Lo-fi rap embraces imperfection. Artists and producers utilize unmixed vocals, distorted drums, and tape hiss for their practical and aesthetic beauty. From RZA and Dilla to Earl Sweatshirt and Roc Marciano, the lo-fi scene is as rewarding and overwhelming a subgenre as any currently existing in rap. The Lo-Fi Rap Snack Pack is a weekly column where we highlight four songs across the lo-fi spectrum. Listen to the Lo-Fi Snack Pack playlist for these selections and more.
Ru$h, Jay NiCe & Tha God Fahim — “50 Pounds on The Marble Floors”
This year, I’ve fallen into a Luxury Rap hole. Ru$h, Jay NiCe, and Tha God Fahim’s group effort, An Album Called Classic, is seven songs wrapped in premium velvet. On the standout “50 Pounds on The Marble Floors,” something is exhilarating about hearing this trio rap about Balenciaga turtlenecks and cocaine-white whips over Wolf Wilson’s twinkling beat. The song sounds like a Hermès chandelier gleaming in the foyer.
take1 — “lean wit it”
Life moves in strange ways, and sometimes we just need to lean with it. take1 understands this well. On his latest single, “lean wit it,” he weaves his way through life’s tough lessons and romance. He’s ready to run off with the girl of his dreams, and he’s “smiling when it’s dangerous,” which he makes sound effortless over the song’s shuffling beat.
chromonicci — “Wildlife”
Warm music is soothing, with notes and drum patterns floating through your ears like an endless river of hot chocolate. This will be the first image flashing through your mind when you press play on chromonicci’s “Wildlife,” a single from the Chillhop Music compilation album, Cabin In The Woods. The song’s piano keys, drums, and synths sound like they were created at dusk on a fall evening, worlds away from stress. It’s the type of soothing atmosphere that can coax your body into taking an afternoon nap you didn’t plan on. “Wildlife” is a special kind of groove.
Sherri Crack — “Broken Dreams”
Sherri Crack looks at the world unraveling and sees many desires unfulfilled. Police brutality perpetrated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across Nigeria for years, in particular, inspired Crack to record his latest single, “Broken Dreams.” On it, he remembers the fallen, talks down on the Nigerian government, and finds solace in staying well-dressed in the face of oppression over a skittering breakbeat. The strain in his voice is palpable, especially as protests rage on, and death continues to fill the air. Sherri Crack’s words are part of a patchwork that will hopefully inspire the masses to keep fighting for a better tomorrow.