We seem to be awfully excessively protective of 9-year-olds recently. The Onion ate a shit ton of crow. And barely hours later another brilliant 9-year-old became the center of an unnecessary moral panic. We are, of course, talking about hip-hop phenomenon Lil Poopy.
The pint-sized rapper Luie Rivera, Jr., based in Brockton, Mass, has had a rough go of it lately. His videos were temporarily removed from YouTube and his dad has been put under investigation for child abuse, apparently because of Lil Poopy's videos showing him dancing with adult women and partying in clubs. (That the clique he reps is called the Coke Boys doesn't help either.) Even worse, his youth peers have been judging him, and everyone knows that only God can do that. But what about Lil Poop's music? Does it live up to the hype? Has he got the chops? Let's take a listen, shall we?
We listened to his Evil Empire-hosted debut mixtape Coke Ain't a Bad Word and found ourselves utterly flabbergasted: this kid is a boss.
First off, let's talk rhymes. Certainly, the young master Poopy has a je ne sais quois of rhyme and rhythm that eludes even seasoned professionals; some call it “speech effusive.” We're going to refer to it as “flow,” and the kid's got it. “I'm the one that Justin Bieber wanna be like,” he says, and it's probably true. And there are even moments where where he's incredulous of his detractors, “They stare at my necklace like they never seen one.” And, naturally, he gets into his romantic interests. “They say we too young / this is puppy love / but this ain't Bow Wow / I ain't a puppy dog / I hang with big dogs.”
Next, the beats he chooses to rap over, which are are sometimes kinda weak but that hardly seems to be the Poopster's fault. He's backed by a somewhat pedestrian combo of almost mid-'90s orchestral tropes and some weak ass bass at times. Arguably it highlights his sinister style, and we'll let such a rookie mistake slide amid the smoldering brilliance of a slow jam like his duet with The Mermaid on “We Go Hard.” Another crest in the Poop wave is the album-closing Caribbean-flavored “I Don't Give a What.”
Content is king, and that's where Lil Poopy totally sets himself apart from other lilliputian lyricists like Lil P-nut, and Kriss Kross and such. Where as those kids are all about the trials and tribulations of normal kids, Poopy's all about the reality of his surroundings. Brockton, MA is a hard-scrabble town. It's no wonder that the hometown of champion boxers Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Rocky Marciano, is also the birthplace of such a pugilistic poet. He's talks about “big thangs” and he's steeped in a fast-paced environment where being “about that life” means one is forced to grow up quickly.
There's is a misconception that Lil Poopy is actually some buck wild drug-slinging corner boy. Sure, he touts himself as an aspiring Coke Boy, but that just references Moroccan-born hip-hop artist French Montana (of “Pop That” fame), whose label is called Cocaine City Records. While Montana has kept his distance from the controversy recently, he has worked with him in the past.
And Coke is, after all, just a soda.
Still hating, chum? Let us set you even straight-er. Do you remember another delightfully bumptious, musically-inclined 9-year-old with some clever braids and an enterprising father of questionable moral calculation? Yeah.
Mozart. Wofgang Amadeus. The Salzburg Slinger. The veritable synecdoche for “prodigy.” Not to shock your mild sensibilities, you all, but Mozart did actually write an opera about a seraglio (aka: a whorehouse) 300 years ago, when people blushed over bare ankles. Chew on that one for a hot second before you trash a kid in 2013 for telling it like it is.
And just because Lil Moz' was slapping some ivories and not some bootys (that we know of), we're teaching that Austrian genius in public schools across the country. Well, some day, hip hop will get its proper critical due. And when that happens, after we watch Lil Poopy mature into Big Poopy, after his inevitable MC Pee Pants feud and Lil P-nut showdown — the defeat of Poopy's own Salieri's if you will — Poop will be given proper credit as the Mozart of our times. Believe it.