The Rap Report: Young M.A. channels Juelz Santana, new Bbymutha, Gunna, and more

The week’s best rap moments featuring Young M.A., Gunna, Bbymutha, MIKE, and more.

May 22, 2020
The Rap Report: Young M.A. channels Juelz Santana, new Bbymutha, Gunna, and more Photo: Cait Oppermann  

Every week, The FADER's Lawrence Burney picks out the best rap songs and moments in the world right now. Here they are, in no particular order.

"Dripset" — Young M.A.

At the beginning of the the intro on her newly released EP, Red Flu, Young M.A. chats to her homeboy about needing to shoot down to Miami to "feel some love." And from that point forward, the Mike Zombie-produced "Drip Set" narrates what that trip feels like. M.A. talks about the grand feeling of being at the red light in a fleet of foreign cars, downing bottles of Hennessy to take a load off, and how exhausting it is to constantly flex on brokies. The rapping that she does on the song's two verses — nimble with enough authority to combat the thumping bass — is enough to grab you, but hearing he interpolate a New York classic on the hook (Juelz Santana's 2003 hit "Dipset") adds a nice cherry on top.

"Met Gala" — Gunna

Gunna is the king of all things exquisite. He wears and customizes clothes that the majority of us will never be able to afford. His man purses carry more cash in them than we'll ever accumulate over the course of our lifetimes. And over the past few years, he's figured out a way to make every element of his music — from his comforting melodies to the pretty production he chooses — reflect the luxury that he enjoys in his day-to-day life. "Met Gala" is the best example of this on his newly released album, Wunna. For one, a fundraiser that raked in $15 million last year is the perfect inspiration for a song title. Second, Gunna levitates throughout its duration, boasting about all his aforementioned possessions and lifestyle.

"nothin2say (Never Forget)" — MIKE

New York rapper and underground star MIKE is one the best in the business when it comes to articulating precious thoughts and feelings, regardless of how difficult they may be. He also shares them in a way that can also feel therapeutic for not only him (presumably), but also for listeners who can relate. Earlier this week, he dropped a loose, self-produced track titled "nothin2say (Never Forget)" and throughout, MIKE looks back at events that he can't seem to get out of his mind. Coupled with soulful loops, his lyricism here outlines why he's one of the best that New York's underground has to offer.

"PI$$ED OFF" — Bbymutha

Earlier this week, Chattanooga native Bbymutha dropped "PI$$ED OFF," a song that builds on her legacy of affirming the autonomy she has in her own life and how little space she's willing to give to anybody and anything that doesn't serve her. Over a brooding, lo-fi KEADREAN beat that feels like it'd rattle the doors off an old hooptie, she raps relentlessly about using men for her own pleasure, toting glocks, and liking her coke "extra white like a racist." The hook shifts the song's momentum as she slows down her pace and doubles her vocals in a way that sound like a frightening supernatural creature has gotten into your brain, making orders. Though she didn't specify whether or not this track is a single for her forthcoming project Dark Web, she did promise that it'd be coming soon when she shared this.

Megan Thee Stallion's animated "Savage" video

Quarantine is likely the reason why we won't be getting an official video for Megan Thee Stallion's world-stopping "Savage" remix with Beyoncé — at least until each of their teams have figured out a way to pull it off convincingly. But in the meantime, Meg continues to (justifiably) push the hell out of her biggest single yet. The most recent extension of the track is a very on-brand move for the Houston native: a music video that incorporates her love for anime. In the video, a 3D Meg fights off agents with a bazooka-sized lazer gun and does the song's TikTok dance. But outside of that, there doesn't seem to be a central theme to what's going on — which is completely fine because its sheer existence is hard as hell.

"Gucci Sweatsuit" — Key Glock

Not unlike Gunna, Key Glock has made a career out of flaunting the luxurious items that he possesses and it's a miracle that he hasn't run out of ways to talk about them. Today, he released a new 15-track album titled Son Of A Gun filled with songs that are meant to be played at ignorant levels of volume in big spaces. But since most of us can't enjoy it in that way right now, a car ride on a living room turn up session will have to do the trick. An early standout for me is "Gucci Sweatsuit." It possesses creepy keys that put it in line with Memphis's long history of horrorcore rap, but the lyrical content deviates from that point. What Glock does best here (as he tends to do) is use his vocal inflections to his advantage — unhinged wales at the end of some lines add a nice touch. He also finds time incorporate the current state of the world with lines like, "Quarantined myself. The illest nigga in the room."

The Rap Report: Young M.A. channels Juelz Santana, new Bbymutha, Gunna, and more