Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Shy Glizzy, Alli the Abstract, Substantial, Tabi Bonney, Chris Bo

Shy Glizzy's Wishes

Shy Glizzy's most recent music video for "I Wish" is his most introspective and jarring. The Boyz in the Hood samples are appropriate, as is the broken glass... everywhere. It's a song about paranoia in which Glizz laments his role in society and communicates the kind of basic longing that his hungry delivery and distinct vocal inflections let him get away with: "I wish fake didn't exist." "I wish rappers told the truth and poor people were rich." "I wish I wasn't stuck on material things/I’d stand up but I drink too much lean." "I knew I was a shooter from my first pow/I hope I get to see my first child." "They told me to stop beefing and just get the bread, but niggas dead." The most jarring image hits us at the very end, when "R.I.P. Chernet 11/3/89—2/22/13" flashes on the screen. Glizzy dropped his exemplary mixtape, Fxck Rap, in December and it's basically a masterpiece. I wish that he stays with us for many more. —Ramon Ramirez

"Double Dragon"

Earlier this week, we came across a brand new Nike Nando track, “Double Dragon,” on the Trillectro Tumblr. Rhyming over a beautiful arrangement of keys and strings, Nando is joined by the DMV's Tabi Bonney, who boasts of his resilience (“Knock me down a thousand times, bitch I’m still gettin’ up”) and continuous quest for success (“This ain’t the next chapter, this another book”). T-Mos’ beat comes with a scratched hook that DJ Premier would be proud of, and as the track fades out, listeners are treated to an audio clip from the always-relevant Black Dynamite. Look for Nike Nando’s new project, SprdLv, on March 25. —Julian Kimble

Texting Cassie

Newcomer Alli the Abstract’s recent video for “Text Messaging Cassie Again” reminds us of how damn clever kids can be. The split-screen clip begins with the young rapper climbing to the top of a building while flowing over a beat that combines a sped-up sample of Missy Elliot’s “Take Away” with slowed-down audio of Kanye West’s “Top five MCs, you ain’t gotta remind me/Top five MCs, you ain’t gotta rewind me” line from “Barry Bonds.” A shot from Cassie’s “Me & U” video serves as an unexpected transition to young Abstract dropping gems like “I see C-cups, I never see enough/Blame it on the fact that I’m searching, these lumps/Wait—you’re a cancer/See, I got the answers/I’m odd, back of the book...” from a different angle. He displays smart, school-influenced worldplay that undergrads eager for spring break will appreciate. But I have to ask—where’d the vest come from? —JK

Substantial’s Fan Letter
In 2011, Prince George’s County MC Substantial underwent preventive surgery for cancer. As he healed in the hospital, he decided to record a tribute album to Philadelphia songstress Jill Scott, one of his favorite artists. Out this week, “Golden Lady” is the first single from Substantial’s long-delayed Jackin’ Jill album. Here, he fuses Stevie Wonder’s “Golden Lady” with Scott’s “Golden.” The result is a fluid, piano-laced tribute of hip-hop soul. —Marcus J. Moore

Fun with Hannibal Imagery

For this video, Chris Bo and Shy Glizzy revive the regrettable "horrorcore" days of the mid-'90s with a circa-Anthony Hopkins ode to serial murderers. Listen to the song and the visuals are a no brainer; there's an absence of T-shirts and some manic and murderous women, and the thing is shot inside what resembles a not-yet-finished suburban housing development (not particularly gangster, but weird and fetishistic murders are so suburban). Glizzy plays into the dress-up theme but his microphone demeanor is more controlled, so he sticks to his jean jacket. That's denim fresh. I mean, that’s #denimfresh (Let’s come together and make that a thing, DMV–stand up). —RR

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