Image via VALEE/Instagram
Donald Morrison wants everyone to stop airdropping random women their own photos from across the room, regardless of how many GRAMMYs they’ve received.
DCG Shun x DCG Bsavv – “Get Money” (feat. Moneysign Suede)
Rackades’, bankrolls, stacks, scratch, blue faces, pink faces, guala, guap, deniro and dead presidents. The pursuit for green backs and financial independence is relatable to anybody old enough to have a credit score. It feels good when you have money and it feels awful when you don’t, I’m always saying this. “Get Money,” by DCG Shun and DCG Bsavv, is suitable to be played on payday or at the end of a 12 hour shift when you’re on the verge of quitting your job altogether. It’s the type of song that makes me want to email my editor and renegotiate terms [ed. note: donate to the Patreon]. “Bring me that shit in abundance, before I was fucking I was trying to hump shit’,” DCG Bsavv says, keeping in tact his trademark humor. The beat reminds me of something you might have heard M.O.P. rap over twenty years ago and adds an anthemic feel to the chorus. It’s a song about knowing your worth.
The DCG Brothers, as they’re often referred to, are from the West side of Chicago but have never felt boxed into that region and have collaborated with Atlantic Records labelmates from across the nation. They released “In The Raq” with Bronx-native B-Lovee earlier this year and “Get Money” features an excellent appearance from Moneysign $uede, who comes from a section of in-land Los Angeles known as Huntington Park. It’s great seeing B-Lovee and $uede deviate from their regional scenes and the DCG Brothers are more than a worthy vessel for these types of experiments.
$uede has had a tumultuous few months. On June 12, three people were killed and four others wounded at a warehouse party in the Boyle Heights section of LA not long after $uede had finished performing; and he’s less than two years removed from a lengthy jail sentence that threatened to slow down the momentum of his career in 2020. $uede has drawn comparisons to Kodak Black and has the type of natural talent that could land him fans nationwide and not just in LA. His collaboration with the DCG Brothers is a step in the right direction for a Latino artist that has perhaps the best chance of taking the hyper-regional LA sound to the mainstream.
VALEE – “Macy Gray”
Over the past two years, the avant-garde Chicago stylist with a stream of conscious writing style has dropped two installations of The TrAppiEst Disco Music Ever! with Chicago engineer and producer AyoChillMannn, and another produced by his brother, KiltKarter, tilted KiltValee. Each project came with little to no warning and weren’t officially pushed or endorsed by Def Jam or G.O.O.D. Music, which is a shame because they feature some of his best work yet.
“Macy Gray” finds Valee rattling off one-liners in the type of shorthand only he’s capable of, painting vivid pictures with the fewest words possible, like “I’m rocking flip-floppies’ in the gym, bitch wanna rock, that’s a gem,” and “exotic smoke got the windows gray, I stay out of Macy’s like I’m off, I got motor hot like broth.” It’s the kind of scene-setting that’s rewarded with repeat listens as you begin to lose yourself in the Valee mind-palace, where he’s too bougie to shop at Macy’s and and always leaves the car running for a quick escape.
If the Youtube comment section conspiracy theorists are right, releasing “Macy Gray” on his official page could be a sign that Valee is no longer with G.O.O.D. Music and free to release music whenever he pleases. It would be a welcome return of one of rap’s more mysterious figures and the beginning of a fruitful era for a rapper that was always too interesting to be contained to a major label.
Peezy – “2 Million Up”
Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like Peezy. On “2 Million Up,” we find the Detroit rapper riding around in a brand new Jeep seeking revenge for the death of his friend, armed with a gun and a photo of the man who did the alleged killing to help Peezy identify him. If this is what true loyalty looks like, I might need to reevaluate my close relationships. I’d be surprised if I could convince my friends to bail me out of jail for stealing a candy bar at this point.
Peezy is a natural storyteller who uses a mix of exaggerated realism and ironic details to add a layer of cinematic depth to what would otherwise be a boilerplate, story-based rap song. “2 Million Up” is the best of three singles Peezy has released on Youtube in the past two weeks, including “Water On Me,” with Jim Jones and the Bay Area’s Philthy Rich. The video ends with Peezy popping champagne over the grave of his friend’s killer’, celebrating the cosmic balance that’s been restored after avenging his death. It’s a bleak image that would probably hit harder if the song wasn’t so fun, with production that sounds like it was made for summer in Miami.
Central Cee – “Doja”
Central Cee is the latest rapper to make a song about wanting to sleep with Doja Cat. Snot and A$AP Rocky released a single with similar sentiments earlier this year, also called “Doja.” It reminds me of the perenially-horny Jack Harlow unsuccessfully attempting to shoot his shot at Dua Lipa a few months ago on his debut album. It always comes off as corny and indicative of a man getting a little too confident and Central Cee was clearly trying to stir the pot. The song opens with him proclaiming “how can I be homophobic? My bitch is gay,” before reminding the listener that although he hugs and says “I love you” to his male friends, he’s definitely not queer.
I wonder if he’s speaking to anyone in particular here? Did somebody attempt to woke-scold Central Cee into changing his lyrics to be more politically correct? Or is he responding to more general critiques of the genre? Either way, I’d never considered whether Central Cee was homophobic until now, which I guess says something, and despite his somewhat juvenile approach, he mostly succeeds with “Doja” by not taking himself too seriously. Over a sped-up flip of Eve and Gwen Stefani’s classic “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” which was originally produced by Dr. Dre, the London-based rapper showcases some of his most boastful rapping yet, “hit man in the top, try see a man topless, even the stick is gay,” he says in the chorus.
It’s the latest example of a rapper attempting to strike gold off the strength of an early 2000s hit. The last one I really liked was “Bananas” by DaBoii, which flipped “Hollaback Girl,” a different Gwen Stefani hit from 2004. Like “Bananas,” Central Cee’s homage to Eve and Gwen Stefani benefits from not pandering to the original song, but instead applying their own style of rapping to an old classic. Expect to hear a lot more of “Doja” as summer winds down.
Drego & Beno – “You Hip”
Drego & Beno are back shit talking after a year-long hiatus with “You Hip,” which features their classic unconventionally structured flows over a dizzying beat that makes me feel like I’m underwater. Drego & Beno rap off eachother like nobody in recent memory, switching off every two bars sometimes like identical brothers who finish eachothers sentences. The video is shot in a money-green filter and takes place in a small room with more money plastered on the walls. It’s an anxiety-inducing trip into the minds of two hustlers who won’t stop at anything to get a bag and is likely to be included on a full-length album dropping this year. Maybe they’ll single handedly bring back “you hip?,” in popular slang. I’ll do my part.