Image via Cash Kidd/Instagram
Donald Morrison doesn’t skip the Entourage theme song in his house.
Bfb Da Packman – “Hopeless Island”
The centerpiece to BFB Da Packman’s troll-like humor has always been his brutal honesty. He has the ability to spin his greatest fears and insecurities into both relatable self-deprecation and inflated confidence. He’s been able to twist his shortcomings into his greatest strengths: whether he’s lambasting about how small his penis is or deriding his inability to keep his weight under control.
But it’s hard always being the clown because people don’t take you seriously unless you’re making them laugh. It’s why so many comedians and entertainers commit suicide. It’s a real “crying on the inside, laughing on the outside” situation. It can feel like your existence is to merely make others happy, while never finding a catalyst for your own happiness. A lonely existence if you’re not careful.
“Hopeless Island” is BFB at his most downtrodden. It’s a side of the Flint, Michigan rapper we haven’t exactly seen before – a peak behind the curtain of an up and coming rapper trying like hell to gain some footing in an industry with the attention span of a gnat. However, “Hopeless Island” isn’t much different then the best BFB songs: it’s surprisingly poignant, laugh-out-loud funny and painfully sincere. “Bro fighting five bodies and he thinks he can beat it, at the same time I’m fighting IRS, doubt and diabetes,”
The video is shot in a cemetery with BFB surrounded by family members. He opens with “one deep as a stand on my problems, giving kisses to my kids and my momma.” Taking a page from Kanye’s book à la “Real Friends,” he opens up about the time his cousin stole $200,000 from him, saying he’d kill the thief’s own mother as retribution if he didn’t love his auntie so much.
“Hopeless Island” was billed as a small change of pace for BFB, but true fans will know this is just a continuation of what he’s always done and anyone who said BFB Da Packman wasn’t capable of real vulnerability clearly hasn’t been listening.
DB.Boutabag – “Geeked Up”
It certainly wasn’t my plan to cover every new DB.Boutabag single this year but he’s forced my hand. He’s one of the hardest working and most improved MC’s from the past few years, a perfect amalgamation of two converging scenes: taking the nihilistic and shock-jock humor of Michigan’s rap scene and deftly slapping it together with the inherent steeze of modern-day Bay Area luminaries like Nef The Pharaoh and pioneers like the legendary Mac Dre.
The beat for “Geeked Up” features all the bells and whistles of contemporary NorCal rap, with DB’s approach to the soundscape altogether less abrasive than some of the scenes of other artists, like EBK Jaaybo or the late Young Slo-Be. The chorus for the song touches on a value I’ve always held close to my heart: if you see someone a little too geeked up, don’t blow their high by mentioning it to them. Just give a smile and a nod and keep it moving. Like DB himself says “I’m allergic to that bullshit.”
RXK Nephew – “C.A.N.D.Y Pt 3”
Is there another instance of a rapper spending more than 20 minutes rapping over a single beat? On “C.A.N.D.Y Pt 3” RXK Nephew could potentially reach the Guinness World Records for longest freestyle clocking in at just under 13 minutes over a beat that he’s already recorded two nearly 10 minute songs to. This is what avant-garde hip-hop looks like in 2023: RXK Nephew standing in an open garage with young family members as he enters minute eight on a rambling stream of consciousness that somehow never loses steam.
“Left wrist looks like Matt Hoffman, pull up looking like the Justice League,” he says near the beginning. RXK’s manager and confidant, aintnobodycool, commented “I’ll never forget the engineer’s face when Neph told him to loop the beat again and we was already at 10 mins of bars,” and I desperately wish there was video of this. I can imagine it looked like a mix of awe and exhaustion.
Cash Kidd – “Jinx!”
Cash Kidd is back with a new single less than four months removed from BeBe Kidd 3, a sprawling 26-song offering with an undulating consistency that will likely earn the album its place on numerous year-end lists. “Jinx!” is more of the same from the Detroit rapper, but over production more subdued and sophisticated than anything seen on his last album. Cash Kidd hasn’t lost his taste for the irreverent, saying “Glock 17, I’m in the club with a minor,” before switching his flow and chiding a romantic interest for smoking all his roaches every time she’s at the crib.
It’s a good sign that Cash Kidd is dropping heat like this so soon after releasing an hour-long tape. The video will also join the long list of rap videos filmed, for some reason, on a golf course. Cash Kidd is even sporting a single white glove, showing that he might in fact know his way around the green.
FLEE – “NICKI”
FLEE is back with a new single clocking in at under a minute and thirty seconds that acts as an ode to his ex-girlfriend who “used to look like Nicki Minaj.” At one point he takes takes up the roll of an off-the-cuff, lazy high school guidance counselor who’s sick of pushing college on a kid who clearly won’t be applying, “You never gon make it you need to get a job,” followed hilariously by “UPS is hiring, FedEx is hiring, change your environment.” The beat isn’t from Cash Cobain so let’s just assume if he didn’t get it from Cash’, it’s from Youtube. It’s the latest loosie from what’s presumed to be a new record to drop before summer’s end.
Emptying the Chamber