DC up-and-comer Shy Glizzy’s Law 2 was a 2013 standout, full of the bitter, angsty contemplations like the gut-punch of “Money Problems” that make Glizzy so compelling. That scowl-through-the-pain quality is still present on follow-up Young Jefe, but it feels like less of a definitive statement as to who he is. Perhaps that’s more a result of DC’s still relatively pubescent rap scene—despite the rise of promising young dudes like himself, Fat Trel, Young Gleesh, and more, the city has less of a nationally recognizable “sound” than more prominent regional scenes. It’s easier, understandably, to deign towards rap mecca Atlanta’s more solidified sounds than to forge a path alone, and Glizzy veers towards that at times here, particularly with its abundance of Zaytoven productions. Some of the tape sounds like a more energetic and lyrically oriented Young Scooter (who appears on “Medellin”). Its high points still sound definitively Glizzy, though—I’m optimistic he’ll come to trust his own vision as he moves forward. At his best, his nasal voice sounds on the brink of unraveling completely, creating a cool tension between what he says and what he might mean, like on “Awwsome,” where his fraught delivery seems to bely his cocky lyrics.
Highlights: “I’m On Fire,” an eerily stomping number whose hook at first seems fanciful, but speaks to the dearth of legitimate ways to get rich as a young black man: I could’ve been a lawyer or a doctor, I said fuck that, I need mula, I’m a robber. “Catch A Body,” a Zaytoven production that takes his penchant for flutes to unprecedentedly fruity new heights (and it rules).
WTF: Oh, another Scarface homage cover.