like standing under a construction overhang on a rainy day. It induces the same hypnotic drab as Connecticut rapper Lonny X’s new video Swervin’. It’s also what I imagine growing up in Connecticut feels like.