There was once a time when B.O.B. made good songs with relative consistency. Songs that were thoughtful, moving, sonically engaging, well rapped and devoid of a really pandering Radio Disney hook. One of these songs was "Life Of Sin," a karmic battle with blunts and bottles. It's arguably the best song that Bobby Ray ever recorded and shamefully nobody even bothered to put it up on YouTube, where "Airplanes" has 122 million views. "Life Of Sin" also featured another young Atlanta rapper by the name of Swagg. Despite his regrettable moniker, he held his own, rapping earnestly about his divorce on the lead-off verse.
Later, Swagg changed his name to the only slightly less awkward Spodee and signed to Grand Hustle, a label that today seems to only exist in the minds of the artists that believe themselves to be signed to it. He then began the slow trickle of unmemorable blog and mixtape leaks that artists signed to barely-existing labels often engage in. At best he held his own on these as a sort of lightweight Young Dro, at worst he churned out some generic and forgettable junk like this. But the few of us who remembered "Life Of Sin" still held out a glimmer of hope that Spodee would once again come close to the emotional depths displayed on that track. That day is today.
Taken from the latest compilation from A-Town production team SMKA, "Who Run It' finds Spodee going in on "Life Of Sin" style stressors like the allure of the streets and the death of his uncle. It also includes the phrase I'm standing ten toes down to the pavement facing a racist which doesn't look nearly as good on paper as his drawl makes it sound. It's sad because on the outro he rants about how "they" want him to do "textbook, rehearsed" records. Whoever is telling Spodee these things should be fired. Just drop dude in a booth and let him be himself.
Like its previous installments, the SMKA tape, The 808 Experiment Vol. 3 is a mostly on-point survey of middlebrow underground hip hop, featuring the likes of Davinci, Jackie Chain, Rittz, Casey Veggies, XO, 4 Ize, STS and more, backed by the collective's forward thinking and trunk rattling productions.
Download: SMKA f. Spodee, "Who Run It"