Pitchfork author Alphonse Pierre’s rap column covers songs, mixtapes, albums, Instagram freestyles, memes, bizarre tweets, vogue tendencies—and anything that catches his consideration.
Should you like hard-boiled, no-frills road rap that’s heavy on simple tales of cooking dope and neighborhood politics, BandGang Lonnie Bands is your dude. He began out within the mid-2010s as a breakout member of BandGang, one of the vital important teams in Detroit rap historical past. Since then, he’s cranked out a number of noteworthy solo mixtapes and laid down standout verses on a couple of of the most effective posse cuts in current reminiscence, together with 2018’s “Detroit to Inglewood” and 2020’s “Wack Jumper.”
Greater than anything, he’s constant—however everyone knows consistency isn’t a horny hook. He’s not going to place you right into a state of shock with uncomfortably hilarious tall tales like Rio Da Yung OG. He’s not as effortlessly cool as Babyface Ray or Veeze. He’s not upstaging Atlanta superstars on the common like 42 Dugg, or a borderline cartoon character like BabyTron. He’s only a actually good rapper, man, and within the final 12 months or so he’s been on a sizzling streak, as his music has taken on a extra anxious, insular really feel.
Lonnie has cited Tupac’s double-disc album All Eyez on Me as a vital affect, and that is actually captured on February’s Exhausting 2 Kill Reloaded, the sprawling (and superior) deluxe model of final 12 months’s Exhausting 2 Kill. It’s 25 tracks of bone-chilling ideas over a stream of muddy, piano-driven, Michigan-style beats. He whispers and murmurs in his deadpan cadence, his vocals extra sandpaper-rough and skittish than ever. Just like his Pac album of alternative, Exhausting 2 Kill Reloaded is a particularly paranoid, psychological report with fatalistic undertones. It’s made extra complicated by the Detroit manufacturing, which stays thrilling regardless of the melancholic temper.