Lately I’ve been stuck on Lucki Ecks‘s debut mixtape, Alternative Trap, playing some tunes a few times in a row (“Love It” in particular) before jumping down the track list and circling back again. Lucki’s nonchalant drawl and wordplay are something to behold, and the 17-year-old is so sharp and confident he comes across as peerless. Fortunately the MC is not alone—much of Alternative Trap is produced by folks in his crew, the Outsiders Clique, and they helped make the mixtape moody, moving, and a little outre.
Lucki isn’t the only rapper in Outsiders. There’s another rhyme-slinger in his crew named Wteve Baker, and he just dropped a song called “Gary’s Mod.” Wteve’s flow on the tune slightly resembles the unbalanced, unpredictable movements of a drunk stumbling through the streets after closing time, but with far more coordination and flair—he raps fast at one moment only to suddenly take a long pause and shift to rhyming at a significantly slower pace. His rapping is raw and mournful, and producer MoThoro provides the tune with the kind of twinkling synths and sparse, rattling percussion that makes it sound slightly unsettling and irresistible. I’ll be listening to “Gary’s Mod” quite a bit as I wait to hear more from Wteve Baker.