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Evan Nabavian wasn’t sippin’ on any syrup while he wrote this. Or was he.
Glock N My Hand is a tape from 1994 by relative unknown Memphis rapper The Legend Lady J that sounds alien when you listen to it in 2019. Cassette fuzz is par for the course on a 90s Memphis tape, but Glock N My Hand immediately stands out because of its anachronistic 80s drum programming. The beats by DJ Zae sound like they came out of a long-since decommissioned keyboard. “Find A Hoe” is closer to Egyption Lover than the rap music that the rest of the country was making in 1994. Elsewhere, the Casio drums are paired with the “Don’t Look Any Further” bassline and sinister Memphis strings.
Lady J raps slow with mirthless contempt except on the fast-rap exhibition, “Tripple Tongue.” She stretches out syllables or repeats bars to double down on a taunt. She plays the ruthless pimp, terrorizing her city. (In Memphis, even the women are pimps.). Her domain is her neighborhood; Memphis rap wouldn’t win its Oscar for twelve years. She also tries the macabre style for which her city would soon be known on “I’m Creepin.”
Glock N My Hand sits at a crossroads of styles and periods with a lot of novel combinations for collectors. But its title track fits nowhere. It’s weird and not just Memphis weird. A tinker-toy beat with deep bass idles for a verse until the hook comes and a hellish synthesizer washes over the track. Lady J maintains her sing-song flow, nonplussed. She repeats two words for four bars just because she can or because the beat warps time itself; both are equally plausible. Memphis rap’s obscurity and lo-fi aesthetic attract the same obsessive following as psych rock and kung fu flicks. Glock N My Hand is another reason to keep excavating.