Black and White, No Referee: On Glokknine’s “Boot Up”

Evan Nabavian takes a look at the Orlando rapper's newest single.
By    March 11, 2019

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Not saying you’d find Evan Nabavian strapped at Disney World, but don’t put him to the test.

“Boot Up” by Orlando’s Glokknine doesn’t appear on New York Times Magazine’s ‘25 Songs That Matter’ list because it holds no streaming records, its performer is a non-entity, and it isn’t attached to any cultural phenomena. It’s a world removed from any zeitgeist that the Times’ milieu would recognize. But a certain breed of hip-hop head will treasure it because this loosie from Orlando sounds like nothing jockeying for placement on Rap Caviar.

Glokknine exudes raw teenage energy rapping an extended hook without concern for publishing splits. His propulsive flow challenges you to keep up and his taunts really bite because of their youthful spleen. It runs perpendicular to mainstream sounds with heedless glee. It’s closest antecedent is Kodak Black, but it skips Kodak’s pop sensibilities and torpor. Much like in the “10 Percent” video, Glokknine and friends lounge around the house brandishing guns. They have the kind of fun that people circling 30 forgot existed.

Regional idiosyncrasies like “Boot Up” remind us that you can always find plenty interesting in the margins. Songs like these typically hide from popular view for a decade until they resurface to the cognoscenti on YouTube where they’re traded among people people tired of the glut of sameness from Atlantic and Interscope. As Glokknine and Herman Kahn attest, there are two types of people in the world: those who care what the New York Times says about them and those who do not.

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