Discover more from No Oldtimers
The Mark Twain of Detroit, The Smokers Club's Newest Member?, and No Passion, All Technique
The Mark Twain of Detroit
Twitter people say it best sometimes.
You get the point, but still, here is, in essence, my years-long stance, said better and more poignantly than I ever could by LakeSkoDrive:
I thought I’d have to keep saying “Hold that [insert trash-ass artist] album; we want Veeze!” I was wrong. The Play-Snippets-On-Instagram Live maven from Detroit (otherwise known as Seven Mile Veeze) has proven that he’s more than just talk and dropped the long, long, long awaited follow-up to his debut tape Navy Wavy.
It’s called Ganger, and, to put it simply, it is silly. Not because it’s goofy or corny or buster-ish, or anything like that, but rather because Veeze raps his little size thirty ass off, practically running circles around listeners for the entirety of Ganger’s sixty-minute runtime. The way Veeze takes control makes this the type of shit that’ll insert you directly into your respective bag. You can drop 2020’s “Law N Order” or 2022’s “Let It Fly” at any moment in time, and anyone within earshot will be operating outside of themselves (in the most perfectly outrageous way possible). With this tape, it’s no different, as the pint-sized sipper casts spells in real time, making his wildest dreams a reality. It's a beautiful thing to witness. Listening to Ganger is like watching a high school baller demolish a five-player set of eight-year-olds with merciless abandon—it’s exciting, jaw-dropping, surprising, and, above all, downright disrespectful to all these other “rappers.”
Just listen to the cacophonous and unbridled “Not a Drill.” Veeze starts rapping before the 0:01 second mark, before the beat can even show what it’s made of, and from this moment until the end of tape sealer “Tony Hawk,” it’s game time. Producers Pat Switch and BeatsByTaz utilize horn-driven tumult to toss lobs for the Detroit rapper, making sure that he yams every single one home. He’s on his “say random flex” type shit, which I normally don’t care for, but he makes it sound fucking awesome. Any other rapper would say a line like “I damn near got hеad from every bad bitch in the city, keep that,” and I’d think it’s pedestrian and normal. When Veeze says it, though, he raps like it is pedestrian and normal for him. He never offers even a modicum of excitement or vulnerability, just slurred composure. And that’s cool.
Every Ganger song is like this. It’s incredible. Like everyone says, Veeze raps like he’s sick of it all, even as he makes the wildest, most gauche claims. It’s what makes Veeze special. On top of everything, it feels like the tracks are hardly sequenced, though it wouldn’t change a thing if they were. Veeze just does not care, and he’s that much wilder for it. He runs purely on the energy of his own swagger, and as far as the swagger goes, the swagger goes far, handily slingshotting himself above the clod.
And, as always with Veeze, it’s “fuck a feature.” Out of twenty one tracks, there are only five features, two of which are on the same song, and one on a remix. These days, that’s unheard of, but this is Veeze we’re talking about. Out of everyone, he’s the one to (mostly) go it alone. That said, the features do not disappoint. Mentors Babyface Ray and Icewear Vezzo rap like they drew the blueprint for the modern Detroit sound on “7sixers”—they did—and Lucki and Lil Yachty provide a welcome contrast to Veeze’s signature mouth-full-of-food rasps on their respective tracks (“Phone broke” and “Boat interlude”).
I’m realizing that I lied when I said the features don’t disappoint. My apologies; there is one major stinker. I hate to say it, but Lil Uzi Vert has NO business coming near a remix of “GOMD.” For whatever reason, rap superstars (other than Kodak) cannot ride Detroit beats. In the past, they ate Future, Jack Harlow, and Pusha T alive. Now, they’ve got Uzi, too.
One thing is apparent, however: Veeze really cares about his beats. Every single one is bonkers. Like it’s regular, he steezily swings from classic, Detroit-style shit (namely “SEXY liar” and “7sixers”) to chintzy New Atlanta fare (“Broke phone”) and whatever the fuck kind of music “Weekend” and “Safe 2” are. I mean, come on, the lineup of producers is insane. To have a range from greats like Rocaine, Come on P, and Pooh Beatz to newbies like Tye Beats and the incredible tandem of Ddotfreezing and 614ASE is truly something. Clearly, Ganger is stacked from front to back.
