The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.
Happy Mardi Gras! If you’re lucky enough to be in New Orleans today, stop reading this and head down to Claiborne and Esplanade, where Juvenile will be performing his quadruple-platinum classic 1998 album 400 Degreez in full starting at 4 p.m. CST below the I-10 overpass. General admission tickets are still available via Eventbrite, with VIP “Section 6people w/Premium Bottle and hookah” passes going for the low-low price of $550 plus a fee.
If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to attend this historic event — whether you’re too tired from a month of carnival, forced to work on this most sacred of days, and/or not in town (like this writer) — you can take solace in the fact that there’s new music from Rob49, the heir apparent to New Orleans’ rap throne. Following early February’s “4 God II,” “Ball N Chill” is the second track Rob has released since suffering a gunshot wound during a French Montana music video shoot in Miami last month, one of 10 people injured in the fallout of a nearby robbery.
On the new song, Rob49 reminds us he’s got one of the rawest deliveries in the world, rapping with a renewed urgency that sounds both vulnerable and razor sharp. In the track’s music video, directed by Gerard Victor, he wears a sling and bandages — reminders of his recent brush with death — like badges of honor. But he’s quick to acknowledge the precarity of his situation in a song that’s as much an expression of betrayal and paranoia as it is a well-earned flex. “Too much hatin’, I can’t do my thing / Can’t do my thing, I’ve got like two more half-a-pounds to sling / Pounds to sling,” he raps on the chorus, fully aware that he’s got miles to go before he sleeps.