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Kevin Crandall will miss Rudy Gobert in a Utah Jazz jersey.
On the third track of his debut project, SoftSweetRadical, Vinson introduces the world to the Lofi God himself: Lil’ ShrimpChipSnackDip. An ingenious parody, this curator of lofi beats to study/chill/relax to is the beneficiary of $100K in streams a month. Constantly gabbing over his conversational partner, bragging about his Twitch following, this corny motherf*cker swears up and down that ICYTWAT is one of the greatest producers to ever live. Lil’ ShrimpChipSnackDip embodies the dregs of lofi beat culture—a producer so engrossed in profit-margins that the history and culture of the music they make never crosses their mind. Hip-hop isn’t an artform to him, it’s simply a vessel for capital gain.
Vinson’s “Lofi God” is best described as a satirical banger by a Detroiter who’s tired of hearing Dilla being compared to the lo-fi anime girl who can never seem to finish her homework. The Motor City native opens with a bouncing hook, cheekily shouting “oh my God it’s the Lofi God” before delving into a verse where he is introduced to Lenny Kravitz and stops wearing glasses at the behest of the Lofi God himself. The back half of the track enlists Rhys Langston, the LA multi-disciplinary whirlwind whose tongue-in-cheek dissertations flow seamlessly over the static-riddled guitar chords. The P.O.W. Recordings artist evokes the Lofi Deity, George Takai, and critical race theory in one breath, stimulating his Nirvana before Vinson rushes back to declare the track so sci-fi that “it’s Klingon.” It’s a dizzying display of wit, all at the expense of lo-fi.
Talking with him about this track, Vinson told me that “the space in the underground is limited for those that experiment…we still got respect for the art form and wanna do new shit with it.” To him, this is the central issue with the lo-fi beat culture as it stands. The respect for the history of the music is discarded in favor of following the money-making formula. As underground hip-hop artists, Rhys and Vinson look to broaden the culture and what’s possible within the music—lofi is the antithesis. Lil’ ShrimpChipSnackDip is an ignorant glutton; “Lofi God” is raw hip-hop shit.