Harley Geffner doesn’t need a hook either.
Quin NFN ft. Rone NFN – “Old Ways”
Better known for his more animated raps over hard-hitting no melody thumpers, Quin NFN is still undefeated when he goes melodic. Tiptoeing around the high end of a piano, the no hook God from Austin, TX shows off the versatility, singing sweet melodies of stepping on the pack in his Louie kicks. Bringing along his childhood friend Rone NFN, it features those Mansion Musick piano ballad vibes. And lines like “I got the tool in the gucci fit // right by the belt where the toolie sit,” are pretty irresistible.
Ambjaay – “Choppa Go Blocka Blocka”
Choppa Go Blocka Blocka was introduced to me in a smoky Hyundai, flying down the 405 with heads violently bumping and limbs slinking from every direction. I’m not sure anything I could write would really do it justice. But if you’re in a turnt mood, this is a song to take you over the top with the right group. It’s a perfect storm of airy flute, finger snaps and an unexpectedly jumpy bass pattern to match Jaay’s fly shit only raps. Bleed the scene in Balenciagas.
Quando Rondo – “Neighborhood Hero”
Quando Rondo’s found a sweet spot and keeps refining it. The tonal shifts in his melodies are familiar from his other songs (see: Scarred from Love), and so are some of the bars. But why fix what’s not broken? His recycled bars somehow get harder with every song. I’m not sure there’s a point I’ll get tired of VVs in Rondo’s teeth and Chanel on his girl’s feet, as long as that voice is involved.
His yea yeas, ooh and aahs, and repeat adlibs lay these cascading layers that wash over the Neighborhood Hero beat and melt away like waves hitting the third coast. He’s got all the vocal extensions to make it really slap. I haven’t heard a mediocre song by Quando Rondo song yet.
Fivio Foreign x Fetty Luciano – “Critical”
Now I’m not sure if Fivio Foreign is on every song coming out of Brooklyn or if my algorithm just loves him that much. But he’s everywhere right now, and with good reason. The barrage of bao baos and gang gangs to start every song should scootch anyone forward in their seat in anticipation of his forthcoming menace.
His haters? Miserable. Opps? Pitiful.. He’s got shades on, feeling invisible. And GS9’s Fetty Luciano jumps into his verse hard as hell, wailing, “Wait.. who are these n****s referring to? I’ve never heard of you.”
EPICMUSTDIE – “NOBODY”
Compton’s EPICMUSTDIE takes a rip at a nice flip of Warren G and Nate Dogg’s “Nobody Does It Better.” With a soft, glossy finish to his voice, the Boogie affiliate and his team bounce around some park benches eating chicken wings in Victory Lap and “In Loving Memory” shirts. It’s a fun but powerful scene and a smooth summery cut.
Azjah – “Loved Ones”
We’re going two-for-one on Comptonites in this Rap Up. Azjah (pronounced Asia) dropped her debut album Princess Diaries this week and it’s had strong repeat value, with its blend of optimistic pop inflections and somber street cuts. “Loved Ones” is a mournful standout. Blending her voice into the calming riffs, Azjah tries to make sense of a senseless act. She was emotionless when she got that phone call and now, she’s lost looking for a place to turn for healing when all she knows is the unforgiving streets. Give the album a listen after you make your ways through Anger Management and the new Schoolboy. It’s a great debut and I’m excited to see what’s next.