The Rap-Up: week of September 12, 2022

Image via Neph the Pharaoh/Instagram

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Donald MorrisonThe engravings of on his tombstone will be in wine mom font.

Nef The Pharaoh at its best sounds like a spiritual successor to Mac Dre, managing to be fun and deadly serious at the same time in a way that recalls the effortless brand of storytelling and conversational wit honed by the Thizzle man. a few decades ago. He was just 20 at the start of 2015 when he struck gold with “Big Tymin”, his debut hit which was eventually remixed by YG and Ty Dolla $ign and helped land him a deal with E-40’s Sick Wid It Records. Since then, he’s released a handful of studio albums and a string of mixtapes, including a standout collaboration with 03 Greedo in 2018. He told PoW this same year he hopes to finish writing an animated series for Adult Swim and plans to use his success to help put others in the future.

There’s an incentive to grow up fast when you come from Vallejo, an area that has sometimes been considered one of the most criminal towns in the San Francisco Bay Area. In “Old Enough”, Nef fondly remembers the time when he was not old enough to get revenge on his enemies, fuck girls or buy drugs. These were deceptively innocent moments in Nef’s life and throughout the song, it feels like he wished he had enjoyed them more. “18 years old with a baby, I wasn’t old enough, I fed my family the words, I had to show them something,” says Nef proudly. Now that he’s old enough to be a mentor to his younger family members, Nef is wise enough to talk them out of following the same path as him, saying “my cousin tried to hit my cup, he didn’t isn’t old enough”, and “My daughter wants to go on tour, but she’s not old enough, she bought the whip with automatic doors so she can’t open them.” Nef is only 27, but has already experienced fatherhood and an arc of redemption usually achieved by someone in their early 40s.

A skinny looking white child with face paint waving around a pile of fake guns in front of a camera. We have seen it before and we will see it again. Marjorie WC Sinclaire is the rapper alias of Evanora: Unlimited, an Oakland-born producer known for his nihilistic approach to rave music and industrial techno. This week he posted 22nd chance, a record that contains enough innovative sound and abject weirdness to officially make me a fan. The video for “Nexus 3 / Gold Country Lanes”, two songs from the album that feature the same beat, shows Marjorie in almost countless numbers of really crazy fits and a quick glance at her website shows that he designed the clothes himself and is selling them, in case you are interested in the “Pillowcase Dress Pants”.

Marjorie raps with an agonizingly hard-hitting flow about teenage heartache and trips to Gold Country Lanes, a bowling alley in Sutter Creek, California. There’s something heartwarming about a song dedicated to a small-town bowling alley, the kind of establishments that really only exist in America outside the big cities and in the Midwest. The cosmic carpet, the old school jukebox, a sock vending machine and a deceptively long menu of fried foods and cheap beers. “Gold Country Lane’s baby, let’s go bowling, air hockey table in the back, let’s break the quarters,” Marjorie says of a lighthearted production that adds to the lane’s overall suburban appeal. I could easily imagine this being played in the real Gold Country Lanes, which is about the biggest compliment I can give.

A reinvigorated JoogSZN provides Detroit stalwart Lou Grams and collaborator NipscoGang Foreign with one of his hardest hitting beats this year (alongside co-producer Quadwoofer). The bubbly bass and ethereal keyboard are perfect backdrops for NipscoGang to go presidential, comparing the white diamonds on its dial to Joe Biden and proclaiming that even his girlfriend leaves the house open. Lou Grams, along with Detroit rappers Peezy, DameDot, Tee Grizzley and Babyface Ray, has been in the game for over a decade, debuting as a loosely connected Eastside team of the early 2010s. a number of artists connected to Team Eastside have enjoyed at least moderate success, finding their individual voices and refining what makes them unique for dark and unforgiving solo albums. Lou Grams takes on the role of leader with the type of lazy, tongue-in-cheek tone reserved for a boss who knows he’s answering to no one.

When TNFW Nique says she has a murder on her mind, it might not be exactly what you mean. On “BDF (FNF REMIX),” which stands for “Baby Daddy Free,” TNFW writes a pro-choice anthem complete with a spelling of the word ABORT in the chorus. The video shows her dancing and fanning money in front of a local Planned Parenthood, which is a welcome sight compared to the pro-life protesters who sometimes haunt Planned Parenthoods entrances across the country, their presence probably deterring people from the health resources they need.

The song is a remix of “FNF” by Hitkidd & GloRilla, a similarly themed screed against broke boys and fucking men. Luckily for the Oakland-based TNFW, she lives in a state where abortion is legal and where the law even protects out-of-state patients who travel to California for an abortion from being sued in other states. other states. ‘BDF’ offers the kind of vulgar empowerment that works well in the face of a country that recently reversed legislation that made abortion access a federal right in the United States.

Central Cee stops by The LA Leakers with a verse helping to define his British drill slang, reminiscent of when Big L did the same for his street vernacular on “Ebonics”, in 1998. The Shepherd’s Bush, London MC picks up there where he left with this year’s “Doja,” the artist’s first big hit and the one he mentions in freestyle, dropping an equally tongue-in-cheek verse that lets Americans know he’s flexing and punching on the other side of the pond. “You say ‘the feds just did a sweep,’ we say, ‘the boy ran into my goof,’ Central Cee clarifies, before adding, ‘you say ‘On God, no cap,’ we say ‘swear On Your Life, Don’t Gas Central Cee manages to break down British slang in a way that doesn’t sound cheesy or obvious, helping to introduce passive American listeners to his way of speaking before releasing his next big song.

It’s powerful to see Keak Da Sneak continue to do his thing even within the confines of a wheelchair. The Bay Area legend, who helped define the hyphy sound with songs like “Super Hyphy” and E-40’s “Tell Me When To Go,” has been partially crippled since 2017 after being shot eight times during an attempted robbery in Oakland. We haven’t seen much of the Bay Area icon since then and her presence in Haiti’s new song Babii deserves at least a little write-up. In the video for “YEE,” Keak raps in front of a mural of The Jacka, another Bay Area legend who was gunned down in 2015. Keak has experienced a small cache of tragedies in his life, after being shot twice in a year. , to see his close friends and associates being slowly killed one by one. Seeing him reminds us to appreciate the legends we have while they’re still breathing and also that Keak would make an amazing actor, in the same vein as Snoop Dogg’s wheelchair appearance in training day.

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