At the stroke of midnight on the Friday before T-Day, after every rap-hungry viewer spent hours watching and focused on the Atlanta hip hop Super Bowl – the Verzuz season 2 opener of Jeezy and Gucci Mane – it was nice to ‘come home’ and see that Philly was well represented. Not only were big label Philly voices Meek Mill and Tierra Whack dropping tracks, so too was the little known but just as strong, AnnonXL.
For Meek, the long-rumored, up-and-coming new tracks came in the form of the 4 song Quarantine Pack EP, and an accompanying video for Millie’s duet with Lil Durk, “Pain Away.”
The slow, hard slamming (and weirdly wobbly – listen hard) track and its video finds Meek looking for who he was, “feeling like a Crip, because I can’t even trust my blood,” and concerned about trust and getting through the pain.
The video looks too as if it was filmed along Kelly Drive, and features Mill counting hundreds and driving dirt bikes – so that’s fun. Other feature guests on the EP are Vory (“Middle Of It” and “Think It’s a Game”) and 42Dugg (“GTA”), but, as always, Meek is the lodestar and centerpiece. As it should be.
Where Tierra Whack is concerned, after dropping the “tabletop ballet” of “Dora” and its animated Alex Da Corte directed video on Halloween, this weekend found her with two new singles in the aptly titled neo-funk of “feel good” and the whistling, squelchy “PEPPERS and ONIONS” – a delightful, clip-clopping track that finds Whack sweetly singing “I’m only huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuman.”
Lastly, but certainly not least-ly, is the less well known (well, than Whack and Meek) AnnonXL. The LGBQT Philly club rapper and R&B vocalist has a dramatic new single “baby’s first time” (lots of AutoTune with some handsome acapella riffs) which happens to be the precursor to his upcoming new album Stupid Cupid, and a honey of a melodic track all on its own.
A good weekend worth of Philly listening if you ask me.