It wasn’t so long ago that Big Boi and Killer Mike teamed up to resurrect spaced-out country rap with their witch-doctored mixtapes, Got Purp? Vol. I and Vol. II. Before migrating to Atlanta, SL Jones heard those peach-city psalms from a half-generation down and a couple states west. On “Swervin,” he resuscitates their devotional sentiment in a manner befitting his own lineage. Producers Smiff & Cash uprooted a buried Scar vocal sample from Vol. II and reshaped it as a one part screwed, one part sweet hook for Jones’ piano-laced ode to the enduring value of rough cars and the good people of Texas. Jones explains:
I have a lot of respect for Houston culture. Screw music—it’s more than an art form, it’s a lifestyle. From the slang they use, to the cars they drive, to the slowed down sound, Houston has a lot of pride, and all that has influenced not just hip-hop but popular music as a whole. Really, I just wanted to make a record to show my appreciation for what Texas, and Houston specifically, has contributed to the game. I got the beat from the homies Smiff & Cash of Heatwave Productions, and I had this idea for a sampled hook—half melody and half screwed up. So I had Smiff chop a sample of the homie Scar singing for the first part of the hook and had him chop the Screwed Up Click sample, which was already screwed, for the second half. I already knew Trae was gonna kill it, but on top of that he’s an original SUC member, so it was really the perfect fit. It was just cool to make a song dedicated to the Cutlass. I learned how to drive in a baby blue old school Oldsmobile Cutlass. Cars like that never lose their value in the hood. They just get better with time.
Download: SL Jones f. Trae, “Swervin”