This past Halloween, San Diego native and Make That Mill Entertainment signee Joey Wild released "Wild Cat Formation," a woozy seven-song set -- heavy with 808s -- that finds the young rapper moving through pill hazed nights, drinking dirty Sprite and spitting stream of consciousness verses that pull from time spent in the streets.
It's familiar hip-hop fare but Wild's take feels embedded in the music itself, like these tracks were made in rooms clouded in weed smoke where rows of half empty Styrofoam cups fuel creative inspiration -- "Wild Cat Formation" is what being high sounds like.
It's a trip that starts on the drowsy opener "Night Light," full of atmospherics and early hour fog with Joey rapping, "mixing up the purple potion, shorty keep it in motion," over the type of trunk-rattling bass that vibrates windows and wakes sleeping neighbors.
He sprawls out atop chimes and crisp snares via "Stretch Armstrong," featuring Little Bruh James, before sharing mic time with Lvrd Daphne by way of their "Purple Paint" collaboration. And so it goes, as his is a project loaded with cameos, a who's who of San Diego's fresh new talent crop.
While the cameos may seem like an indicator of Wild needing help, that simply isn't the case. Rather, Joey's choice of guests suggests a keen understanding of the song-making process with an A&R-like ear for what works.
And there's no better example than "Day N Night," co-starring TC Doe, featuring the instantly memorable hook, "All day and all night, trying to get my money riiiiiiiight," with Wild's non-sequiturs serving as the perfect counterpoint to TC's smooth baritone.
Be warned though, there's a parental advisory sticker on the cover for a reason. And with enough drug references to make a DARE counselor blush, it's clear why. But that being said, Joey Wild is on to something, and as a rapper who knows what he's doing and who to do it with, he's put together a solid effort, one that's made from upstart energy, stoned revelations, knocking beats and a complementary supporting cast.