The Rap-Up: Week of May 27, 2024

It’s Steven Louis on Rap-Up, with new drops from Open Mike Eagle and Video Dave, Don Toliver and Cash Cobain, Big Homiie G, YFG Fatso and more…
By    May 28, 2024

Image via YTG Fatso/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.

Steven Louis Milly Rocks on select blocks, subject to availability.

AJJ – “Candles of Love Remix” (feat. Open Mike Eagle and Video Dave)

For those of a particular persuasion and intolerance for back pain, Open Mike Eagle truly teed off on this rework of Phoenix folk-punk outfit AJJ. “Middle aged so my shit has changed,” he tumbles onstage with, before dropping a litany of ailments that reads less like a rap song than a Week 14 NFL injury report. Here’s what our protagonist says he is playing through:

Sprained finger
Old body
Broken ass (from falling down a flight of stairs)
Knocking bones
Recurring nightmares
Shook leg (don’t fully know what this entails, but it can’t be good)

Sean Bonnette’s whirring vocals land softly atop cymbal taps and finger snaps, while Mike and compatriot Video Dave spit through the bends with resigned genius. The cats screech from within our stomachs, the shakshuka is served as a peace offering, and the felt factory has locked its doors on us. Dave raps that he can’t free the memories he’s not at peace with, and the resulting “Candles of Love” plays like uncoiled regret and strained acceptance.

Don Toliver – “Attitude” (feat. Cash Cobain & Charlie Wilson)

Don Toliver is masterful at making total nothingness sound big and important, and here is his putaway pitch up in the count – immediate sensation Cash Cobain, the timeless Charlie Wilson and a neon-traced Pharrell sample, all over tight drill drums and sportbike wheelie pops. In lesser hands, this is just straight-up Brooklyn cosplay with a premium budget and a turbo engine. But as constructed, “Attitude” is a fuzzy summer jam that will warrant playback at both House of Yes and Fulton Park cookouts. This is that raincoat in June kinda music. Wilson’s enduring, funky vitality should be studied and logged in the Library of Congress.

Big Homiie G – “M&M”

“I really wanna know how it feel to be out my momma crib / I really wanna know how it feel to turn my friends to bosses” hits like a freight truck. It’s almost word-for-word what we’d expect from a rapper signed to Zach Randolph. Memphis heavyweight Big Homiie G’s hustle is aspirational and collective; he pours up and toasts to his own power and respect earned without gang status. “M&M” takes us from the boarded-up front door to the Balenciaga bag and the sold-out show. The bass-mashing regionally popularized by Tay Keith and co. is usually laid beneath uptempo punching, but it’s just as awesome with blues piano and juiced soul.

YFG Fatso – “Leavin”

As we enjoy the maturation of both Keith Cozart and Durk Banks, we turn to the posterity of Chicago rappers that they’ve inspired. YFG Fatso’s delivery is bruised and pressurized, recalling the dark highs of Signed to the Streets a decade later. “Leavin” is somewhere between depressed flexing and melodic gangsta ennui, shades of vengeful recollection from the crib to the block to the gas station.

DrexTheJoint & Rowdy Racks – “OC 2 SGV”

It’s 30-something miles from Orange County to San Gabriel Valley, but these two get us there in two minutes flat. Rowdy Racks affirms his claim as the “Mexican Suga Free” with “crazy as a mad hatter / she a throwback, my dad had her.” An understated strength of this new West Coast Renaissance has been its prolific dualism, be it the back-and-forth of BlueBucksClan, The Range Brothers or A Cold Day in Hell. Drex and Rowdy volley with real chemistry, the former ruthlessly percussive and the latter delirium in velvet.

BTK Villeion & Eva Shaw – “QUIET”

Côte d’Ivoire sensation BTK Villeion has a disaffected pop streak that feels tailored for short summer drives. Accents of burnt orange on the Range Rover to match the Valentino joggers; black gloves to support, like, five different outfit changes in 150 seconds; going up a key and belting it into the fisheye lens.

Duke Deuce – “Sweet Tea” (feat. Yung Bleu)

Closing this installment out with only the most agreeable of energies. This right here is basically Black Entourage. Tennessee’s Duke Deuce and Alabama’s Yung Bleu rent out the historically lush “Can I Live” beat and get a mansion to match it. There are bartenders to stir cognac into the sweet tea, and the bartenders are also all total baddies. Butts are being stacked on butts at the pool party out back. People are pouring drinks on the stack of butts. Deuce is doing Tommy Boy with the sheer ebullience of a stoned ninth grader. “Sweet Tea” is Gatsby off the D’usse sidecar.

Emptying the Chamber

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!