Z-Ro – These Days
I entirely slept on this when it dropped, but Beanz n Kornbread killed it and Z-Ro dug it up, shot it, and buried it again. I’m not the world’s biggest Z-Ro fanatic — I’m pretty sure you have to be from Texas to get the full effect — but he’s an unquestionably dominant voice. This isn’t, I think, the kind of track that most artists should attempt. Although lyrically-lyrical types will disparage emotive rapping in Pac mold, I think it’s actually much rarer, and therefore more powerful, when you find an artist who can pull it off. Most artists just don’t have voices like Z-Ro’s; they get around it by locating their talents in other aspects of rapping; writing, developing a unique flow, or, uh, adlibs, for example. An artist who reaches for this sort of thing often is Big K.R.I.T. While it feels like he’s just reaching his potential as a producer right now, I had started writing him off because he was relying on listener sympathy too often, going to the ~deep thoughts~ well a few too many times, and that’s a really tough thing to carry with any consistency.