GemStones ft. Sa’alek - XL (Excel)
Despite the severity of America’s obesity epidemic, fat is an issue rarely taken seriously in popular culture – and in rap, it’s hardly ever more than a throwaway punchline. For GemStones, however, the vicious circle of binge eating and insecurity is no joke. On XL (Excel), a standout track off his latest street album, the Chi-Town native gives listeners an up-close and personal perspective on the struggles overweight individuals face on a daily basis, touching upon everything from the self-consciousness one feels in public to the fear of serious health problems, flowing over the piano-led boardwork of A.J. Crew. After painting this painful lyrical picture, however, Gem goes on to recount the diet and exercise regimen by way of which he overcame his own weight issues, encouraging those in similar situations to “Never quit quittin’.” Topped off with the guest vocals of R&B singer Sa’alek, this powerful cut and much more can be found on the former 1st and 15th signee’s On the Road to Glory: My Story mixtape, released this past Saturday and available now online.