This newsletter marks the latest installment of Irregular Vegetables, a weekly series of CABBAGES emails where I share links to recent writings from other hip-hop/rap/cannabis journos and critics, squeezing in my own work as I see fit.
Enjoy this week’s reads and keep scrolling for another edition of Crudites, where I recommend three recent singles/videos from hip-hop artists you may not be familiar with yet.
Internet rap, a term we can loosely define as “rap music that is made by and for internet circles,” is approaching such a level of cranked-up cacophony that even the ostensible mainstream feels avant-garde. In my mind, we are at least one era removed from Whole Lotta Red, the classic Playboi Carti album that set off the 2020s with its scalding overdrive. That was the Rage Era, roughly 2021-2022, where everyone was sliding on those glossy synths popularized by F1LTHY et al on WLR. Yeat quickly became the torchbearer of this new generation of cyborg-rap, but there was also Ken Carson and Destroy Lonely, Sofaygo’s ascension to Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Records, and some one-off hits here and there that fleshed out the era’s canon. Complex attempted to codify this movement as “SoundCloud 2.0,” but it never felt like the second coming of 2016 to me. A lot of it blended together. Seeing how quickly this sound was upstreamed through the Lyrical Lemonade YouTube channel and tipped by influencers like Zack Bia and Bobbalam, as though they simply wanted to showcase the Next Thing instead of something actually cool, almost felt nefarious. What we saw was the lawlessness of the SoundCloud boom sanitized into a souped-up, streaming-era product. Minions music. By the time Yeat himself had started to shift into a funkier style with his September 2022 album Lyfe, it felt like the sound was slowly dying. But something shifted late last year. (Read more at No Bells)
Ever since Tierra Whack burst onto the scene at the age of 15, she has consistently defied the conventional route to fame. Whether gaining attention by showcasing her rap skills on a Philadelphia street corner or captivating audiences with her unconventional and vibrant music and videos, Tierra has consistently embraced unpredictability. And her most recent film collaboration with sports and pop culture company Andscape, Cypher, is no different. Described as a “hybrid documentary-fiction film,” Cypher traces Whack's rapid ascent to superstardom at the age of 15, but this isn't your typical narrative. “Unexpected,” as the rapper herself describes it to Complex, is, in fact, the most fitting descriptor for the film's plot. (Read more at Complex)
Danny possesses a rare vulnerability. He’s an artist who, for better or for worse, has allowed us into the spectacle of his actual life. A good portion of his music from the last five years has directly reckoned with the psychic damage of being constantly perceived as the funny, f*cked-up guy. The video for “Ain’t it Funny,” directed by Jonah Hill and starring Gus Van Sant, is premised around a sitcom where Danny plays the skeevy uncle to a wholesome white family, acting like an exaggerated version of himself by smoking meth and drinking hard liquor straight from the bottle. A laugh track kicks in as Danny sullenly tells the audience, “I have a serious problem…stop laughing.” It’s a not-so-subtle comment on the prison of celebrity and the pressure to remain a stagnated version of himself that’s marketable enough to make a living. Would people still love a sober Danny Brown? (Read more at Passion Of The Weiss)
A state judge in Ulster County froze the interim program in August after four service-disabled veterans sued, claiming that they were illegally excluded from applying. They borrowed the argument from a lawsuit filed in March by a coalition of opponents that included four of the state’s medical cannabis companies. The settlement would end both lawsuits. It would also limit avenues for future lawsuits against the program. Going forward, 436 retail license holders caught up in the litigation would be able to open shops and begin making deliveries, including 23 dispensaries that were ready to open before the stoppage. Regulators would also be able to issue additional licenses. (Read more at the New York Times)
Three new tracks for you to snack on...
Meduulla, "Limbo (feat. The Mouse Outfit)"
Essa & Pitch 92, "Heavyweight"
KING VISION ULTRA, "Swing (feat. Nakama.)"