There’s a near-constant stream of quality music coming from the Minnesota rap scene, and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to pick a few highlights from the past week in new releases and videos. Here are 5 that are definitely worth your time.
Tall Paul - “No Questions”
Tall Paul delves into police brutality and anti-blackness in the U.S. with an acute precision on “No Questions,” one of the strongest cuts from his 2015 album No Good Good Guy. In this powerful video from director Mercies May of Strange and Distant Pictures, a fictional depiction of a police killing of an unarmed black man is filmed in reverse, contrasted with the non-violent arrest of a visibly threatening, knife-wielding white perpetrator. “The song tells the stories of George Stinney, a 14-year-old African-American boy who was executed in 1944 by electric chair for a crime he was wrongfully convicted of, and Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy who was murdered by police in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014 while he was playing with a BB gun,” says Tall Paul about the track.
Migos - “Bad and Boujee (Yoshi Ashi Remix)”
Understanding the subtitles of the original, St. Paul’s Yoshi Ashi’s ambient remix of Migos’ chart-topper “Bad and Boujee” brings the vibes down deeper and draws out the downtempo drawl of everyone’s favorite triplet-spitting trio. A languid counterpart to Metro Boomin’s sleeper hit, the beat crawls and stutters in tandem with the nonchalance of the vocals, turning the track into a hypnotic haze.
Kash Da Kid - “Get You Some Money”
Northside rapper Kash Da Kid shows off the spoils of his labor and insists you follow suit on the motivating “Get You Some Money,” a cut from last year’s 1990 mixtape which (along with the video’s closer, “Money On My Mind,” and a “To Be Continued” teaser title) recently got the visual treatment from director Fella Fellz. Attractive women, champagne, and high-end suites all signify the level he’s on, and as cash floats freely across the screen, the idle boasts become amplified by the lavish visuals.
Blanda - Blue Flannels EP
Producer Blanda’s quick EP is a textured listen, simultaneously engulfing and made to play the background. An instrumental triumph that expertly juggles synth washes, driving bass, and subtle rhythmic complexity, Blue Flannels is a great introduction to the bubbling sound of one of St. Paul’s hidden gems.
Mista Maeham - Position of Power
A long-awaited and unprecedented local addition to DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz series, Mista Maeham’s Position of Power is a strong, lengthy release that shows off a wide spectrum of his abilities as an artist and features quite an array of guests. With verses from Jadakiss, Beanie Sigel, Cassidy, and many more, the project touts Maeham’s impressive network and flexibility of talent, maintaining a high level of vivid street rap excellence that will help to further North Minneapolis’ presence on the national map.