Last Thursday, South Carolina rapper and producer Speaker Knockerz was found dead in his garage; he was 19 years old. He’d produced for Gucci Mane and Young Scooter, French Montana, Shy Glizzy, and more, but his best work was his own; his two solo tapes, Married To The Money and Finesse Father, were criminally underrated collections of songs that bridged the gap between Travis Porter-esque posi-vibes strip club music and light-hearted Chicago bop (with some more serious moments in between, like his thoughtful “Rico Story” trilogy). His talent was abundantly obvious, and I’d been thrilled to see what 2014 would have in store for him. Speaker Knockerz: Gone Too Soon is a thorough compilation of his best solo material, released today by Atlanta’s Deejay Big-B—from the giddy “Flexin & Finessin” to the sultry, “My Boo”-referencing “Anybody” to his last release, “Lonely,” a pained narrative of the isolating effects of his come-up. It’s a bittersweet but essential listen.
Download: Speaker Knockerz: Gone Too Soon