Chill Will, one of the many rappers only I care about, is a (former?) Gucci Mane protege, and the only BSM member I’ve been consistently impressed with in years. Admittedly, his success rate more than likely comes from the lack of music that he releases, especially solo material, but he’s captivated me in all his features and the few songs of his own that have trickled out. The latest of which found its place on a mixtape dominated by Future songs (the standout of which being the great “YSL Cheetah”, a song far more reminiscent of his 2011 mixtape run than the autotuned-ballads that finally got those more stubborn critics to pay attention to him [hey guys!]). Despite being randomly dropped in a slew of songs by more recognizable names, Chill Will’s Mike Will-produced banger stands out as one of the more instantly gratifying listens.
Will’s thick drawl, which is as Bama as it comes, is his main selling point, but it’s hard to deny the unusual wavelength Will’s on. Though Will’s certainly no Southern gentleman, on this particular track, he spends the entire track dismissing females who lack proper etiquette. It isn’t groundbreaking, but Will is at least offering more than the far more blogged-about Ice Burgandy, being one of the few Brick Squad third-tiers with a fully formed personality. Will maybe a student of Gucci, but he doesn’t live by his tricking philosophy; evidenced by the first few bars, where he refuses to buy his lady friend something as lowly as a single banana.
Gucci Mane (feat. Future) - Fuck The World (Brick Squad, 2012)
Gucci and Future have finally found their stride this year as a duo after a string of disappointing projects last year (including the enjoyable, yet entirely uneven FreeBricks), and “Fuck The World” is just another exercise in this new found chemistry. It helps that Mike Will helmed the song, and with the resurgence of creativity he’s brought to Gucci this year, along with his musical soulmate Future, this was bound to succeed even if all the elements didn’t come together.
“Fuck The World” certainly isn’t a perfect record, and that’s really no one’s fault but Gucci’s. Even though Gucci manages to come out looking strong in the end due to some unexpected disses directed at Yung Joc and Block Ent., he’s clearly coasting here, and sounds mostly uninspired. When he says “I did a song with Lil Wayne and I killed it,” rhyming the previous line with “killed it” yet again, you’ll be longing for the days of “AK47 hit ya everywhere from the ankle up”.
Truthfully, this song could’ve failed without Future; but Future’s slightly angsty, but mostly resilient chorus is a beautiful thing to behold. That’s not even touching on his verse, which caps off the song, where he once again visits his sickle-cell-ridden sister from “Bigger Picture,” and the cousin who killed himself in “Deeper Than The Ocean.” Future really gives you a reason for his fuck the world mentality, and its his positive demeanor while spouting off these terrible life events that makes this verse truly motivational.
My favorite 2 Chainz track from last year (thanks, Mike Will) has been given a music video, which looks like it was directed by Jordan Towers but was not. I buy da pussy, you payin’ for it/PUT YO HEAD THROUGH DA HEADBAWD
The unofficial sequel to Weird, Gucci focuses this whole song around the concept of being Santa Claus. It’s always refreshing to hear the playful Gucci of yore, but he’s seriously rapping about throwing pipe bombs down chimneys on this song. Maybe a late contender for rap song of the year? It definitely helps that Mike Will Made It.
Mike Will’s Established in 1989 dropped yesterday. Featuring amazing songs from Future, Gucci, Schoolboy Q, Travis Porter Lil Boosie, Waka, Slim Dunkin and others. Mike Will is seriously producer of the year.
Young Jeezy (feat. Future) - Way Too Gone (Def Jam, 2011)
Jeezy’s TM103 could’ve been a lot worse than it ended up, but thanks to some smart production decisions, as well as a decent cast of guest appearances to help lift the load (no Alley Boy), it is a solid entry in Jeezy’s catalogue, if nothing else. It is undoubtedtly the worst album Jeezy’s released to date, and he is little more than a shadow of his once dominant self, but we know those odds are often defied in the world of rap.
Perhaps the moment that glistens the brightest on TM103 is the Mike Will-helmed, Future assisted Way Too Gone. Way Too Gone starts off strangely enough with Jeezy’s voice run through a filter, the volume adjusted a few decibles below where it should be, making you question if you just downloaded a faulty copy of the album. The Mike Will Made It tag comes in, and the next four minutes are glorious. Jeezy’s hook-making ability is strong here, as it is often on the album, and Mike Will’s lushly-trap instrumental adds a lot to the atmosphere.
Future obviously kills it on the last verse - I’m really surprised he wasn’t given hook duty, but I guess Jeezy didn’t want shown-up that badly. As much as I like 2 Chainz, it’s funny seeing his feature Supafreak trying to follow this. Neither the beat nor 2 Chainz’ verse can compete with the combination of Mike Will and Future - potentially the most potent duo in all of rap at the moment.
Schoolboy Q - My Hatin’ Joint (Top Dawg Entertainment, 2011)
It’s the case of a once overlooked producer working with an overlooked (but not for long) rapper. Mike Will has been going hard since at least 2007, back when Gucci Mane slayed his beats regularly. He’s only recently come to prominence since Meek Mill’s breathrough hit of the summer, Tupac Back, a beat that was considered faux-Luger but sounded better than essentially anything Lex had done in half a year at the time. His work with Brick Squad helped shape his sound, and he helped shape the sound for the Luger’s and Southside’s who followed (contrary to popular belief). He’s been everywhere this year, producing for everyone from Ludacris, to Future, and now Schoolboy Q.
I first heard Q on Kendrick Lamar’s awesome Michael Jordan, and it was pretty much a wrap for me from that moment on. Q has more than a handful of flows, and even though I expected him to get his snarl on and tear this beat to shreds, he actually uses his laidback flow found throughout most of his underrated Setbacks, released all the way back in January. Mike Will changes up his style for this, with some Legend of Zelda flutes and an all around whimsical sound. Q on the other hand asks a brothel of women why they’re with their shitty boyfriends, showing signs of jealousy, but also some concern for the women he’s addressing (despite the fact that there’s, like, 12 of them).