The first album of the new year deserves its own dedicated post…
My usual Roundup format will return in 2019, for albums that inspire fewer thoughts…which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better.
Case in point: I actually prefer Big K.R.I.T.’s album this week to Comethazine’s Bawskee 2, which I was initially inclined to label as a lite-mashup of Ski Mask the Slump God, Sheck Wes, Juice WRLD, and 6ix9ine.
But then it occurred to me: would I still consider it liter fare if I had encountered Comethazine before the others, all of whom only graced my radar in 2018, a year that also included Comethazine releases? Is it fair to dock an artist for unoriginality when he’s a total contemporary of those he purportedly sounds like? With proper PR, Comethazine could’ve been the OG to whom the others would be compared litely.
Sure, he lacks Ski Mask’s manic erraticism, Sheck’s raw intensity and pure rap skills, Juice WRLD’s deftness with the hook, and 6ix9ine’s musical abrasiveness (hopefully he’s not as abrasive a person… to say the least), but they’re all a part of the new wave of hip-hop, with each shamelessly leaning into their unabashedly amateurish sound to take rap into the realm of the weird, wild, and wonderful (I mean, just look at their names, for pEEte’S sake), a far-cry from the corporatized slick-polish of so much of today’s studio hip-pop. For his part, Comethazine directs his genre deconstruction at tRap, a once-novel mode of rap that’s since been beaten into the mainstream’s formulaic submission.
I’m sure this fresh and refreshing crop of newcomers will one day be similarly considered the old guard in need of a musical shakeup. Is there any value in separating its true founding fathers from those proliferating the movement, since that determination largely depends on whom the industry happened to notice first? It’s still too early in the form’s genesis to start placing blame on copycats for mooching the creativity of others, which will ultimately result in sapping the ingenuity of the overall style.
Comethazine is either a trailblazer or one of the first disciples, and there’s merit in both.