Chris Cassius – GFK

All things considered I am relevantly new to this whole hip hop thing. When I first got into it, I didn’t really do as much studying of the classics as I should have. Accordingly, my introduction to Ghostface Killah was his feature on Flume’s “Space Cadet.” I thought it was cool, but I also pretty much got what he offered from Action Bronson. Which is for sure backwards, as most see Bronson as a Killah copy. In any event, I never went back to check him out. And then he released that six and a half minute Action Bronson threat. It represented pretty much everything I hated about rap. So I wrote him off entirely.

Now I don’t know if Chris Cassius means to pay homage to, or insult Ghostface Killah, but his forthcoming sophomore mixtape is called GOATFACEKILLA. Hopefully its the latter, but either way it’s an amusing title. Looking to build hype for the project, the Baltimore native recently released a video for the lead single “GFK” and damn is it crisp.

The production credits are unclear, but it’s probably someone who gets paid cause its solid. I wouldn’t say the beat is anything new, but its got the full-bodied bass and clean hi-hats that so many try to emulate. Lyrically we are presented similarly familiar topics: struggling to be the best, calling out inferior rappers, and weeding out fake friends. What I enjoy first and foremost about this video is Cassius’ presence. His mannerisms are soaked in nonchalant confidence, providing an unobtrusive visual guide to his lyrics. The second think I like about this track is the wordplay sprinkled in.

“I pray I make it up to Heaven
But Imma give these n–gas Hell
Keep on saying I’m the sickest
Please don’t wish me well”

Here we get a nice juxtaposition where Cassius complicates his persona by pairing contradictory concepts. Despite acting hellish towards his competition, he holds on to hope that he will ascend to Heaven. Then he takes the colloquial use of sick and reverts it back to its standard usage, asking listeners not to send him any well wishes as this sickness he has is one he plans to maintain.

“N–gas see me out and then they speak
But they talking reckless in they tweets
140 fucking characters
So tell me which one you want to be”

We are lead to understand characters as the letters used to compose a tweet. But then Cassius flips characters to mean personality trope. This is a fresh way to call out those who hide behind a keyboard. Not only does it accuse those with Twitter fingers of being all talk, it reduces them to one of a rather limited range of personality types, as if to say Twitter is only made up of 140 different types of people. No matter how unique you think you are, you are really just fitting a mold.

Check out the video below and be on the lookout for GOATFACEKILLA, dropping sometime in the coming months. Also, for those interested in hearing Cassius speak on the video himself, check out the interview he did with Julie over at Flows For Days.

Ian Lunn

"Little things are big things to mice"

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