Lucas Foster knows you ain’t a gangsta, so he’s gonna leave out the chopsticks.
Sauce Walka has formed a diverse coalition of fans over the second half of this decade because his club songs are bouncier and better written than anything Lil Pump has put out and his street records are grown up without ever sounding dusty.
His latest tape, Thursday’s New Sauce City, is an exploration of his range in mature themes and sounds; the minimalist percussion trends more towards New York than his native Houston over the tape’s first half; the horn and keyboard and vocal melodies would be comfortable on Curren$y or Tree or Freddie Gibbs records; his pen loops between his perspective on the music industry and seriously skillful storytelling (“A Little Story” is a tour de force). It’s an intelligently arranged (10 tracks this good are plenty) tape that speaks to the value of independence and creative control, minus the cartoonish cover art that communicates neither the sound or depth and weight of the project.
On the tape’s eponymous single and first track the lack of a hook gives his bars about record industry vampirism and two luxurious horn loops space to breathe. Taken together with the visuals of Sauce spitting at New York subway stops, bridges and P.O. boxes, it feels like Sauce Walka has become an artist outside of time and unrestrained by any ideas about Southern street rappers.