Imagine clicking on SoundCloud eager to hear a one-off song from three incredible under-the-radar rappers and finding this as the description of the song: “Influential classical music for the bitches and hoes.” I wanted to laugh out loud when I read that, but then, I thought of how many men would probably read it and, once again, internalize thinking it’s OK to talk about women that way. Like it or not, reading that changes the entire context of the song for me; what a pointless, random way to describe your song and dim the impact it will have. It’s disappointing, it’s tired and it’s cliché. But the song isn’t. Welcome to the eternal cognitive dissonance of being a woman who loves rap music.
Anyway, as Tom pointed out a few months ago, New Jersey’s Da$h has a flow that’s so aggressive it sounds like someone trying to knife you, and he kicks the track off with some snarled, blunt verses. His rapping sounds like a dark euphoria, and these verses alone make me want to go listen to everything he’s put out. In contrast, Odd Future’s Domo Genesis sounds even more slippery than usual, rapping incredibly fast in a sleepy-sharp West Coast drawl. The throwback “classical” production sound here is familiar given Genesis’ 2014’s Under The Influence 2 mixtape leaned heavily on drifting boom-bap. Similarly, Queens’ own Remy Banks tends toward classic era production, and “4:50AM” was produced by Black Noi$e, who also handled a few tracks on Banks’ solo debut tape higher. He closes out the collab here with a smirking stunt-verse that captures the momentum he’s had this year. It’s the kind of song that makes me wish dropping one-off collabs would happen more often — and I rarely feel that way. Listen.