Arts Desk

Listen: Fat Trel Teams Up With Chief Keef

On the Fader-premiered “Russian Roulette,” underground-D.C.-rap-hero-turned-emerging national-product Fat Trel makes an impressive, aggressive power play. He’s hanging out with Chicago’s Chief Keef now, a 16-year-old prospect who just landed a Kanye remix on the strength of a stand-out March mixtape. Rather than tacking on 45 seconds of name-dropping and vague threats to someone else’s song, “Roulette” homages Trel’s 2011 “Respect With the Tech,” copying and pasting the hook line for line: “I got money. I got power. I got respect with the tech.”

Both songs are produced by gunshot-sounds keymaster Lex Luger. Here, Keef is raw and leans on curse words to drop his punches (“I be shittin’ on them bitches like where my manners at?”), and it’s the 21-year-old Trel who flies in with veteran, mechanical patterns like a Bun B guest appearance. In other words, Trel outraps little homie by leaning forward: Per the narrative, he actually just got rid of the iconic tech, citing too much money and power. He’s on some Batman shit, and prefers quiet nights at home with a rotation of church girls. The best rappers can take stale themes and make you laugh, and Trel does this when he raps, “I’ll fuck your wifey on purpose/I smoke purple perfect.”

In the end, the song lacks legs, but the association and its implications are a welcome notch. Keef is a prominent Twitter gangster, and exactly the type of lost-youth leader Trel should be playing with. Take a listen:

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