The Rap-Up: Week of January 21st, 2020

The Rap-Up returns with new tracks from Valee and Z-Ro, along with a collab between Sada Baby and Lil Yachty.
By    January 20, 2020

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As a child, Harley Geffner slung packs of bubble gum on the playground.

Big Ouee – “Hustle & Flow”

Out of North Jersey, Big Ouee has been putting out weird trap experimentals for the past few years with his 2oo4 crew. With new tools at his disposal, it seems like he’s only getting more powerful . On “Hustle & Flow,” he finds a sweet spot in the padding from the UK/NY-style wompy bass, clicking into place as the beat flickers around him with electronic glitches. It’s simple, but there are sly lines from Ouee that really stick; I spent a whole day this week saying “keep on lookin, lose your eye,” in my head at anyone who stared too long. 

Valee – “Not Playing”

This is the most Valee video ever. There’s probably a 70% chance he’s more interested in the mechanical production of a semi-truck than rapping in the first place. If Valee was daylighting as a truck driver, just for fun, would any of us be that surprised? On “Not Playing,” he’s slick as ever, back to talking his shit over the plu2o nash xylophone plug-in. And after playing catch-up with his bars for the whole video, the final ones come across loud and clear: “Please don’t run up on me, you gon’ think you sleep, but you dead man.”

Z-Ro – “I’m OK”

Houston legend Z-Ro is back with a new single. To celebrate his 42nd birthday this past weekend, he hosted a bash at Houston’s House of Blues, to which he pulled up in black sequin jacket, white pants, and a felt Cam Newton hat. Fully pimped out style to match his persona. After having come up under the DJ Screw lineage, the Houston icon dropped a bunch of tapes titled after different hard drugs, delivering intense, but often playful struggle raps with a strong melodic flair accentuating his H-Town twang. Then he largely disappeared from the public eye for the better part of 5 years to live a more peaceful life. He was still dropping good music at a slower clip during this period, but it didn’t generate the same attention. Now, here’s another good song from the Mo City Don, the first he’s released in two years, to let us know that he’s doing alright.

Respect your elders and listen to some Z-Ro. It’s good for the soul. 


I’m not sure what planet Bby Goyard comes from, but I think he’s up there on “New Earth” with Thugger. Euro-house Seance sounds like how I’d imagine running around a Japanese arcade feels like. From the dancing whispers to the metallic screeches, Bby Goyard’s all over the place, with his distinct medley of Euro club music, dream pop, and sandpaper trap. there’s nobody making music that sounds even relatively similar to his. Watch out for a big year from the Ultra/Payday signee. 

Babyface Ray – “Free Spazzo”

Sada Baby & Lil Yachty – “SB5”

Obligatory Detroit videos of the week –though Babyface Ray has lately been sounding more in-tune with auto-tune maestros like Duwap Kaine than anyone out of Detroit. “Free Spazzo” is a late video for a cut off his most recent album, MIA Season 2, which with some hindsight is starting to feel like a modern Detroit classic, alongside Sorry 4 the Get Off and Bartier Bounty. His evolution has been fun to witness. And watching Sada Baby bring the best out of Yachty with an ominous beat is heartwarming.

Saviii 3rd & ComptonAssTG – “knocc it off”

Hard ass LA street cut that’s been bouncing around my head for the past few weeks. Greedo would be proud of these guys splitting either side of the nasally path he set forth.

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