The Rap-Up: Week of May 20, 2024

Donald Morrison serves up the latest edition of The Rap-Up with Sheff G's first song since being released, the latest from Wizz Havinn, RXKNephew's submission to Metro's "BBL Drizzy" contest and more.
By    May 20, 2024

Image via Sheff G/Instagram

The Rap-Up is the only weekly round-up providing you with the best rap songs you need to hear. Support real, independent music journalism by subscribing to Passion of the Weiss on Patreon.

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

Sheff G – “Everything Lit”

It’s been one year since Brooklyn drill rappers Sheff G, Sleepy Hollow and 30 others were hit with a 140-count indictment in New York on various gang conspiracy charges. Major media outlets honed in on salacious details from the court filings, including claims that the Flatbush-raised rappers treated fellow Eight Trey gang members to an expensive dinner at Ruth’s Chris in Manhattan to celebrate a 2020 shooting.

“They actually wore matching outfits,” NYPD Deputy Chief Jason Savino said in a statement at the time. “One participant was rewarded even further with a custom-made gold chain with the homicide victim’s nickname on it. What an ultimate insult.”

The news seemed extra grim for Sheff G, who was already serving time on gun possession charges when the new indictment came down. When he finished that bid, he was moved from Bare Hill Correctional Facility to Riker’s Island to await trial. From a legal perspective, it truly felt like the end of Sheff’s career. He’d been the only rapper to effectively carry the NY drill sound to new heights in the wake of Pop Smoke’s murder, and his arrest signaled the end of an era.

Since he left for prison, the sound that he helped cultivate and make popular in The Big Apple and beyond has morphed thanks to the pop-leanings of NY Drill queen Ice Spice, and the lo-fi, sample-heavy offerings from Cash Cobain. The more assertive drill that Sheff G and his crew are known for has seemingly fallen out of favor in his absence.

However, it would have been foolish to count him out completely. On April 19, Sheff G fans around the world rejoiced with excitement and genuine shock when a judge in his case set a $10 million bond. His team paid the $1.5 million cash bail that same day and he was released within hours. While the future of his case is unclear, it’s great that Sheff G can wait for trial with family and friends instead of on the notoriously filthy, understaffed and overpopulated Rikers Island.

“Everything Lit” is Sheff G’s first single since making bail. The video shows Sheff G and his crew celebrating at a Brooklyn steakhouse (no, it’s not Ruth’s Chris) and hitting the strip club for some much needed R&R. The track more than proves that the traditional NY drill sound isn’t as dead as I assumed, there’s just been no one around to do it justice.Sheff G’s patient and measured flow combined with brooding production from frequent collaborator and NY drill architect Great John, reminds me of old Pop Smoke records in the best way possible. It also makes clear that Sheff G has only gotten hungrier while locked up, retaining the artistic immediacy and persistent work ethic he displayed before this last incarceration. The trifecta of Ice Spice, Cash Cobain and the newly-released Sheff G all but cements New York as one of the most exciting rap scenes to watch this summer.

Big Sad 1900 & T.Cike – “Free Tr3yway”

Tr3yway6k, the now-infamous Hoover rapper currently serving a six-year prison sentence for charges related to shooting someone in the ass, is shown major love by Big Sad 1900 and T.Cike on their latest salvo. Big Sad likely misses Tr3yway6k’s hilarious, if not controversial, Instagram presence, which used to show him driving around while taking whippets and taunting his opps. I miss it as well and it’s a fun energy to embody when thinking about making a song. Big Sas is one of the most promising rappers coming out of LA and this song proves why: the great beat choice, the nonchalant flow and infectious confidence. Here’s to hoping Tr3yway has an easy rest of his time in lockdown. As Avon Barksdale says on The Wire, “you only do two days in jail: the day you go in & the day you get out.”

Allblues & 2euce – “Not the same as us”

Allblues & 2euce’s new song, “Not the same as us” is at least spiritually inspired by the now-number-one-song in the country, “Not Like Us.”  In fact, I won’t be surprised if we start seeing “not like us” turn into slang or cultural shorthand for perceived exclusivity. Either way, the young LA rapper’s new song displays surprisingly dexterous flows. The way Allblues groans, “I ain’t never seen a thing, your honor!” reminds me of the exaggerated characters of early-2000s Bay Area rap like Keak Da Sneak and Mac Dre.

Wizz Havinn – “Diddy Vibes”

I can’t remember the last time I did the Rap Up and wasn’t forced to choose whether or not to include the latest Wizz Havinn drop. The North Florida-native is on a career-making run, releasing singles on a near-weekly basis that continuously expand on his already trend-setting approach to rapping. I like to say Wizz is part Kodak Black, part Veeze, part Drakeo The Ruler and the rest is just pure originality. If you don’t believe me, just ask Luh Tyler where got his flow from.

Wizz is both playful and dead serious on “Diddy Vibes,” where he uses his street bonafides to separate himself from his peers in the industry, saying “these other rappers give me Diddy Vibes.” Then he drives the Jeep like he was Rickie Bobbie. He’s a clever lyricist with a style that makes his whole process appear effortless. While I’m here, I may as well plug another Wizz song from last week I haven’t stopped listening to.

RXKNephew – “What Does BBL Even Mean”

Here’s a collection of the funniest lines from RXK Nephew’s submission to a contest by MetroBoomin wherein he’d honor the the rapper who can submit the best verse of his BBL Drizzy beat. The king has spoken:

“Why Kendrick Lamar beefin’ with a n**** who was never in the street?
How you gon’ beef with a n**** with a BBL?
Leave that n**** alone, ‘causе you ain’t doin’ no better.”

“Any n**** I know bump Drake got locked up for domestic violence.”

“How Metro produced with Future but Future cool with Drake?
All y’all n****s dissin’ Drake, I’m convinced you wish you was Drake”

“I know Drake prolly fucked your bitch, that’s why you mad at him
Since you so damn rich, then put a bag on him
N****s makin’ AI beats and puttin’ tags on ’em
If Drake got a BBL, then I feel bad for him”

“If Drake a pedophile, then why the hell they ain’t lock him up?
I’m just convinced that the whole industry is toxic as fuck”

Emptying the Chamber

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