Apart from that very underrated Tyler kid that nobody on the internet is talking about, it's been a shockingly slow week for new rap music. But you'll hit any fountain in a drought, and that necessitated innovation is a blessing in disguise for those of us who seek out new rap music. We've been forced to explore previously untapped corners of the hip hop world. For instance, that one Inland Empire strip mall where all of last season's Jerkin survivors have been hanging out and Cat Daddying. Because those kids keep putting songs out, no matter what. Even if the entire music industry crumbled or every copy of FL Studio self destructed or the earth stopped rotating on its axis, some random LA kids would still figure out a way to tweet Limelinx to poorly mixed, post-Hyphy skinny jeans raps.
But this is a good thing. As it turns out, people who make music constantly tend to improve. Case in point—The 7th Letter, the latest offering from "Teach Me How To Jerk" architects Audio Push. There's some corny stuff on here, to be certain, and far too many half baked, Auto Tuned hooks and ill-advised ballads. But these guys have improved dramatically as ambitious and technical rappers, going from ah ah ahm hi I'm him / hair hang long right up under my brim to uniquely syllable stuffed and flows that sometimes resemble those of fellow LA spitter Kendrick Lamar (though, yes, he sits at an entirely different table in the proverbial lunchroom of Southern California rap).
Maybe it's the lingering influence of Lil Wayne (the fact that AP is throwing around the decidedly not Los Angeleno slang of "whoadie" all over this tape would support that theory), the present-day reign of oft underrated pop rap breath control masters Roscoe Dash and Travis Porter or a mixture of both, but it seems like the bar for technical rapping in this sort of lowest common denominator pop rap has been raised considerably over the past year or so. Simplicity isn't always the highest virtue for these guys anymore. In many ways, they are rapping circles around more critically and intellectually revered populist counterparts like Wiz Khalifa or Drake. Soulja Boy, who has an ear for what young people are going to like, has a guest shot on here. But fear not, he is still completely unconcerned with rapping well.
Download: Audio Push's The Seventh Letter Mixtape (via Datpiff)