An album like Ganger is insanely difficult to write about. It’s almost futile. Shit like this is made to be experienced and lived in, not summarized by some joke-ass writer, but still, I do as I must. Like I just said, the beats are outstanding, but, despite that there are only, like, three hooks on the entire album, it is wholly thronged with quotables, stank face-inducing bars, and even a few moments of humanity. In fact, it’d be easier for me to compile a number list of all of Ganger’s incredible moments. Even then, it’d easily be over five hundred items long. Truly, it’s a Sisyphean task.
That said, I will try to pin down the five absolute highlight tracks and the things that make them great. It shan’t be easy, and my list will probably have changed by the time you read this. Regardless, we roll:
“Boat interlude” featuring Lil Yachty
FREAK FACTORS: Veeze’s mind-numbing decision to pitch down his and Yachty’s vocals (were they rapping so fast that their vocals outran the beat? Is it simply because it makes it sound so effortless?); “My momma think she made me great / I think it’s the drugs” is too fucking tough; ”My money different color, rainbow, I think that it’s sus”—and this just one of countless cackling one-liners.
FREAK FACTORS: INSANE beat from G-Lok; the absolute bar-fest that is the second verse; Veeze self-owning by rapping, “Rich off the mumble rap (‘Veeze speak up!)”
FREAK FACTORS: Released back in April, this was the single that proved Ganger was on its way. The one-off singles from 2022 were simply to get listeners ready; Truly, what the fuck got into Tye Beats when he made this beat??; I’ll say it again—Veeze just sounds cool. What more can I say? He’s out here running laps!
“No Sir Ski”
FREAK FACTORS: To keep it a buck fifty, this was my least favorite track when I heard. Veeze leans hard into his raspiness and tendency to maffle his words, but now that I listen again, I have been proven wrong. This song rules; Veeze is operating at his scariest while completely dismantling GLA's well-crafted instrumental; the way he butchers Luca Doncic’s name deserves to be studied by a cabinet of the universe’s foremost speech pathologists.
“Robert De Niro”
FREAK FACTORS: It actually lived up to the hype established by the snippets, and that deserves to be celebrated; the deliriously fun chorus; imagining Veeze’s little baby face on the hundred dollar bill as he raps, “I ain’t in the mood today, I’m blue, I’m a C Note” is too funny; calling 42 Dugg his hero for pulling up with an uncracked pint is incredible; This inexplicable sequence: “She tellin’ her friends that we fucked, but they never seen me, they startin’ to think it’s a myth (Think they lyin’)” → “She wanna fuck when her kid goes to sleep, I think she a MILF (What?)”; the bar in which Veeze realized that he was still human—”I need to cut back on mud, I started seein' the drank when I'm takin' a piss (Ugh) / I need to stop all the drugs, I'm treatin' the bitches I love like pieces of shit.”
I just can’t quit! I need one more: “You know i”
FREAK FACTORS: Why would producers MitchGoneMad, WessGoneMad, and BADMON choose to flip a sample of “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”??? A better question to ask is, why wouldn’t they? Sensational.
Every single song is incredible for its own special reason. Ganger really proves that Veeze is at his creative precipice, not unlike prime Lil Wayne. The drugs are hitting just right, creative juices are being feverishly excreted from Veeze’s glands, and Veeze can do no wrong. If he went full 2006 to 2009 Wayne mode and released a million mixtapes and another album in the next few years, each one would be monumental. That’s just how Veeze is right now. The only thing that can get in his way is himself. Hopefully, he can safely maintain whatever it is that allows him to rap like this and ride sleepily into the sunset.
To close the perfect circle that is this lovely review of Veeze’s masterpiece, here’s a quote from a great modern culture theorist:
Thank you for reading, and go with god.
The Smokers Club’s newest member?
Drake is, infamously, embarrassingly, and unshockingly, terrible at smoking weed (not unlike yours truly). But that won’t stop him from talking about it.
In an effort to drum up some hype for his much-delayed joint tour with 21 Savage on Instagram Live, Drake put on a brave face and hangdoggedly admitted to having done so just moments before his audition for Degrassi! Scandalous!
