The Rap-Up: Week of December 2, 2019

The Rap-Up returns with some anticipated Lil Uzi Vert snippets and a collection of other heaters.
By    December 2, 2019

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Mano Sundaresan is just trying to get Marilyn Manson on the remix.

Lil Uzi Vert – “Futsal (Snippet)”

On Thanksgiving Day, instead of expressing gratitude, Lil Uzi Vert sounded off on Twitter about everyone holding up his long-awaited album Eternal Atake, including DJ Drama, Don Cannon, Playboi Carti, and Forza of Working On Dying, whom he accused of leaking songs. Those tweets have since been deleted. Now if you go to his Twitter page, you’ll find video after video of people’s bottom halves aggressively bouncing around with intense footwork that occasionally mimics a soccer kick. They’re dancing to an unreleased track titled “Futsal” that Uzi says is the lead single off Eternal Atake. Produced by Brandon Finesssin, Starboy Mayyzo, and Loesoe, the song is centered around a bright synth that sounds more like a lost stem from “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” than anything this decade. It has the potential to be a great Uzi song, but the real draw is the infectious, impossible dance — the Futsal Shuffle. Lil Uzi Vert saw how easy the dance challenges have been getting and unleashed the hardest routine I’ve ever seen or tried in years. The TikTok kids won’t know what to do with this one and I don’t think Uzi cares.

Duke Deuce – “Crunk Ain’t Dead”

In the last decade, Memphis underground rap has achieved a resurgence in popularity and aesthetic cool that the scene’s central artists probably haven’t felt since they were selling bootleg tapes out their trunks and at clubs to locals. Today, a graying Tommy Wright III packs out venues across the country, Project Pat regularly collaborates with Dev Hynes, and sampling a Three 6 Mafia song is one of the best ways to craft a hit. The decades-long influence of the scene is finally being recognized, but like any popular reappraisal, this trend has been characterized by broad strokes and commodification. Streetwear companies have plucked out the artists and music that fit the DIY image they’re going for, ignoring artists that have been just as influential.

Notably, crunk (at least in its later, more popular form) has been left out of this reappraisal. The bassy, chant-heavy subgenre that emerged out of the murkiness of the Memphis underground and was popularized by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz in the early 2000s is often discounted. It’s especially strange considering that “Slob On My Knob,” one of the most sampled and interpolated Memphis rap songs, is off CrazyNDaLazDayz, the crunk side project by the trio of DJ Paul, Lord Infamous, and Juicy J, who recorded as Tear Da Club Up Dawgs.

Duke Deuce is here to change that sentiment on “Crunk Ain’t Dead.” Besides locking in his spot as my new favorite rapper-dancer, the Quality Control artist has a message on this one that these revivalists need to hear. Lil Jon needs to escape from the throes of whatever EDM festival or college spring fling he’s at right now for the remix.

Kasher Quon – “(Come On)”

Hop over to Kasher Quon’s YouTube channel and you’ll find that the same people who listen to the Detroit rapper’s new music tune into his near-daily IG Live studio sessions where he records it all. The comment sections are full of fans who saw him recording the songs, sometimes as recently as the night prior. While his partner in crime Teejayx6 has burst into the stratosphere off the strength of a few amazing songs and videos, Kasher Quon has done things more organically, breaking down the walls between fan and artist, process and product. It’s a refreshing strategy that Kasher Quon has fine-tuned for the past few months, and buying into it makes his music so much better. 

Perhaps no single is more emblematic of this strategy than his latest “(Come On),” which references Kasher’s maddening habit of yelling “COME ON!” at his engineer every time he’s ready to punch in a line. Anyone who’s seen Kasher’s IG Live sessions knows how frequently he does this, and in nearly every livestream, someone comments asking him to name the song he’s recording “Come On.” Kasher Quon listened; a true man of the people.

Shordie Shordie – “Bonnie and Clyde”

I haven’t seen The Irishman yet, but as someone who grew up watching many Bollywood movies that regularly eclipse the three-hour mark for no good reason, I understand why people might be annoyed about this movie’s three hour and 30 minute runtime. Maybe Scorcese can learn a thing or two about brevity from Shordie Shordie. His latest cinematic masterpiece “Bonnie and Clyde” packs scene-setting, character development, action sequences, a love story, and a catchy as hell song into three minutes and 26 seconds. Peep the WorldStarHipHop Director’s Cut too, which contains an extra 47 seconds of footage.

Koffee featuring Gunna – “W”

Gunna deserves a break. That’s one way of saying that he’s nailed many, many features over the past couple years, including this one. I still think his solo output is mostly just fine, but at his best, he’s a steady, mesmerizing presence with vocal chops — a walking crossover hit. He’s the perfect foil for a voice as singular as Koffee’s. 

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