The Rap-Up: Week of November 2, 2018

The Rap-Up returns with new tracks from Kent Loon and Chester Watson, Kojey Radical, and more.
By    November 2, 2018

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These days, Harley Geffner feels like Poseidon in the flesh.

Kojey Radical – “97”

Ghanian East Londonite Kojey Radical helped produce a documentary on the UK’s Black Panther movement, was a slam poet before getting into rapping, and looks like a member of South Africa’s anti-capitalist EFF party in the video for “97.” This song is a tribute to a lost friend, but in the spirit of Dia De Los Muertos, and rings more like a celebration of his life. As he put it, something they can smoke to in heaven.

Kojey reminds me a little bit of Mach-Hommy in the way he considers scarcity a form of sacred art. It gives every word of his an air of intentionality. He even created an album by showing producers a book of his illustrations and poetry and telling them to match the mood. His discography is artsy as it is overtly political, with references to Basquiat paintings and obscure secession movements. He’s the type of dude to start interviewing his interviewer. And he’ll also hit you with flexes like “fragrance Hugo Boss, can’t smell fear on man.”

Five Finger Posse x Black Kray x Taco El – “Young Jitt (Remix)”

The label owned by SpaceghostPurrp and Chxpo houses the creators of a darker iteration of the trap sound that has never fully broken out of its underground shell. I used to think the sounds were just too intense for most listeners, but X and Zillakami broke out registering 10s on the Richter scale. In BMB production, you hear the loudest triangle hits, workers banging on a railroad, choppers, money counters, and cans rattling between dungeon cell bars. Taken together, it’s more cacophonous than anything put out by the screamo dudes. The sounds just hit from all over where X and Zilla’s intensity is more concentrated.

Evil Haze drops a classic BMB beat for this cypher, re-released in advance of Halloween.

Philly’s Five Finger Posse is the rapping equivalent of the BMB producers, bringing a sense of Satanic worship without the performative and playful aspect that seeped into the mainstream with Lil Uzi. They link up with BMB signee Taco El and Goth Money’s Black Kray and spend a 5 minute eternity catching souls in the abyss and sniffing caucasian with their Asian hood witches.

Kent Loon featuring Chester Waston – “Pumpkins”

The fuzziness of Chester Watson’s voice makes me nostalgic for TV color bars and analog recordings. His echo sounds like it’s coming from his spiritual lair. His drone is incisive and vivid as it is supernatural. You never know when the next rhyme is going to come as his words roll so smoothly all the way through the hypnotic, looped string samples.

“Pumpkins” would have sounded at home on his latest, Project 0. He’s thinking about using his aura for the best and feeling like Poseidon with his 24K China ‘round his neck. Kent Loon adds to the hymnal spirit of the song, sucking up Watson’s haunted energy with a droopy verse ending with him lifting up to heaven just to see god.

Dretti Franks – “Where the Keys Pt. 2”

Dretti Franks is from Beaumont Texas, and like much of modern hip hop from the south, he’s winking at the early 90’s Memphis sound. “Where the Keys Pt. 2” is the perfect ride-around song. It’s bouncy as hell with engine revs in the beat and a “Keys to the Beemer, Keys to the Jeep” hook. It comes from the fourth of his self-produced Rare Sounds series, which is one of the most consistent running tape series in the unda alongside Xelly’s Lucky Charms. He’s got a tape with Wifigawd coming soon too.

Kee Riche$ – “Westside Freestyle”

Compton’s Kee Riche$ does right by Greedo in paying tribute to his Sweet Lady. Kee’s sweet lady is from the West side. She’s about her money and wants to have his babies. The homies think he’s crazy though. She wants a dude from the hood, so he’s been clutchin on his pistol for a week straight, but it’s had him paranoid, asking god to increase faith. Like Greedo, he’s been in the pen, but he’ll neither fold nor bend. Free Greedo til it’s backwards.

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