In 2021, rap is all about the nuance – and it starts with a single verse. Young Cooley isn’t playing games with linguistics in his new single “Lambo,” but instead offering us what could be some of his most cutting execution to make it onto master tape thus far. “Lambo” has a rhythm that pressures my man from the moment he steps into the second stanza forward, but although he’s up against a wall at a juncture a lot of other rappers would have used to create a smooth transition into the chorus, he sounds completely at ease – swaggering, even.
Young Cooley knows how to attack a lyric subtly, and with the instrumental thrust behind him in this single, he doesn’t have to sweat coming back at us with something heavier in the following verse. Showmanship is one thing, but putting a ton of fireworks on top of a straightforward rhyme is becoming a little too common for my taste as a lifelong hip-hop fan, and I get the idea this is a player who agrees. He’s getting right down to business in “Lambo,” which is something I wish I could say about the vast majority of his competition as well.
This track features a much more experimental groove than previous cuts from Young Cooley have, but I think it’s natural for his ambitions to be swelling at this stage of the game. He’s got a skillset that doesn’t need to be refined, lest it risk producing the same bleached sound a lot of rappers to the south of him in Jacksonville and Miami have been working with in the last year, and I don’t see where he has any other direction to go in beyond the mildly avant-garde. “Lambo” demos an edgy side I want more of, and I doubt I’m the only one.
These verses are really only half of the beat-shaping element in this track; the punchiness of the bass deserves a lot of credit for filling the void where other artists likely would have utilized a bombastic drum machine. Sampling without being predictably surreal is getting harder and harder in 2021, but Young Cooley has a way of circumventing the entire headache – he’s penning original beats like these, and putting down a reliable rhythm that doesn’t feel dependent on anything other than his delicate touch to sound spot-on perfect when it needs to be.
The bottom line here is a simple one; Young Cooley is a storyteller, and he’s unafraid to take his music and lyrics a little further to the left of the mainstream standard if it means making his point clear on the first run. “Lambo” sports a modulated flow that starts to feel like the ramblings of a truly intimidating beast by the time we get into the second half of the track, and if its monstrous presence doesn’t get you, the heartfelt release of its creator definitely will. There is no bigger genre on earth than hip-hop, and this man is among its most promising young artists.
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