Harley Geffner has to pull some strings to get into Canada. It’s a long story.
YG x Valee x Boogie – “I Was on the Block”
Valee’s minimal whispercore is the best thing to happen to rap since Thug and Rich Homie did the DBZ fusion dance. The chilled out menace is a perfect modern day foil to the aggressive braggadocio or emotional crooning championed by, well, almost everyone else. YG is all in too, hitting a sweet, low-key whispered hook to match Valee’s no difference between shooting an opp and watering my plants energy.
Full of DJ Mustard’s heavy reverb, the whole track makes me want to pull off a silent heist. I’m dressed in a black Versace turtleneck and tip-toeing right to the bank vault in the back. It doesn’t take any gymnastics to avoid the red lasers, I can just effortlessly step through the complicated criss-cross. Valee makes it feel that easy. And for good measure, he throws in a Hurricane Chris Ay Bay Bay reference to jog the middle school dance memories.
Even with two monsters on the track,Compton’s Boogie manages to steal the show with the last verse, starting a story before abruptly stopping because “this still an open case.” YG and Valee lull you in before Boogie’s cutting squeak (not a dig at all, the voice is flames) slides over the top to amber alert your senses.
Shonzarelly – “Swagging My Step”
Welcome back to the year 2009. Baggy jorts are hot, Sidekicks are beginning to phase out, and every 8th teenager is wearing those impractical Graduation Kanye shades. Baton Rouge’s Shonzarelly brings us right back there by popping some swagger into his step. Glowsticks are abound in the video. Shonz splits the difference between that early Soulja Boy exuberance and some Louisiana Juvie twang. The video was even shot by a dude who goes by HotBoyMonn. Now please excuse me while I go pull that Fubu jacket from the back of the closet.
Ed Sheeran x Chance The Rapper x PNB Rock – “Cross Me”
We all know that one dude from high school who tries to dunk on conservatives all the time to a Facebook audience of people who all already agree with him. Yeah dude, climate change = bad and anyone who’s been raped and tries to get an abortion should not go to jail. Yeah, neither should the doctor, thanks for letting us know. It’s not a funny or creative type of dunking. Nor is it a genuine call to action that will inspire. It’s “look at me, the savior of facebook telling you about how I (yes, me!!) made calls to my senators and it’s every good citizen’s responsibility to do the same. You, reading this post…are a shitty citizen.” His senators were already with him, for the record. He RTs 4 Vox articles a day.
Chance is in danger of becoming this guy. This isn’t to say Chance doesn’t care about social justice issues; he does actually put his money where his mouth is with his foundation that supports arts programming in Chicago Public Schools. But in my opinion, his attitude has lately come off like virtue signaling. And wow, this song is a virtue signal incarnate. Chance, Ed Sheeran and PNB Rock take turns letting us know they respect their women and that if you cross them, you’ll have to deal with these bad boys.
It’s formulaic trop-pop Sheeran music to its core and it’s still barely catchy. I don’t know how they managed to pull that off. Chance raps that we gotta respect the HBIC, before high school marker scrawlings flash with a parenthetical (Head Bitch In Charge). Groan. PNB Rock sounds like he didn’t even want to be on the song. Sheeran is alright because his voice will never not be fire, but like, was this really necessary?
MoneyMarr – “Get Dripped”
Obligatory DMV song. This one’s better than the original with Carti and Yachty too. And damn, the skit at the end where they throw the lifeguard in the pool and chuck a floaty noodle at him. High Art.