Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Who let these new kids in? I see them with their Thrasher shirts, prescription pills, and prostate-stimulating repetition. What happened to the days when Trick Daddy and Gunplay tried minting Florida rap with a lyricist's imprimatur? SoundCloud rap is just dexontextualized postmodern appropriation, which proves we've reached the end of culture. Right? Yes. No.

Cry if you want, or blame someone. Not Rick Ross - he exists in a geohistorical void of his own making. It's Spaceghostpurrp. Not just the father of all these reprobates, he is their direct link to the old school ("I'd bring Markese with me to the studio," Morrison says. "He'd just sit and watch Disco Rick work the engineering board. It definitely got Markese's attention."). Now we have a traceable lineage, now we have cause and effect, and we can sleep easily at night knowing that the problematic rock bricolage of a Xxxxtentacion isn't that far away from "Fuck Around The Clock" or "Do Wah Diddy", and Little Pump and Smoke PUrple circle around the same blown-out absurdist drain as "Let's Get Muthafuckin' Stupified" and "Smurf Rock."

Raider Klan inaugurated a distinct break from the half-thizzy club anthems of yesteryear (despite Denzel Curry honoring Bizzle on "Envy Me"). Whether this was a deliberate aesthetic choice, or an effect of generation gaps, urban sprawl, personal enmities, or insider/outsider industry politics, it marks a splintering - a rupture. Existing parallel to Raider Klan and their children, traditionalists like Ice Berg, Lil Dred, and Mike Smiff continue producing content steeped in familiar conventions. Like Kodak Black, who combines new-gen meme literacy with older rap styles, Ballgreezy stands between movements but remains outside them, continuing in a post-jook mode while softening its Dionysian edges with grown-man world-weariness. At times he resembles one of the mournful songmen of today; this might be the case, and yet Greezy was crooning before Wayne and Kanye broke down the R&B doors and liberated moping for the kids of today.

Who will unite the Florida factions? Who will be the self-conscious Jay-Z or RZA attempting to bridge the gap of false binaries, long after anyone cares? I see a fat man in the distance. Who is he? He smells of wings. It's Rick Ross, the man without a country. He holds the key - interlocking Wingstop gift cards. They represent money, fame, industry clout, and $50 worth of Wingstop product at any Wingstop location. As of this writing, he is the key who unites the various schools.


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