Drakeo The Ruler Is Different, And Different Is Good

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We expect emerging young rap groundbreakers to have a certain type of voice and delivery: yelpy, excitable, prone to messy vocal explosions and yah-yah-yahing. Drakeo The Ruler, the 24-year-old rapper currently reshaping the sound of the Los Angeles street-rap underground, does not have one of those voices. Instead, Drakeo sounds older than his years. His … More »

Milo Is Good At Making Art-Rap Even If He Doesn’t Like The Term “Art-Rap”

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“Y’all call it art-rap,” the Maine-based rapper Milo says toward the end of Sovereign Nose Of (Y)our Arrogant Face, the new album that he just released under his Scallops Hotel moniker. He sounds disgusted, dejected. He repeats it a few times, as if he needs time to process the stupidity of that genre name. But … More »

Chief Keef Thrives In Exile

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Chief Keef can’t go back to Chicago. The rapper has outstanding warrants in his hometown, but the authorities in Chicago have enmities against Keef that go deeper than that. Back when he still lived in Chicago, before he relocated to Los Angeles, Keef was effectively banned from performing in his own town; I’ve got friends … More »

Welcome To The Collaborative Rap Album Boom

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It didn’t start with Watch The Throne. For decades, established rappers have been forming groups or teaming up for one-off collaborations. In the ’90s, there was TRU (Master P, Silkk The Shocker, C-Murder) and Westside Connection (Ice Cube, WC, Mack 10). With 1999’s Blackout!, Method Man and Redman, two rappers who got famous in different … More »

Lil Peep Was A Star

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On the day he died, Lil Peep posted an image of himself shirtless onstage, his head out of the frame, on Instagram. Its caption: “When I die You’ll love me.” If this was almost any other artist, a portentous and prescient statement like this might seem eerily appropriate, like Peep had some sudden … More »

A Viral Grime Parody Is About To Become The Biggest Grime Song Ever

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Guns don’t go “skkkkkkrah.” They don’t go “pap pap kah kah kah.” They definitely don’t go “skidee-kee pap pap.” Michael Dapaah knows this. The first time he made those noises over a beat, Dapaah, a Londoner, was making fun of grime MCs’ tendencies to go crazy with over-the-top ad-libbed gun sounds. It was a joke … More »

Big K.R.I.T., Rapsody, Yelawolf, And The Changing Nature Of Southern Rap

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Big K.R.I.T. has always sounded like a throwback, but when we first met him, you could sound like a throwback and also sound like the future. Seven years ago, I interviewed an ascendent K.R.I.T., just after he released his breakout K.R.I.T. Wuz Here mixtape and just before he announced that he’d signed with … More »

The 21 Savage/Offset/Metro Boomin Album Is A Halloween Miracle

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21 Savage gets it. On the outro of “My Choppa Hate Niggas,” one of his solo tracks from the new 21 Savage/Offset/Metro Boomin collaborative album Without Warning, Savage mutters about horror movies: “Feel like Jason, Friday 13th / Hockey mask with the .223 / It’s a nightmare on Elm Street.” The Metro Boomin track … More »

Future And Young Thug Joined Forces, And The World Didn’t Change

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For me, the weirdest thing about Young Thug doing a full album with Future is that Young Thug has already done a whole album with a fake Future — and the album he made with the fake Future happens to be the best thing he’s ever done. In fairness, it’s probably reductive to call Rich … More »

Coming To Terms With The Idea That Post Malone Is Good

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It was the Steve Austin podcast that did it. Once upon a time, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was the greatest star that professional wrestling had ever known. These days, he hosts a rambling, perversely enjoyable podcast. Most of the time, it consists of Stone Cold having long conversations with old wrestling buddies about their road-trip … More »