The Rap-Up: Week of October 26, 2018

The Rap-Up returns with new tracks from Sherwood Marty, Jay Worthy, Caleb Giles, and more.
By    October 26, 2018

Mano Sundaresan came too far from the ave just to walk here.

Caleb Giles – “Praise (feat. Cleo Reed)” (prod. Slauson Malone)

Standing on the Corner released one of New York City’s most refreshing and challenging albums last year in Red Burns. Through swaths of ringing Rhodes, warbly vocal snippets, and glitchy percussion, they conveyed the disillusionment and alienation of black and brown folks in the age of Trump.

In addition to being an outlet for these like-minded musicians, the group has been a hotbed for individual talent. Caleb Giles, who plays saxophone in SOTC, has made rapping the focus of his solo career. To date, he’s released two projects – last year’s Tower and this year’s There Will Be Rain – that showcase his improvement as a writer and growing comfortability as an MC. The trend continues on “Praise.” Here, he hops on a soupy lo-fi beat from bandmate Slauson Malone to spit game about survival. This is an NYC spiritual through-and-through, from the massive, claustrophobic sample to Giles’ somber mantra: “Giving praise for my days walking home.”

Lil CJ Kasino – “Hoodrich Kasino (feat. Hoodrich Pablo Juan)

Is Hoodrich Pablo Juan the most influential rapper of 2018? I’m not ready to say that he is (it’s Valee or Lil Peep), but if people continue biting his punch-in triplets into 2019, he might be the frontrunner next year. The Texas rap scene has taken a liking to Hoodrich’s style, incorporating it into songs over sparse, no-melody instrumentals. Splurge, out of Arlington, started the trend, firing off brags over skeletal bonecrushers from Beat By Jeff. The sound has crept into the national rap consciousness since it first surfaced in mid-August, and it seems like everyone wants to give it a try.

Dallas’ Lil CJ Kasino pull it off admirably here with some help from the originator himself. Propelled by a slinky sound a few degrees less dystopian than the “Like a Martian” siren, this beat was made to be demolished by Hoodrich flows. Kasino’s piercing drawl weaves into Pablo Juan’s cool whisper like a meticulously-crafted lattice.

Sherwood Marty – “We Out Chea”

You can hear strands of Boosie in virtually every Baton Rouge rapper succeeding him. It’s mostly in delivery. Kevin Gates’ radio-ready hook-writing and NBA YoungBoy’s bluesy storytelling owe something to Boosie. It’s logical to start thinking about Gates and YoungBoy as the new torchbearers of influence in the scene, but you still can’t leave Boosie out of the equation. Sherwood Marty is a prime example why. Of all of the rising Baton Rouge rappers, he best captures the quirkiness that made Boosie so captivating.

“Down to Ride” exemplifies this; Marty serenades his Draco, and there’s a shot in the video where he’s fucking the Draco. Between Young and Reckless with OMB Peezy, his Sherwood Baby EP, and his latest mixtape Stuck in the Trenches 1.5, Sherwood Marty has had a quietly successful 2018.

On his episode of BRKRS, 300 Entertainment’s new music video series featuring a rising artist off the label every week, Marty does a video for Stuck in the Trenches 1.5 highlight “We Out Chea.” This is a series that’s meant to tell the stories of the artists involved, so of course Marty uses it as an excuse to eat crawfish on camera while rapping.

Jay Worthy – “October (feat. Smoke DZA)” (prod. 183rd)

I did a double take seeing this 183rd production credit a few days ago. I feel like I haven’t heard from him in forever. His name was all over the early Smoke DZA tapes. He’s also arguably the best part of this song. Jay Worthy and DZA are more than capable on this, but 183rd’s gorgeous synth drone and vocal sample steal the show. It sounds like an artifact from early-2010s cloud rap, and I mean that in the best possible way. All it needs is a Dom Kennedy and Kendrick Lamar remix for the 2011 reunion to be complete.

BIGBABYGUCCI – 10 MINUTES TO LIVE (prod. Bobby Johnson)

FOREVERWORLD affiliate BIGBABYGUCCI has the best ear for production out of the collective. The Charlotte rapper shines on this EP with beats by Bobby Johnson. “Hypnotized” is the obvious standout, possessing the mainstream crossover potential that great SoundCloud rap songs tend to have. But “2 Phone” is equally endearing, with BIGBABYGUCCI musing about his trap phone and raygun over pulsating pop chords. It’s a fun little project. There’s a lot of xylophones and bells.

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