Image via Kasher Quon/Instagram
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Donald Morrison dresses up for the occasion.
Kasher Quon & BabyTron – “Cherry Chucks”
The phrase scam rap is slowly losing meaning. It’s like the term “mumble rap” at this point: a phrase nobody in the mix uses anymore that instead acts as a stand-in for normies to easily describe something they don’t understand. It once served a purpose, but every rapper and their mothers talk about running scams now – as if fraud didn’t exist pre-pandemic.
If it still means anything, I’ll say that Kasher Quon is a scam rap legend. The Detroit rapper helped usher in the sub-genre back in 2019 with Teejayx6, polluting Youtube with the sensibilities of a 4chan poster offering detailed instructions on how to commit credit card fraud. Since then, he’s faced allegations of “falling off,” publicly feuded with Teejayx6 and is currently in the midst of a comeback. After a year of relative quiet, Kasher Quon has been consistently releasing videos, finally reuniting with an old collaborator who’s helped take his darkly comedic and surrealist approach to levels nobody thought they’d ever reach.
“Cherry Chucks” is both my favorite Kasher Quon song and my favorite Babytron song in recent memory. Kasher Quon was arguably more popular when these two first started collaborating a few years ago. But since then, Babytron has become the biggest artist to emerge from the aforementioned scam rap freshman class, with a successful mixtape series and nods of approval from some of today’s biggest artists. “Cherry Chucks” is a blistering example of how to successfully trade bars, with each verse thematically building off the one that follows. Like when Babytron says he grinds from “Wednesday to Wednesday,” followed by Kasher’s claim to wake up “looking for banks Tuesday to Tuesday.” It’s nice to see Kasher reconnecting with old friends, seemingly back on track to take his throne as the rightful heir to punch-in stardom.
Vayda – “Gummy Vaymix”
There’s something quietly revolutionary about Vayda claiming that her man and his friends wish they could be just like her: a confident woman comfortable breaking all the rules. She recognizes the inherent power in her femininity and harnesses it to fend off mealy-mouthed shot-shooters with an attention to detail and DIY style. “He wants to be a bad bitch, yeah he wants to be like me,” she says over an ethereal beat she produced herself. The video takes its aesthetics from old BET music videos, complete with the famous watermark in the right hand corner and a grainy, cable TV picture quality.
Peezy – “Ja Morant”
“I’m fucking with Ja’ still,” Peezy says in the opening of his new song, “We all make mistakes.” He’s of course referring to Ja Morant, a point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies who recently made headlines for flashing a gun in an Instagram video and for spending more than $50,000 at a New York strip club on the same night. This seems to be standard operating for Peezy and other rappers, but basketball players signed to deals with the NBA are expected to behave a little better. The ensuing media fall-out so inspired Peezy that he went directly to the studio to lay down some thoughts. “Strap hanging out on Live, Just like Ja Morant,” he says. “I can’t help how I was raised, who else am I supposed to be? The paper aint making it no better, this ain’t as easy as you think.”
Peezy relates to Ja’s reckless behavior, knowing that the challenges of growing up in poverty don’t immediately dissipate once you run into some money. There’s a real psychic pull to return to the place that made you, to the place that you overcame to reach success. Peezy doesn’t look at Ja as a victim of clout chasing and heedless posting, but more so as a victim of his surroundings and the challenges of coming up too quickly. “I know I’m trying to do what’s right but I can’t change overnight, I’m heading in the right direction but I’m still keeping my pipe.”
ASM Bopster – “30 Shades”
This song is almost too horny and ridiculous to include. The video is particularly tasteless, showing two women fighting over who gets to suck ASM’s dick. Yet, there’s always something inevitably fun about an ASM song, with his foul-mouth candidness keeping in the tradition of overly-sexual West Coast hitmakers and a deft ear for production that sounds like what turning up in a 2023 Los Angeles feels like: hedonistic with a side of dread. I can easily imagine this turning up any number of LA functions.
T.I. feat. Kevin Gates – “Active”
Nothing really to say about this one other than that it’s funny that they both go full-on prayer mode before their respective verses. Kevin Gates sounds natural in Arabic. T.I. sounds like Kevin sent in his verse and prayer first and T.I. decided afterwards that he couldn’t be out-prayed. Side note: T.I. has one of the strangest Wikipedia pages ever, with a whole section dedicated to him having helped two separate suicide jumpers off the ledge, stuffed in between controversies surrounding his strange obsession with whether or not his daughter is a virgin, and multiple sexual assault allegations. This new song is apparently a single off T.I.’s self-reported last album, Kill The King, an album title I really hope isn’t a reference to cancel culture.
Emptying the Chamber