It’s a new era of decadence for SoCal hip-hop, and to understand what I’m talking about, you should really give OG Cuicide’s new single “Keep it G (feat. AD)” a close listen this September. While the bassline in this track isn’t exactly crushing, it has more in common with the metallic beatings of heavy rock music than it does anything I’ve been listening to among the poppier rap music out right now. AD joins in the mix with an enthusiastic vocal well-matched with OG Cuicide, but if you were to ask me which dimension of the song best represented its identity, I’m not sure I could say.
None of this is to suggest that “Keep it G” is somehow devoid of the personality that separates the studs from the duds in this game, but moreover to acknowledge just how multilayered a performance we’re being treated to in this single. The bass is quite muscular but non-intrusive with regards to the vocals, giving the rappers just enough room to colorize the groove without eliminating their ability to be freeform rather than rigidly following the beat. AD is particularly relaxed in his rhymes, emitting confidence with virtually every word he records.
Though OG Cuicide is the hardest boss of any featured player on his new album OGs Are Forever, I have to say that he really shows a lot of maturity and skill in how well he manages the spotlight alongside someone as qualified as his collaborator in this track is. He lets AD shape the menacing element of the lyrics only to swoop in and give us a melodic release when we need it the most, therefore maximizing the catharsis of the hook while still building a little more tension for whatever’s awaiting us in the next stanza. It’s progressive-minded, and perhaps the most ‘alternative’ element to note here.
The percussive component is rather limited when compared side by side with what the bass and vocals are putting down, but it still frames the chaotic exchanges between these rappers with an elegance I wouldn’t have been quick to replace. You could absolutely spend a lot of time breaking down all of the details in the track – they’re seemingly endless from certain angles – and still, I’m not totally convinced OG Cuicide meant for “Keep it G” to feel like a concept piece. It’s more a teaser, a sampling of what could soon be, which is even more exciting in my opinion.
You don’t have to be a hardcore rap fan to get lost in the grooves OG Cuicide and AD have compiled for us in their new single, but for those of us whose daily playlist consists more of hip-hop than it does any other genre of music, it’s a diamond in the rough for sure. “Keep it G” is somewhat on the experimental side, but whether it’s the start of a new trend from its creator or simply a fleeting thought in his creative process, you really should be listening to it.
by Bethany Page