The Rap-Up: week of September 26, 2022
Image via Casper Inc/Allstar JR/Instagram
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Donald Morrison is always late to the silent disco NFT.
The video for Allstar JR’s “Run Through It” begins with a fake infomercial for “Junkies Gone Wild,” a parody of a popular mail-order series from the early 2000s that sounds like a mix of Girls Gone Wild and Butt fights. The commercial promises, “Now you can party with the craziest junkies ever filmed”, noting that these junkies are real and appropriately located at the Detroit Greyhound station. I tried calling the number on the infomercial and got a busy tone.
It’s an interesting way to start a song that samples D’Angelo’s “Lady,” but it ends up being one of the smoothest tracks by Detroit rappers in recent memory. The production has a dynamic appeal that reminds me of recent singles from artists like Shootergang Kony and DaBoii, who have started picking up brighter, more melodic beats. The rap has relatively low stakes, and the video shows Allstar JR dancing at a gas station with the same demons from the previous infomercial.
It reminds me of fellow Michigan rapper Rio Da Yung OG’s “Fiend Lives Matter” campaign. While a little exploitative and potentially insincere, it’s nice to see Michigan rappers showing love to the underdog, assuming their love for demons goes beyond the average dealer-user relationship. The video ends with an advertisement for the Recovery Bag Rehab Center, where JR reminds users “you may love the bag, but the bag may not love you”. I also called this number, another busy tone.
GakTrizzy has over 137,000 subscribers on the Xvideos porn site and is currently ranked the 23rd top US model on the site. The East Oakland rapper, also known as “Ding a Ling,” is a larger-than-life presence, with big, hanging tresses and a body and face completely scuffed with tattoos. He’s released a handful of street singles on TheThizzler’s Youtube channel over the past year, but none compare to the heartbreaking “Nightmare in Miami,” where Gak finds he can’t top his trauma with geographic relocation. Gak thought he would be happy with a move to Florida, but the nightmares remain. “Good weather, nightmares in Florida”, he laments, before describing his reality, “they killed my cousin, I was young like Bambi.” There’s a real emotional weight to his voice, starting with his first screams as the beat picks up. The writing is wry and funny in a way that lends itself well to the seriousness of its belted melodies. Gak is one of those rare artists who cannot be easily placed in a single box, easily surpassing any attempt at categorization.
I can’t think of any porn star who’s managed to pivot into rapping, although it’s probably not unheard of. The truth is usually that an artist needs to release a hit song before their sex tapes leak to positive or negative attention. There are of course examples of artists hosting adult films, with 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg coming to mind, the latter being sued in 2003 by two underage girls who appeared on the cover of a film. on the subject of Doggystyle. Girls Gone Wild DVD. (An undisclosed settlement was reached the following year.) More recently, Young MA even made her own erotic film, Giftwhich premiered on Pornhub in 2018. If Gak can keep making laborious music like “Nightmare in Miami,” he might be ready to break the cycle, paving a rare path for adult movie stars looking to escape a exploitation industry for another.
On “Free Slatt,” LottaCash Desto sounds like a cross between Pooh Shiesty and Valee, combining a menacing Southern drawl with a slippery lyrical dexterity that bleeds one line into the other. The beat, produced by SoMuchSauce Productions, features the kind of simple, piano-heavy looping that first appealed to listeners of artists like Jimmy Wopo and the aforementioned Pooh Shiesty. It’s hard not to be mesmerized by her rapping as she mutters “If I don’t slow down, you ain’t gotta get me, I keep pouring 4 on my kidney,” while flying through her state of Tennessee origin in a lime green Lamborghini. Desto was tragically killed earlier this week in Houston. Not much is known about the incident, but it’s safe to say it’s a huge loss to the hip-hop community and it’s tragic to see such a brilliant artistic light fade at a pivotal time in his career. .
BigXthePlug standing next to Maxo Kream looks like a before and after photo with one rapper having already achieved mainstream success and the other on his way up. The Texas-based artists also complement each other musically. The “Safehouse” remix elevates what was already a certified street single into another realm with a rejuvenated Maxo Kream offering deadpan alliteration and violent flex. But it’s BigX that steals the show, with lines like “I’m going too fast with this shit, Ricky Bobby, I’m tied up like it’s part of my body” and “this shit jostling in my body, but if I am ‘If I don’t return this package, I’m stealing the party.
Sauce Walka joins Big Sad 1900 for the official remix of his regional hit, “Gang Members,” which he likely recorded during his now infamous trip to Los Angeles this month. Sauce is the perfect feature for one of Big Sad’s most poignant singles, the original taking a merciless look at the sacrifices and danger of joining a gang. Big Sad’s proud nature and nuanced understanding of his story keep his music from sounding repetitive and superficial. Sauce fits right in with bars about unfair sentencing for felons caught in possession of a gun. “I never had bail, it’s that shit that happens when a criminal touches guns, probably never sees the sun.” Even if you have a non-violent felony, being in possession of a gun will likely cost you at least five years in jail without the possibility of bail or bail due to your probation. It’s a way for lawmakers to keep the revolving door of justice moving and recidivism high.