Have you read The FADER's Blueface cover story? You should. Whatever your opinions are of the "Thotiana" rapper, the piece is an incisive look at how modern rap careers can emerge from online polarization – if you're lucky, the clash of exasperation and adoration can spark stardom. “The whole objective in this shit is to be a meme,” Blueface told our writer Ben Dandridge-Lemco. Fast forward a few months, and a freestyle from Stockton, California rapper Haiti Babii's recent freestyle on Real 92.3 has taken over the timeline.
The roughly two-minute session is a barrage of half-pronounced phrases, yelped and whispered sound effects, and a very piercing falsetto. A dragon gets referenced a lot. At one point, Haiti Babii stops "rapping" and starts speaking to himself like a wizard. "You are the chosen one, you are the champion, wise one," he says with a straight, serious face. A GIF of co-host DJ Hed's expression is already entering the pantheon of perfect reaction images.
After his session concludes, Haiti Babii explains what just transpired to the stunned DJs. “When I hear a beat I just kick into it," he says. "I don’t write nothing. I want to keep it authentic and original, all over the place so people can learn to keep your mind free. Free your thought.” I'm not saying that I couldn't be convinced that Haiti Babii's freestyle is some ultra-woke, third-eye shit, but I am saying that I'm not quite there yet.
However, as a marketing strategy, it's gold – near the end of the clip, Haiti Babii plugs his new project called Warrior. "I'm literally going to check it out now," Bootleg Kev says, and DJ Hed agrees. "I have to know." Mission accomplished, Haitii Babii.