This year was the coming out party for Tee Grizzley and his hardcore rap delivery. His single “First Day Out” became an international phenomenon, earning him the attention of millions of fans across the globe. He didn’t stop at his first taste of success; he kept pushing, releasing a steady stream of music for fans, carefully making sure not to oversaturate his growing pool of art. As 2017 closes, we look back at some of his best releases that truly show his ability to craft quality music.
A quality piano riff can make for an incessant earworm of a song, one that causes tracks to play endlessly in the head for days at a time. This is the case with “Win” with the piano serving as a backdrop for Tee Grizzley to unleash a verbal assault like he usually does. Grizzley’s vocals help to offset some of the repetitions in the beat but they also compensate for it as well. He spits a dizzying assortment of bars spun in all directions, detailing his life and situations that make listeners nod their heads in agreement.
Anyone who’s been to Detroit and has gotten a taste of its street life knows of the horrors that many people have faced within. Grizzley chronicles these terrors, and the city’s bloody history, in “Teetroit.” The solemn single is dark, mysterious, and downright brutal. Its feature on the soundtrack for the film Detroit, which tells the story of the Algiers motel incident during the 12th street riot of 1967, indicates the power of music to intertwine with real events.
It’s rare that we’re exposed to Grizzley’s more melodic side. On “Secrets” from his debut project My Moment, Grizzley croons about the skeletons in everyone’s closets; how do we keep them? This question manifests itself through a helping of verses where Grizzley tells about the secrets he’s holding and just how hard it is to live with that burden. The silky-smooth production sits back and lets Grizzley paint masterpieces with his words as the tools to do so.
Beef (ft. Meek Mill)
Meek Mill’s energetic appearance on tracks only elevates the power of the main artist(s). Tee Grizzley wisely enlisted the Philly-native to boost his own lyrical prowess on a cut that details what beef is and what happens to those unfortunate enough to partake in it with the two emcees. It’s a brisk cut that’s risky but ultimately works out fine. Both give standout performances that show they aren’t the people that you’d want to mess with.
From The D. To The A. (ft. Lil Yachty)
Being able to connect with a rap superstar, whilst you’re still coming up, and showing out over the same record can be a daunting task. In this case, Grizzley’s light years ahead of Yachty in terms of sheer rapping capability. How could he tame his self not to slaughter Yachty on the same track? Grizzley manages to succeed and pulls off the ultimate balancing act; not too excessively lyrical, but not streamlined enough to be considered mediocre. The track works to perfection as both artists play off of each other effectively, creating one of the best overall releases of 2017.
This Year In Diss Tracks – Ranked
In 2018, there’ve a number of beefs but only two have spawned diss tracks: Pusha T versus Drake and Machine Gun Kelly versus Eminem. The four tracks that have come have been brutal attacks on character of varying levels of severity. It’s time to rank them from worst to best to figure out who had the best assault on character.
4. “Killshot” by Eminem
Eminem’s diss to MGK shows that you can be the better rapper, but you can still drop an abysmal record. Em’s raps were fast and tight, and, admittedly, rhyming “damn gun” with “man bun” is as hilarious as you would think. But it ultimately lacked the heft of the classic disses in history and showed that, when left to his own devices, Eminem just can’t keep up with the new guys.
3. “Duppy Freestyle” by Drake
Drizzy’s diss towards Pusha T came from a stray lyric or two from the latter’s Daytona which he perceived to be directed towards him. In true Drake fashion, he trolls Pusha T for the course of three minutes in a fast, breathless flow that even mentions Pusha T’s wife, Virginia Williams. But Drake would soon find out that he had pressed the wrong one…
2. “Rap Devil” by MGK
No one in history would have believed that Machine Gun Kelly would best Eminem in a battle of diss songs. But he did with “Rap Devil,” a play on Em’s self-proclaimed title, that shared just how far Em has fallen from rap’s grace. Kelly’s allegations rang with a curious sense of disappointment and an overwhelming sense of bravado that made many feel that he won their brief battle.
1. “Story of Adidon” by Pusha T
Pusha T’s response to Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle” was magical. A moment in time created to the backdrop of ” Story of OJ” by JAY-Z that turned Drake’s world upside down. The revelation of the Canadian crooner hiding a child shook him to his foundation and showed that he wasn’t impenetrable as many believed.
A Year Ago Today, G Herbo Released ‘Humble Beast’
Now, when we hear G Herbo’s music, we think of the careless Swervo. The rapper who could say so much more, but chooses not to to break into new territory due to his fans wishes. But prior to that he was Herbo, the Humble Beast. Understanding who that is and what he represents comes with listening to Humble Beast, Herbo’s debut studio album that released on September 18, 2017.
Herbo’s debut came after years of grinding in the underground circuit. He outlasted the drill era of Chicago and worked to establish himself for years. When he finally came into his own in 2017, he was fully formed, polished, and ready to go. Humble Beast showcases that confidence and declares Herbo as one of the best rappers in the game, period. The ways that he brings classic street rap to the forefront with a collection of dark, foreboding beats invites that feeling of nostalgia that arises when listening to old Dipset.
While many debuts often try to tick every box to create a comprehensive project that showcases the breadth of their abilities, Herbo creates what he wants to create. There’s no faux push for meeting pre-established metrics, just hard-hitting lifestyle rap that covers the breadth of his experiences. Humble Beast’s authenticity is unlike any sub-21 rapper’s catalogs in nearly two decades. It proved that Herb has a story to tell unlike anything we’ve ever heard before.
Five Gems That You May Have Missed This Week
We’re back with another installment of fiery jams straight from the cloud that you may have missed this week. Check them out below:
LouGotCash has a smooth jam on his hands with “Too Turnt.” With a simple, earworm repeating refrain, Lou’s ability to transfix the audience is immediately apparent. New age rap’s hottest rapper Trippie Redd also joins in for an energetic chorus that showcases just why he’s in such high demand.
BigBabyGucci is fast coming up as one of rap’s hottest artists. His new single “Number 1 and Number 2” allows him to reveal why he’s so highly sought after with smooth melodies and earnest flows.
BOOFBOIICY has been up for a very long time. His spacey new jam “Same Shit” is the kind of off-kilter hit that’ll go far in transforming his brand into something legendary. We heard it once and we’re already hooked.
Goon Des Garcones is a new name to the 4ShoMag staff. His new track “New Stimulations” is sonically arresting, brash, and irate. We love it for what it is though – angry entertainment.
This may not sound like something we’d normally cover, but Mike Floss puts his foot into this one. His melodies are bold and fit the production like a snug glove. It’s definitely one of our favorite tracks of 2018.