Gotti, Zoe, Boosie, etc.

Cocaine Music 2

Yo Gotti’s always been a sort of nomadic soul amongst pseudo-underground Southern rappers. Despite being from Memphis he never really got entrenched with the major rap forces there (someone else could probably fill in the background better than I) and he never really felt right at TVT, where he released two albums this decade but never fell in with the crunk era there. In the past year or so he started showing up pretty frequently on songs alongside Gucci (most notably on “Bricks”) and I started to wonder if he would see any boost in popularity while Gucci was away in jail. As far as I can tell that didn’t happen— if anything that boost went to OJ, who had an actual promo push and a single and shit.

In any event I still have no idea what’s going on with him because Cocaine Music is basically an album of songs that, based at least on the amount of “Free Gucci” chants, probably have been laying around for a bit, and in the first song he says that he isn’t signed. It’s a really good bunch of songs, too. I haven’t seen production credits but everything sounds like Zaytoven or FATBOI.

“Shoot Off”

Sometimes I feel like Gotti can seem a little detached, like he’s a little too comfortable playing the raspy stoner. “Shoot Off” has a really quick-moving beat so it forces Gotti to ratchet up his urgency and he raps for basically four minutes straight about deals he’s done and whatever, but it stands out for two reasons. One, he’s earned the cynical veteran role that he assumes here, and the indignant and simmering tone he raps in sets the tone for the tape as a whole. Secondly, it’s a surprisingly detailed and varied track as far as these things go with Gotti rapping at Gucci about his incarceration (my interpretation, at least) and about why he didn’t join a gang and about moving coke in Toshibas.

“Sold Out”

“Sold Out” is about selling all your drugs, and so Gotti tries his hand at Jeezy’s kingpin swagger-rap, and it actually works really well in the same way “Welcome Back” did, with the caveat that no one can really replicate the way Jeezy turns into Godzilla on some tracks. But this is still impressive, from the way it makes an overdone ploy— “Showtime, mic check, 1, 2/ *girl screams “I love you Gotti”*/ I love you, too”— exciting to the way its chorus, like the one on “Make the Trap Say Aye”, is almost like an original playground chant.

“Drum Play” (ft. All-Star)

This one flips the gun play conceit pretty coolly: “Gun play, gun play, you don’t want no gun play/ hit em with that chopper, make it sound like a drum play”. Then the first verse: “Drum play, drum play, bitch I got a hundred rounds/ shoot that bitch a hundred times I bet you make a hundred sounds/ Tommy Gun, Mac 11, we can make a drumline/ Hit his ass with one shot, I bet he pray a hundred times”. It goes on pretty much like that, and never gets tiring.

Gorilla Zoe’s disco AutoTune album

“I Got It” (ft. Big Block)

The one thing I’m taking away from the truly weird Don’t Feed Da Animals is something that I kind of suspected ever since “Hood Nigga”, and that’s that Gorilla Zoe has a pretty good and pretty unexpected ear for a catchy melody. A lot of the songs, like “I Got It”, have Zoe sing-rapping in this loopy lullaby cadence, and it’s not exactly always a great look but it makes for an interesting quasi-pop album I think, especially when Zoe is singing all nonchalantly about you “leaking red plasma”. Makes me wonder what his “inspiration” was, and if there’s anything to it beyond trend-hopping, and if it was just him getting caught up in the AutoTune Era, I wonder if he just lucked into these often great tracks or what. There’s a song called “Shit on Em” that’s a pretty graphic song about shitting on dudes but it’s pretty melodic. I guess lots of people hate the album but personally it leaves me with lots of interesting questions. Lots of them are about weed.

Superbad

“Sunshine” (ft. Webbie)

Mad late on this one I know but Boosie basically leaked his album right? I can’t recall ever seeing anything about T-Pain or Bobby V collabos, and Superbad had been floating around for a while as the name of his album. I sort of talked about this in my last Boosie post, but there is basically no trace of “Wipe Me Down” in the guy’s music anymore. Everything is either super-aggressive like the T-Pain joint that leads off the tape (“If you ain’t down with Boosie Boo/ Fuck y’all”) or the pensive, bluesy shit like on Da Beginning that’s like the best rap music around. “Sunshine” is a song about clothes, watches etc. but it’s still restrained, if not somber, and it gives the song a really earned feeling. Webbie, by the way, is an incredible rapper.

Another post about OJ

Gorilla Zoe ft. Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman – “Helluvalife”

Haven’t heard the whole Zoe album yet (do I want to?) but I was naturally HIGHLY INTRIGUED by the Gucci/OJ collaboration. It’s about the fifth best Zoe/Gucci song that exists in the world (and about the 1,800th best Zaytoven beat), and it’s really only notable for OJ’s verse, made possible by the fact that Gucci appears to not be trying and Gorilla Zoe is now apparently incapable of not singing. OJ’s verse packs the vitality that all his verses seem to have, and it’s almost the quintessential OJ verse in a way because he rides along shouting as he does (actually starts off the verse biting Gucci’s Michael Jackson diamonds line from “Light Show”) not saying much but commanding attention, but he hits this line where it’s almost like he should be taking a breath except he goes “YOUNG JUICE MAN/ GODDAMN I’M A HUSTLA” and it’s an almost unexplainable “aahh” moment, like all the gears in his verse finally locked into place. It’s the kind of thing that seems tossed off until it’s chopped and screwed on an “anthemic chorus”, except with OJ the anthemic part is completely instant.

Tomorrow I’m going to post this video of Zaytoven that’s probably old news but dude is basically my favorite producer doing it right now and it shows him fucking around with a keyboard to get the burbly bleep noises that are almost his trademark so it will be a cool nerdy thing at least.