The Rap-Up: Week of April 22, 2024

Donald Morrison rounds up some of the best new releases for this week's Rap-Up – including Cletus Strap's recent embodiment of having fun in hip-hop, bbymutha's new album, new OTM and more.
By    April 22, 2024

Image via Cletus Strap/Instagram

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Donald Morrison chooses Key Lime over Pumpkin, and it’s not even close.

Cletus Strap – “Blick Man”

There’s been a lot of talk about how hip-hop is finally having fun again. People who don’t normally give a shit about anything rap-related have begun paying attention. Long lost acquaintances have resurfaced to DM me for my opinion on the new Drake AI diss track or if I think Kendrick Lamar will respond. I don’t have the answers. I’ve been mostly tuned out on the various beefs keeping people’s attention lately, and I just can’t bring myself to care about anything DJ Akademiks is regularly tweeting about.

For my money, the person who’s having the most fun in rap these days is a guy named Cletus Strap who recently rapped over a rework of the “Ignition(Remix)” by R. Kelly. The only merch available on his Spotify is a white and black trucker hat that says “Kiss My Black Ass” on it. His name alone is funny enough to warrant me texting “Blick Man” to all my friends last week, but beyond that is a deep well of rewindable punch-lines, clever flows, and hilarious images.

Cletus Strap seems like he’s always the funniest guy in the room. He starts rapping as soon as the song starts like DaBaby used to in 2019: “This my real life, I can’t tell you I won’t take it personal, are you tired from dick riding? It must have been a hard day’s work for you. The production, handled by frequent collaborator Mad Max 4800, is pleasantly nostalgic, taking the “Ignition(Remix)” beat and making it a little faster and upbeat. Cletus slows down in comparison to R. Kelly’s original sing-song approach, punching in instead, quipping “you should have a blowout sale, because you can’t keep it a hundred,” and “they love to hate on fly shit, it’s cathartic.”

From what I can gather, Cletus Strap is from somewhere in Los Angeles. He’s released five mixtapes since 2020 and an EP with Mad Max 4800 titled Hidden Agenda in December last year. It’s some of his strongest music to date, with the head-bobbing “Blow Dryer” being an early standout. His work ethic these past three years is beginning to pay off as well. Earl Sweatshirt recently gave Cletus a shoutout when asked who his five favorite rappers are at the moment. He also mentioned Duwap Caine.

bbymuthasleep paralysis

Tennessee’s Bbymutha and NYC’s Junglepussy deserve as much attention as Cardi B or Meg The Stallion. They admittedly exist in a somewhat different lane, but their music has always felt more vulnerable and experimental than most of their peers. Bbymutha’ sophomore album, Sleep Paralysis, is her most exploratory yet, an 11-song onslaught with production from Foisey, Bon Music Vision, and Kilder. The album is inspired by a post-lockdown tour of the UK where she was introduced to the sounds of 90’s Garage and is named after a medical condition that Bbymutha is very familiar with. On Sleep Paralysis, she successfully creates the dread of being unable to move, while also bringing forth the riotous energy felt upon waking up.


It’s hard to imagine anybody but Drakeo The Ruler on the “Closer To My Dreams” beat. Listening to his freestyle over the original production still induces chills. When I hear it now I’m overcome with a heartache knowing he died just months after achieving the dreams he spoke into existence. ZyZy’s smooth-autotune on “Closer” comes close to matching the hunger of Drakeo’s early recordings. He reminds me of early Roddy Rich, or an LA hood version of Bryson Tiller. I really dig the Stockton-style lasers added to the beat. All its singular parts morph together to create something I truly feel like I haven’t heard before.

DrexTheJoint – “Bounce Out”

I’m a sucker for a simple piano beat and some classic West Coast gangsta rap bass lines. “Bounce Out” sounds like it could have been released any time in the past 10 years. It’s part DJ Mustard/ YG and part nervous rap, with just a dash of Tyga’s trademark deadpan, energetic shittalking. DrexTheJoint may have just stumbled upon his first hit.

OTM – “BC Cooks”

OTM are still keeping the truth alive with “BC Cooks,” which features some of the duo’s best raps yet. BluePesos is slowly developing his own style separate from the Drakeo flows that influenced his early music. And I’m not throwing shade, Drakeo was just OTM’s first real inspiration, and The Stinc Team had more than enough motion to be a worthy crew to emulate. What’s impressive is OTM’s resilience to continue the mission while also evolving as rappers with their own unique style. These kids have built an impressive fan base in a short time and it’s always cool seeing them getting better.

Emptying the Chamber

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