Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Shy Glizzy, Kelow, Substantial’s Google Calendar

Glizzy Growth

Shy Glizzy’s new mixtape, Fxck Rap, is an evolved and shockingly mature mea culpa. Whereas the last joint positioned Glizz as D.C.'s noisy contrarian and a hot-headed rap-beef instigator, it sounds like he wants to take that back. “No more guns in my videos—it’s fucking up my zeroes ... I’m the neighborhood hero.” Arts Desk will take a deep listen and offer more fleshed out thoughts next week, but on first listen, this thing recalls Tha G-Code-era Juvenile: moody beats full of rattle, reflective shit about getting stabbed backstage, and sing-songy raps with haunting, self-aware hooks. Get the tape.

Kelow’s Cloud Opus

The post-A$AP Rocky and Main Atttractionz web of cloud rap is a sound I enjoy a great deal: rap music as a hazy mood that vividly details accessories. It’s about being stoned, as opposed to getting stoned. For instance, you wouldn’t rap “I smoke purple perfect” because it’s understood that you’ve already smoked that purp, and now you’re in the cloud.

Area badass Kelow has appropriated the sound to great effect on the swagged out “Hit My Pager,” which pairs her with Tabi Bonney as she raps like a funnier and cooler Da Brat: “I just be that '90s baby stylin’ crazy.” “Pager” is the first single from her mixtape Stixxx-n-Stonez, which hits the Internet on Christmas Eve. The placement of the Screw hook is borderline genius, and slices off the perfect bit of prose to cut, paste, and manipulate.


Def Certificate

DMV producer Certified just released Certification on his Certified Music imprint. The cover is a certificate. The work is a batch of excellent original beats that each feature a rotating cast of green emcees—there’s a guest verse from some bro named Brad Tanner, and others from Steven Drakes and Ryan Tolson. Is this a group project for dude's Masters program? Whatever happened to giving all of your buddies ridiculous monikers?

On a whole other tip: One of my inner-circle people growing up was a Central Texan Czech named Scott Migl. Our predominantly Hispanic high school yearbooks constantly listed him as Scott Miguel. His rap alias was Illegal Migl and he didn’t even really rap. One time my buddy Xavier “XDaddyMac” Rhines was recording some tracks, and inadvertently shouted him out with the name "Migl The Seagull." That name stuck and to this day when you hear a Birdman call you know Migl the Seagull is in the building.

Substantial’s Google Calendar

On “Movin’ Alright,” the just-released bonus track from Substantial’s excellent September LP, Home is Where the Art Is, Sub offers us a peak into his weekly planner:

Monday
Wake up early, mentor children professionally and deal with an hour-long commute. It will be a long work week.

Tuesday
Hang out on U Street, generally make moves.

Wednesday
Tweet, perfect the flow.

Thursday
Much-needed QT at the crib with wifey, child.

Friday
The late shift: rap shows and pushing merch. Don't forget to sell merch!

Saturday
Go to the park with family, unwind, drink plenty of hot tea and honey. Be kind to your vocal chords.

Sunday
Write and kick it with Yu. Record this dope-ass Oddisee beat that’s been sitting in my inbox all football season.

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