Crypto is the coolest thing you could rap about
Yet none of this is as cheeky as “Elon Musk”, “LLC” or “Crypto”. As of this writing, all three tracks are featured on Spotify’s giant Rap Caviar playlist, a signal that, sadly, there’s more shillings to come.
The Five Best Beats From Atlanta’s Underground Workhorse SenseiATL
Recently I stumbled into a wormhole of SenseiATL productions, which has a catalog that ranges from hardened ATL trap to soft pluggnb, with most of its instrumentals exploring the space between these poles. Due to his chameleon-like nature, his name isn’t often talked about among Atlanta’s heavyweight beatmakers, but he’s been an integral part of the ever-evolving underground scene for over half a decade. Here are some of his best works:
I swear by the Larry League mixtape series between 2015 don’t come back and 2016 put to rest. Sensei produced and rapped in the Atlanta-based trio, and his beat for “Flex on Myself” has a hypnotic melody that sounds as good today as it did when it fell six years ago.
Wintertime has got to be one of the most confusing rappers of the mid-2010s. The Florida MC, who sounded like he was crossfading in the cabin, released some great mixtapes and a single (“Thru It All”) which exploded big enough for Erykah Badu to jump on the remix, then just disappeared. My favorite song is “Coach Winter,” produced by Sensei, where Wintertime sounds like it’s reading ESPN.com’s front page over booming drums and haunting cosmic noises.
Yachty probably got too big too fast, so he never really got a chance to immerse himself in Sensei’s more spaced-out sounds. “Juug” was never officially released, even though it should have been – the lightness of Sensei’s soft beeps and boops provide a perfect complement to Yachty’s playful flow switching.
This song may be over four years old, but it sounds like what today’s top plugg producers like Cashcache and Glumboy are releasing. The booming synths and drum patterns are so calm, providing a winning clash with Nolan’s raspy, cartoonish vocals.
Many of the beats on this list are a few years old, but I think the best thing Sensei has done so far is from 2021. Authentic goods, the tape he produced for Tony Shhnow, bears no resemblance to the instrumentals he made early on. These are mostly incredibly soulful, with Quiet Storm smoothness and cleanly pulverized drums. “Right Now” is such a soothing highlight that it could kick off a new move called “Plugg Beats to Study.”