Harley Geffner don’t want no scrubs.
Drego & Beno – Meet Us Outer Space
Remember: the B-side is ALWAYS better. If Drego and Beno had flipped the tracklist, I bet their new album Meet Us Outer Space would be getting a much warmer reception. But instead, people are threatening to beat their asses on social media. One person said they were going to kill themselves after listening. Another said he couldn’t believe he let them trick him into thinking they were rockstars. This is what happens when Detroit artists try to switch up. And once the mob gets on an album, it’s over. Ask Trippie or Chance.
Following up a modern classic is tough though. Drego & Beno’s last album, Sorry 4 the Get Off, was nearly perfect, and one of my favorites from the last five years. Needless to say, expectations were sky high for Meet Us Outer Space. Drego & Beno are doing more experimentation with autotune and melodies, which many perceived as them trying, and failing, to make an Atlanta style croon-trap album. I disagree with that assessment, as it still sounds distinctly Detroit, just with a smattering of external influences.
Everything that made me fall in love with Drego & Beno is still here in the verses and the autotuned hooks sometimes amplify the menace of the verses as they’re juxtaposed, like in one of the tape’s bright spots, the crawling “Hate On You.” But some of the sing-song hooks are a little generic and there are a few songs on the tape that sound like they could have been made by literally anyone post-2015 (Keep On Going). Others like “Slatt Season 2” or “Big Baller Brand” (“I got this wingman that shoot it like Trevor Ariza”) could have slid right in to Sorry 4 The Get Off.
We need to give artists that we love the space to experiment and grow, even if the first try falls a little flat. There are moments where it clicks or surprises and others where it’s a little dry, but it’s still an enjoyable listen all the way through. At least they’re trying something new. And if it’s not your cup of tea, go listen to Sorry 4 The Get Off again. It won’t be getting old any time soon.
Larry June – “Let’s Drive To Vegas”
I recently was in a place I couldn’t smoke weed for like 10 days. For my first post-trip joint, my immediate instinct was to throw on some Larry June. His Bay area chill is so comforting and smooth, his music feels grounding in a way. You might use it to stabilize yourself during a bad trip, for example. Everything about it feels so normal. Last time I wrote about him, it was on a song in which he folded his laundry while smoking a blunt. This time, he’s eating chow mein on the way to Japan, which he somehow makes feel relatable.
Future – “What It Do”
How is it possible Future’s loosies this year have consistently been better than his actual output? I’m fully a member of Future Hive and SAVE ME didn’t really do it for me. The Wizrd didn’t have the staying power that I expected it to either. Most Future projects grow on me, but these last two haven’t. I keep coming back to all the random throw-aways he’s been dropping all year with little fanfare though, like “O’s,” “Same Accord,” this (which sounds like it came from the Hendrxx sessions), and anything else you find unaffiliated on his YouTube page. It’s been this way for a minute. His loosies have always been heat, but the difference is that his albums have usually been up to the standard. He’s given us enough classics through the decade that I’m not mad if his newer projects don’t hit the same for me anymore though. At least we have these random one-offs.
Lancey Foux – “India”
Lancey Foux might be the best Thug/Carti clone? He is when he hits, but his misses are still too common. India is dead on the target though. The beat reminds me of Pissy Pamper’s rolling galaxies and Foux is adept at surfing them with his vocal yelps, just scraping the crest. The hazy purple waves wash over the back of your skull as his nonsensical meanderings dance atop. Is it a bird, a plane, a face? We’ll never know. This feels like a track you could run on repeat for 30 minutes and not get tired of it.
Shittyboyz x Rio Da Young OG x RMC Mike – “Jackie Moon”
Michigan is full-throttle right now. Out of Flint, where the water is still fucking brown, RMC Mike and Rio da Young OG have been dropping a litany of fire loosies the past 5 months. And the Shittyboyz are the baby-faced assassins of Detroit’s scam rap movement (“She said it don’t look like you swipe, that’s the whole point”). This is the collab POW hive has been waiting for.
Babytron starts the video holding a toilet paper roll to his ear like it’s a money phone, the Flint Tropics are referenced (of course), the beat is more sparkly than most the Shittyboyz occupy, and the back and forth includes great references to the other rappers on the track, which is always appreciated (“what’s that noise in the back? Rio cracked the seal”). Picking the best Rio/Mike, Shittyboyz, Teejay, or Kasher Quon drop every week is starting to feel like an impossible task. I’m thinking the Rap Up will shortly turn in to the Great Lakes Report.