Thursday, August 18, 2016
MAKE MEXICAN-AMERICAN RAP GREAT AGAIN
The artistic merits of "Fuck Donald Trump" were secondary at best, irrelevant at worst. It received critical acclaim for satisfying provisions of an unspoken agenda: hunger for political rap in the mainstream, historically the easiest way to legitimize the genre, and the desperate need for an anti-Trump anthem. Fuck Donald Trump, sure, but the rhetoric of "FDT" falls too often into The Donald's own talking points. The only Mexican mentioned by name is El Chapo; even then it's in the context of violence. After Mexplaining so hard on the original, you'd at least expect Nipsey and YG to get a Mexican rapper on the remix. Instead we have G-Eazy and Macklemore making me want to build a shrine to Lord Jamar.
Where are the Kid Frosts of today? Like Christian rock, Chicano rap is a megalith outside the mainstream, consumed by the thousand despite minimal-to-nonexistent press. YG made overtures in the right direction featuring Sadboy Loko on My Brazy Life. Whereas Sadboy is an extension of Chicano gangbanger rap, King Lil G is a sensitive street rapper softened by pop instincts, a cholo take on the J. Cole formula of conventional lyricism, polished song structure, and Millenial narcissism.
"Cold Christmas" is more along the lines of A-Wax's sad dopeboy mope-alongs, without the hard scumbag edges. When Wax recollects, it's usually about stabbing someone in juvie or an ex-homie or lover who eroded his trust in humanity. In contrast, Lil G's voice cracks with vulnerability when he remembers his mother's cooking: She made me happy with Mexican food...she made the greatest food. Unctuous as he sounds, Lil G's underlying moral core sells better than Wax's white-trash fatalism (I been bangin so long even moms says brazy), where the past is dark and innocence is irretrievable.
Cloying theatrics aside, it's still a pretty good song. A collaboration between Lil G and Kap G called Mexican Gs? Ándale!