Read Drake’s very words, ripped directly from his Live, for yourself below:
Someone asked me the other night what my biggest fear is, and I’ve never really had a good answer for it, but my answer was that all this is for nothing. Kind of the idea that, like, one day, life ends and it just all goes black. And I guess that question, like, sent me, you know, obviously deep into a spiral of thought. And it makes me think about my life and how surreal it feels at times. I go back to this day when I was like 13 or 14. I had an audition for a TV show that ultimately shaped my life, and before my audition, I went to this kid’s house. And I, out of, I guess, a desire to be accepted, I would succumb to peer pressure, and I got high with these kids right before my audition. I kind of wonder, like, if something bad happened that day or, you know, maybe I’m still high, maybe I’m in some coma. And this is just, like, me playing out my ideal life. And yeah, that concept has stuck with me for a lot of years. I mean, it feels like reality, it feels tangible. But I definitely wonder sometimes.
I have this to say to Drake—welcome to the real world. You don’t have to be ashamed about smoking weed before auditioning for Degrassi. You were but a young man. No need for retrospection. In fact, you’ve joined an elite club of those who blow down trees before they go to work, one that includes esteemed individuals such as Angus Cloud of Euphoria fame (your very own show!), disgraced NFLer (and former car salesman) Josh Gordon, old crow Willie Nelson, every rapper other than Vince Staples and Tyler, the Creator, and literally every single employee since the inception of capitalism.
No Passion, All Technique
The “Talk your shit” button has returned! Rejoice and be glad, for this is the Kingdom of Jim. All is right with the world, and I’ve got to put you all on game.
In case you forgot how it all works, here’s the skinny: if I like an album/mixtape/project/song/whatever, I’ll give it a good, and if I don’t like it, I’ll give it a not good. If that doesn’t work for you, I’m sorry, but if you ever think I will stop going in, just ask the homies. I’ll always keep it thurl in a way that only I can.
Rock with me.
Big Heart small world by WTM Scoob
Is Scoob back in Wrld Tour Mafia, or did all the DSPs make a mistake? I don’t care. With the release of Big Heart small world, he proves that he really is back and ready to prove that he’s the second best rapper from the WTM lineage (Not an insult!) Good.
Gush by 9million
The Homie Shit Mag-affiliated, Toronto-based supergroup 9million can do no wrong, and they’ve done no wrong once again with the release of Gush, the follow-up to 2022’s mesmerizingly beautiful Between Us. It’s six tracks in length! But two are covers. But they’re covers of The Jesus and Mary Chain (“Sometimes Always”)! And Sky Ferreira (“Everything is Embarrassing”)! Good.
Victory Music by RealYungPhil, Gud, Woesum, and Yung Sherman
Anytime the Swedes choose to link up with an American, it generally results in greatness. (Looking at you, Halsey.) Victory Music, RealYungPhil’s collaborative effort with Gud, Woesum, and Yung Sherman, is greatness. Listen to “Winners Circle” and tell me I’m wrong. I’ll wait. Good.
“The Hillbillies” by Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem
As the saying goes, the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. In other words, the whole family shtick from Kenny and Keem has gone on too long. We don’t care. How about we focus less on family and being annoying, and more on ackshully rapping well as a tandem? Not good. Great beat and video, though (respective shouts to Evilgiane and Neal Farmer).
“Troops” by OsamaSon
This New Atlanta shit is nutty! And even though he’s from South Carolina, OsamaSon is leading the way on the strength of “CTS-V” and this very song, “Troops.” Absolutely gorgeous. Good.
“Penance Unending” by World Peace
Remember the “Seven Seconds or Less” Run & Gun Phoenix Suns? For the subhumans that don’t, look it up. World Peace, a trio of bass guitar, bass guitar, and drums, is the powerviolence version of that. With every song, there’s an equal chance that they’ll either score or they miss; what matters is that they never stop shooting. Luckily for World Peace, they shoot a lot, and they never miss. “Penance Unending” is no exception. Perplexingly, the track is only nineteen seconds long, and they still made a video for it. I love that. Good.
Speaking of Drake, he was just in Detroit for his It’s All a Blur tour. Naturally, he needed to post something to his story. For some reason, he was compelled to put this up:
That’s right—he was in Detroit, the city of beautiful angels, and he chose to kick it with…NHL legends Chris Chelios and Tie Domi? Some questions are better left unanswered.
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