The Rap-Up: Week of September 21, 2020

The Rap-Up returns with new joints from Yung Nudy, Baby Keem, and more.
By    September 21, 2020

The best new rap music every week without an offseason. Please support Passion of the Weiss by subscribing to our Patreon.

The ball off Harley Geffner‘s jump shot looks like a Shooting Star Press.

Capolow & Kamaiyah – Oakland Nights

Though Capolow’s singles have the power to light up a party and “Drip” remains one of my top 3 songs of the year, he’s not exactly what I’d call an album artist. His signatures start to sound like recycled filler, and more than 10 minutes of him and that slick, but excitable energy starts to get a little boring. But Kamaiyah is the perfect foil for Capolow’s brightness. Her vocals are generally flat, which is part of her appeal, but they share a thread in their voices, a nasally intonation in the way they rap that allows one to pull from the other seamlessly as they transition between verses. Capolow animates Kamaiyah, and Kamaiyah smooths out and gives direction to the boundless energy of Capolow. Although there are some misses on the first half of the tape, like “Rather Give You,” which is plainly too minimalist, the back half of the tape is basically perfect. It’s a slow rolling cruise through Oakland on the way to meet a hookup you’ve been looking forward to seeing all week.

Baby Keem – “hooligan / sons & critics”

I’ve resisted Baby Keem for way too long more because of the idea of what he is than what he actually is. When weirdly polished rappers come blazing on to the scene with an amalgam of flows used by other popular rappers and no clear geographic identity or influence, it’s fair to raise an eyebrow. But I let the archetype blind me to the joyfulness that comes across in his music. It’s like the opposite of when NBA draft junkies fall in love with a prospect because of the mold they fit him in as opposed to the player’s actual basketball ability. Everyone wants a stretch 5, so yeah, this big man can theoretically block shots and shoot threes, but maybe he’s just not a smart enough player to actually stay on the floor or have a real NBA impact.

But I have now released the spell I cast on Keem. His music is a genuine good time and I was naive in the way I shut him out of my rotation. Even knowing that Columbia designed him in a lab beneath Terminal 5, it’s hard not to let his two new singles move you. He turns the eerie keys at the start of “hooligan” into a colorful playground, dexterously navigating the monkey bars and flowing like he’s on a big ass yellow slide, all while whistling the tune. It feels fun, free, and effortless in the way that coasting downhill on a bicycle feels. It’s made for playlisting and appealing to the least common denominator of rap fans, but that’s okay! It’s still good! We must let ourselves enjoy things. 

Yung Nudy – “All White”

The great Sun-Ui Yum once compared Nudy’s flows to a sprinkler on Twitter. Now everytime I listen to Nudy all I hear is him spraying lines in all directions. That early emphasis he puts on each bar sounds like the sprinkler resetting to its neutral position before letting out another burst, and each little burst’s direction is unpredictable. Everytime you think he’s going to fall into a pattern, he sprays somewhere new.

YN Jay & Miles Bridges – “1st Quarter”

I have a genuine problem. 70% of the rap I listen to now has the Coochie man in it. I can’t get enough of his flow, voice, and personality. He’s been feeding his fans with a new song basically every other day, with new features. After dropping a song with Yachty earlier in the week, in which Yachty did a mediocre impression of the Jay flow, he recruited the Charlotte Hornets’ Miles Bridges (a Flint native, h/t Zarathak23) to hop on a track. Jay sets him up with the alley, and Bridges oops it down, hitting the Jay flow much better than Yachty, and throwing some bars that I would never expect a professional athlete to hit about blowing it down and tasting the kitty. It’s so good that I even wonder if Jay wrote the bars for him. Regardless, Bridges nailed the flow, and in doing so has staked his claim as the best NBA rapper. I would give anything to be a fly on the wall during this studio session.

Scorey – “Moods”

Syracuse rapper Scorey is a talented Polo G clone and this song is catchy as hell. Polo G himself, Lil Tjay, DDG, and Blueface all appear in the video, so I expect a remix will come out featuring all of them at some point.

Young Go & DW Flame – “I Shine” and DaOcho, DW Flame, & Celly Ru – “East Up”

East Long Beach’s DW Flame has such a scary-sounding snarl to his voice. It sounds great against the backdrop of Inglewood-native Young Go’s smooth hook and the R&B twinkles in “I Shine,” as well as matched up with Sacramento’s Celly Ru for the banging “East Up” cypher.

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