Friday, August 8, 2014

"Low" ft. Young Thug, Nicki Minaj, & Lil Bibby- Juicy J

I honestly don't know what the weirdest part of Juicy J's new single "Low" is. It could be Dr. Luke's darkly slinky beat, which has unnerving "wooden" synth rattles that could've been culled from a sci-fi horror flick. It might be the realization that in 2014, after more than 20 years in the game, Juicy J songs are more anticipated than ever. "Clique balling out like the '98 Lakers," he sprays in his halting tone. Considering how cruel hip hop is to old heads, it's a borderline miracle the Three 6 Mafia co-founder has maintained relevancy. Not to mention Juicy hasn't slowed down one bit from the hedonistic streak that made 2000s "Sippin on Some Syrup" so magnetic. 

Upping the ante on strange is warrior queen Nicki Minaj, fresh from her ravaging of the "Flawless (Remix)." Minaj is always good for off-kilter brags and on "Low" we get, "All this ice all around me like a penguin, I ain't talkin' bowlin' but I'm with the kingpin." It's just a table setting though for a devastating double-time flow she adapts as militaristic snares drown out muted bass. Burgeoning drill rapper Lil Bibby, who was 5 years old when "Sippin on Some Syrup" dropped, is tasked with maneuvering through the wreckage Harajuku Barbie Minaj leaves behind and marvelously succeeds. The Chicago native asks that you "Call me King Tut, all this gold on," and threatens "if they try to rob, got the things tucked, you ain't seen nothing," all in his hoarse murmur. Listeners here for J and Minaj will wonder "who is this kid?" and they have every right to. Mainstream fans have zero expectations seeing his name on the marquee, so a head-turning performance like this is oddly revelatory.

Of course when you're talking weird only one person (or alien) can win and per usual it's Atlanta's Young Thug. After one of the busiest months I can remember a rapper having, Thugga's performance here is limited to an Auto-Tune slathered hook. Not that it matters. His out of tune wail "I get a brick, you know I get it for the, low, Her ass so fat, I told her drop it down, low," is just the right mix of engaging and eccentric. While everyone else is trying (and succeeding) in tapping into their inner weirdo, Thug's Mr. Casual. He wears his odd on his sleeve.

Juicy J's new album Pure THC: The Hustle Continues drops some time this year.

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