The Rap-Up: Week of July 20, 2020

The Rap-Up returns with a stacked lineup this week, featuring tracks from Baby Smoove, 03 Greedo, Young Thug, and more.
By    July 19, 2020

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Harley Geffner got shooters that’ll hit you right outside the NBA bubble.

Baby Smoove – I’m Still Perfect

Baby Smoove delivers every line with a sense of fatalist resignation. Like he was preordained to have a 4-car garage and all the Dior you can imagine. With the outcomes already settled, all that’s left to do is sip juice and let life whiz by with a glazed shrug. The only things that relatively motivate him anymore are his love for the double-cup, shopping for expensive cars and clothes, and arguing with and spoiling women. 

It’s easy to imagine his lifestyle as he explains it. The fits are described in excruciating detail, and even his house clothes cost a bag. He’s got doctor, lawyer, and engineer neighbors, to whom he tells “shit we got doctors too.” He gaslights every woman in his life and drives them away with his non-committal attitude or obsession with the drank, but he knows he can win them back with shopping sprees they can gloat to their friends about. And as cool as the lifestyle sounds (except for the gaslighting – very not cool), Smoove is so detached, in his own syrupy universe, that he can’t even enjoy it. 

I’m Still Perfect is a sad album at its core. He’s looking for comfort, and it’s hard for him to find it when control feels so elusive. Everything is spiraling around him and his big balenciagas, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. It feels particularly apt for this moment, where I think we’re all feeling a little helpless and overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems at hand.

03 Greedo & Chief Keef – “Bands in Da Basement”

Greedo’s marathon recording run before turning himself in to authorities is the gift that keeps on giving. His team has done a great job spacing out releases, with three projects last year, and features / singles scattered throughout. “Bands in Da basement,” his new single with Chief Keef is exactly as fun as you’d expect from the pair of autotune maestros. Over a Ron Ron beat that sounds like ghosts tiptoeing around the trap house, Greedo stuffs the walls with a catchy hook (as per usual) and some fun pacing to his flows before Keef the security guard’s choppa comes out like the sun. There’s always been a kinship between the way these two use Autotune to create a maximalism in their voices that fills all the space, so it’s great to hear them finally linked up on the same track. 

Sheff G – “Black Sheep “

Where Greedo and Keef thrive on maximalism, the appeal of Sheff G is more in how deftly light his touch is. It always feels like he’s skimming along the surface of the beat, riding alongside its rhythms as he pokes in and out like one of those flying fish montages.

Valee & Taedakidd – tHersday

It seems to have missed most radars, but Valee dropped a 9-minute EP last week. Entirely produced by Taedakidd, tHersDay sounds like a pack of butterflies dancing on the expensive and flowy designer linen Valee brags about being cut from. He finds a slick chemistry here with Tae, rapping with a similarly soft touch as Sheff G through the beats that’ll conjure up all sorts of natural imagery (especially the last two tracks). Though it’s been a while since the last Valee drop, tHersday reaffirms his spot on the throne of casual bragging, telling us about all his different colored lenses, the quality of his bath bombs, his clever girls, and impressive number of spots that has them asking where’s Waldo. 

Young Thug & Chris Brown – “Go Crazy”

Popularity is hard to gauge always, but especially when we’re stuck inside and don’t hear music at functions, bars, or anywhere outside anymore. It can feel like the only measure is from whomever you follow’s reactions on Twitter. So when Thug and Chris Brown dropped their joint EP the other month, it came and went real fast, as all albums have seemed to do during quarantine. It was clear that “Go Crazy” was a standout that was destined to be played at pool parties, sneaker stores, on Power 106 out car windows, in bars, and literally everywhere, so it sucks that we’ve been robbed of hearing it in the wild, where these types of sunny pop songs perform best. Maybe the video will give the song a second wind, as it’s racked up almost 6 million views in two days. But those are typical superstar numbers now and can’t be confirmed without irl run ins with the song. God it’s fun calling Thug a superstar.

Woop & 9lokknine – 7-14 14-7 EP

Orlando’s Glokknine and Woop are such slippery rappers. On their new joint EP, you can hear how much fun they’re having boomeranging back and forth with their onomatopoeic sound effects and bars like “See I be robbin in these jeans, they Robin jeans, that’s why I bought em.” A short 20-minute showcase for the city.

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