Rap music has always been aspirational: Something at its core is about moving up, starting from the bottom and ascending. In a sense it's the American dream, rags-to-riches ambition set to a back beat. It's the perfect soundtrack for go getters, and money (as a primary means) is one of rap's most popular subjects.
From Rakim's "Paid in Full" to Wu-Tang's "C.R.E.A.M," it's all about the Benjamins, baby. And North County rapper Steez76D is all about the dough on his newest release, "Blue Faces." Produced by Risky Beats and featuring Mac Lucci, Demrick and Karma, this one is all about paper.
While most of us were lallygagging and hitting the snooze button, Steez76D & Co. were working: "I been gettin' to the money (to the money)/20's, 50s, hunnids (and them hunnids)/I been gettin' to the money (to the money)/and you ain't gettin' nothin'." It all seems easy to come by as he drops big bucks on hotel suites and high-end cars, "Whipping foreign/four in the morning," but it's more celebration than frivolity. Instead of spending for the sake of spending or just because he can, Steez76D is rewarding himself for honest work -- he's earned it.
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"Blue Faces" is unapologetic in its coveting of cash, but so is Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents." And where "Dead Presidents" suggests a come up by illegal means, "Blue Faces" doesn't. Steez76D might be rapping over a trap beat, but he isn't rapping about his days in the trap house. And it makes him easy to relate to. While most of us don't know what it's like to sell dope at the dope spot, most of us do know what it's like to want life's finer things.
Even so, there's more here than rubies, diamonds and quick trips to Vegas. "Blue Faces" speaks to expensive toys and precious stones, the ability to travel in style, but it's also about a certain kind of freedom, that unrestricted feeling of liberation and independence that for most of us only money can offer.