Ladies First

How XXL managed to include both a token New Yorker and token white rapper but no women on their cover this year is a mystery, especially because Dave East and Lil Dicky have never had a song as good as Dreezy’s “Body.” And while Dreezy admittedly has yet to live up the promise of her scene-stealing cameo on “Break a Band,” she’s still a beast, as evidenced by her GuWop collab “We Gon Ride.” The shit already earned more rewinds than any Dave East or Lil Dicky record in history & not just because Gucci sounds invested in his verses again.

It’s impossible to know whether Gucci will stick to a strict policy of all-killer-no-filler cosigns—perhaps he’s minutes from a Post Malone remix. (I do not acknowledge the forgettable Kanye posse cut.) But his first big guest spots have been for Kodak Black and Dreezy, which suggest there’s been some forethought into which new generation artists he’s willing to endorse after the bleak Yung Lean “cameos” of the incarceration era.

Queen Key is a Chicago rapper who has that funny understated conversational rap style familiar to Big Tymers or Project Pat fans worldwide. I love “Baked As a Pie” thanks in part to its “Slob on my Knob”-esque song title, her dual fixations of weed and oral sex, and the part where she fills two full bars with the words “fuck” and “shit.”

Baked as a pie
And yo n***** ask me, “Why?”
I’m like bitch, cuz I’m high
It don’t matter why I’m high
Fuck
Shit
Ain’t nobody finna die
That’s what I tell my granny every time she see my eyes.

Her bulletproof attitude is very invigorating, gives me the confidence to feel extreme disdain towards lesser mortals on records like Sasha Go Hard collab “Been a Fan” or “Exposed” (“Face always in my pussy so we don’t see eye to eye.”)

As many of you doubtless know already, I’m an unrepentant CupcakKe stan, to the extent that I know the second “k” in “CupcakKe” is stylized in upper case. She is my favorite new rapper this year in part because she’s a better writer than any new rapper and in part because of her persona which… I don’t have a complete handle on it yet & I’m not sure she does either (she only just turned 19) but it is some kind of grinning camp court jester-type vibe as portrayed in the above video “Like a Snapback.” Her outward mask is one of deranged joy but then her bars are bluntly honest and precise, it’s very intriguing.

For an artist whose success has been driven mainly by explicit sex raps her mixtape Cum Cake shows so much breadth as an artist. Still I don’t mind that she’s focused on freaky raps as long as they are honest; even when covering a well-worn subject her punchlines make you wonder how it’s possible no one in the history of three-decade-old art form discovered them previously.

Her “debut album” S.T.D.: Shelters to Deltas comes out in three days

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