Sunday, January 24, 2016


If you hang out around Magic City's orgone accumulator long enough, you bound to hear someone compare Spodee to Neal Cassady sooner or later. After all, most listeners are more familiar with Spodee as a name in Young Thug songs than a rapper in his own right. It's the kind of product placement Don Draper would have kreamed his khakis for (I assume—ya boy only watch One Day At A Time repeats on AntennaTV), but it ain't like Yung Ralph has done anything with the boost he got lending *JuugMan voice* to Young Thug's best commercial single.

To the horny watercooler philosophers of Magic City, I say this: whereas the highlight of Kerouac's kareer was appearing whiteboy wasted on Firing Line, and Cassady was nothing more than a dick to ride, Young Thug and Spodee have each blessed the public with varying quantities of excellent work. Those burdened by the shape of rap to come may delude ourselves into thinking victory was had with the silencing of Rawkus counterrevolutionaries, but the concept of rap as-it-should-be remains as fractured as ever. Spodee is both a bridge between Atlanta's current crop of space oddities and streetcorner vending machines, and a throwback to a humanist sensibility now quaintly out of style.

"Trappin Out Da Partments" bears this schizophrenia well, sounding like Dungeon Family in the days after Jeezy. What Spodee does well is offering more texture than the serial trapists of the day, without plugging his ears to their innovations. Breezy backdrops veil introspective fusillades on "Frozen In Time" and the Turk-assisted "Winning," and Spodee comes off like a Chance The Rapper who didn't succumb to his most precious affectations. Most importantly, he again puts himself in an elite club of surf-n-turfers: Remember when I had to starve for a day? / I'm bout to go eat a lobster and steak / Have you ever needed someone to call / When you were locked up in county or state?

Head over to your favorite mixtape juugman and say, "I want my B.I.D. 2!" Tell 'em the world's biggest Pat Harrington, Jr. fan sent ya!

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