Speakerblogggs is Chart Attack’s roundup of great hip-hop that we think deserves more play.
This week, dive into new mixtapes from the late Doe B, hip-hop glitch collagist D/P/I, and King Los.
King Los, Zero Gravity 2
Now that he's off Bad Boy Records and pursuing a totally independent career, King Los wants Zero Gravity 2 (his thirteenth mixtape) to be undeniable. Given what's at stake, it's not surprising how many different areas of rap he's determined to plant a flag in; what's really shocking is that he has the versatility to pull it off.
In the locker room amp-up of "Creator," Los affirms his royal status indirectly, by lamenting the weight of the crown. His lyrics on each subsequent song take on similarly intelligent and sideways turns on each act of the mixtape: it features trapping and its attendant loneliness, plush sing-song pick-up anthems, a series of freestyles on established beats and a smattering of attempts at more sounds of the moment (the widescreen hyphy of "Fake Niggas Died," the Chris Brown-ish stripper anthem, "Me Too," etc).
But on each track Los seeks to top established rappers with a dense lyricism: most notably, cartoonish vocal lapses (hi Kendrick) and emo-thug croon (sup Drake). The conciliatory tone of his "Control" freestyle blunts this a bit, but it's one of the few tapes this year whose lyrics stick in the back of your mind, subtly demanding repeat listens and decoding attempts throughout the day. Download at DatPiff.
Doe B, D.O.A.T. 3
Doe B was tragically gunned down last December in front of a nightclub in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. He was dubiously compared to The Notorious B.I.G., though that had more to do with his weight than his delivery, which recalls a less loopy Gucci Mane who clearly valued his own perspective on the street.
Over a prevalence of steel-tipped neo-South beats on first posthumous release D.O.A.T. 3, Doe probes different emotions with an album's level of depth: the ties of family and the street, beef, sex, and doing what it takes not just to survive, but thrive... time-tested themes that could never be trite if spoken by someone who really believes in their potential for important stories. And Doe B was certainly that.
My personal favourite track: "Whenever Wherever," playful yet tough and tight enough to wrap a kickboxer's bandages, enough to bring out a tough, hoarse verse from B's Grand Hustle boss T.I. Download at LiveMixtapes.
Thanks to a serving of distended Gucci Mane vocals (he's everywhere this week, huh?!), Jeanette assumes a glitched, barely rendered mutant hip-hop in a similar league to YAYAYI's H20$$$SPORTS$$$ and Boy Froot's ßitch $hift. But what's unique to D/P/I (as demonstrated on previous releases) is how he unites the percolating sounds of house with hip-hop, tosses them both in the oven at 1000 degrees, and melts them together in real time.
As the productions of The Bomb Squad (and more recently, Death Grips) united clashing, blown-out samples for something new and industrial, Jeanette attempts something similar but more elemental, airy and aqueous.