Image via Ralfy The Plug/ Instagram
Donald Morrison wants that billionaire to bring back the real blue birdies.
OhGeesy – “Gallery”
There are historical moments that everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. Everyone recalls where they were when Shoreline Mafia split up. It was the equivalent of The Beatles breaking up for guys in Supreme hoodies battling moderate Xanax addictions. I, for one, can recall almost exactly what I was doing when Fenix Flexin announced his departure from the group in April 2020. I was sitting on my beige couch, watching Strangers With Candy, scrolling my Twitter feed when I saw. I thought about calling my parents, but then I figured they’d find out soon enough. No use in ruining their night, too.
Fenix Flexin, OhGeesy, Rob Vicious and Master Kato helped spearhead the New LA sound in 2017 (with the help of RonRonTheProducer.) The group spoke to a younger generation of LA hoodlums – with RonRon providing production that built off of – but ultimately pushed past the more radio-friendly DJ Mustard. Songs like “Nun Major”, “Bands” and “Musty,” helped canonize the group regionally alongside 03 Greedo and Drakeo The Ruler. They created a brand of “nervous music” more suited for the clubs. And both OhGeesy and Fenix Flexin have found success as solo artists since the group’s split, occasionally being able to capture the simple, yet hypnotizing hedonism present in the early records.
“Gallery” by OhGeesy sounds like vintage Shoreline. The beat transports me back to 2018 when I once wore distressed skinny jeans to a wedding. It was a different time. Besides, this song, like many before it, is an ode to designer brand Gallery Dept., an LA-based clothing brand founded in 2017, the same year Shoreline Mafia found its core fans. It was Gallery Dept.’s flared jeans laced with retro-inspired patchwork that are credited with helping bring an end to the skinny jean era of the 2010s. They are a favorite among rappers and anyone with a small sense of style and deep pockets. I almost spent $150 on a second-hand, pink Gallery Dept. hoodie last week in preparation for the LA stop on the Stinc Team Tour, but cooler minds prevailed. OhGeesy, on the other hand, doesn’t bat an eye at the thought of spending $20K at Gallery Dept. and we’re all better off for it.
Milc – Neutral Milc Hotel
Milc’s impromptu freestyles are slowly becoming one of the only enjoyable aspects of my Twitter feed since Apartheid Cylde took over the platform. The Portland rapper’s dense wordplay and sardonic humor evokes Action Bronson – with a cloudy and grim touch of Pacific Northwest energy. Milc’s music is inescapable in Portland right now and I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest of the country caught on by the end of 2023. His latest album, “Neutral Milc Hotel,” with Oakland-based producer Televangel, folds some of his best rapping yet into his ever-expanding universe of film references, aphorisms and food metaphors.
Bashfortheworld – “Third World”
The laid back approach of Texas’ Bashfortheworld, reminds me of Lucki and a little bit of Veeze. His nonchalance adds a layer of calm easy-listening proficiency to his music. Bash prefers to stay out of the spotlight, saying “you in the club, I’m counting up, that’s why you don’t ever see us,” preferring to focus on his money as opposed to spending it on entertainment. “Third World” sounds especially good in the car, with the production centering around an infectious keyboard loop and minimal bass.
Xanman – “Wish I Knew”
This is my favorite bag that Xanman jumps in: when he ditches the autotune and instead punches-in with a fusillade of quotables over sample-heavy production that flips a sped up version of Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit.” It sounds like it was found on Youtube the day he recorded it. On “Wish I Knew,” Xanman claims his gun has a mind of its own like Matilda, and says “I ain’t saving no bitch, this is not Grey’s Anatomy.” Comparing his weapon to the Danny Davido-directed remake of Roald Dahl’s popular 1988 novel of the same name is something only Xanman would have thought to do.
Ralfy The Plug – “Fasholy”
Ralfy The Plug and Flint rapper Louie Ray share something in common: they are both artists who used to live in the shadows of their brother’s work, tasked with carrying the torch and furthering their missions in the face of tragedy and setback. Ralfy The Plug has been keeping the truth alive for nearly a year after his brother Drakeo The Ruler was killed on December 18, dropping nearly an album a month and embarking on the first-ever Stinc Team tour in November. Louie Ray has been releasing music nonstop ever since his brother Rio Da Yung OG entered prison in 2021. “It’s crazy Drakeo gone, then Rio got locked up, I’m putting money on anybody I want boxed up,” Louie Ray says on “Fasholy.” It’s nice to see that the Flint/LA connection that Drakeo and Rio started is remaining strong.
Emptying the Chamber