The Rap-Up: Week of July 19, 2021

The Rap-Up returns with the best new tracks of the week from BLXST, EBK Jaaybo, DaBoii and more.
By    July 19, 2021

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Harley Geffner has already framed that photo of Julius Randle wearing a Dipset tee.

BLXST x Bino Rideaux – Sixtape 2

Blxst’s voice has always been smooth as a warm knife cutting through butter, but Bino’s has a slightly dirtier, funkier edge to it that adds a little roughness to their sound on Sixtape 2. The joint album is more of the same from the two, finding a sweet spot with their melodic neo-R&B formula – but why fix what’s not broken? It’s BLXST singing about relationship drama in a way that’s understanding and shows he’s been to therapy, and Bino muddying up the water with the nasty bedroom raps over bouncy bass and sweet guitar licks.

There’s a point where it starts to teeter on the edge and it feels like it’s about to drop into the too repetitive category – before Bino comes to the rescue with two dirtied hooks in a row on “She Perfect” and “What Is It,” to kick off the best 4-song stretch of the tape. The sound these two have cultivated is something that feels genuinely original, and I’m glad they’re filling up their discogs in this style, but eventually a pivot or new take on the sound is going to have to come.

EBK Jaaybo – “Death Bedz”

Love when sweet, innocent songs get turned into great street rap. EBK Jaaybo out of Stockton, CA does this as well as anyone out (shouts to Shawny and all Woodhull ave dudes too of course), and here, he flips one of those songs that is just inherently sentimental-feeling. I first heard this song on Tik Tok when people were using it to romanticize getting coffee and going grocery shopping, and somehow it worked? But Jaaybo chooses the right type of song to make over it – one where he’s getting sentimental over the life he lives. He’s questioning the powers above and asking why he’s still alive, making promises to his little bros if they stay in school, and talking about how his feelings get the best of him sometimes.

DaBoii – “Gangsta Shit”

One YouTube commenter said s/he knew by 4 bars in that this was going to be a banger – but it’s really obvious from the first two when DaBoii catches you off-guard with that quick follow-up to “this that gangsta shit.” You know it’s the title of the song and you expect it to marinate for a second, but nope, he hops right back in almost overlapping the first bar with “Feds gon’ grab you up but you play dumb, don’t you be sayin’ shit.”

Sleepy Hallow – “Scrub”

Not much to say about this but that it’s a good “No Scrubs” flip and works really well with Sleepy’s style.

John Wicks x Kodak Black – “Zebras” (Fast)

I’m not a religious guy, but if I were to pray to any gods, it would be to the Floridian DJs of Soundcloud. There is a growing base of scholarship right now coalescing around the conclusion that literally every song sounds better sped up.

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