Tax day has gone and with it went whatever anxiety came with crunching numbers on a year’s worth of finances. Now’s a pretty good time to take a moment and celebrate getting past that hump, right? I’d suggest giving a listen to “Taxes” by Chicago duo the Guys, aka Fya Starta and Smelly LP. The tune’s got a syrupy, twilight euphoria, and when the MCs proclaim “we don’t think about no taxes when we walk into the store” I can’t help but be reminded of the sudden feeling of freedom that comes once I’ve successfully filed all that paperwork—taxes have a way of hovering over my head for months like a grey cloud, so the strange feeling of relief I get when I’m done with them is euphoric in a way you generally don’t associate with filling out government forms. Sure, the Guys aren’t talking about W-9s on “Taxes,” but right now it works as well as the duo’s Pokémon reference in the chorus (“I treat my money like a Poké Ball and throw it on the floor / Ben Frank, I choose you”).
I’m a little disappointed that the Guys didn’t include “Taxes” on their first mixtape since forming seven months ago, IG: We the Guys (it’s actually styled “IG:WeTheGuys_” to match their Instagram account). “Taxes” is a strong track, but it would’ve been a good fit because the mixtape came out Friday, just days before tax day. Still, even without the track I’ve dug it on a few cursory listens. It’s got the first track of theirs to catch my ear last year, “Flee,” a pulsating bop tune with a steel-drum melody played at a tempo approaching footwork’s speed, but what’s got my attention on this mixtape is a track called “Jessie White.”
I e-mailed the Guys and they say the track name referrers to the Jesse White Tumblers, the acrobatics organization designed to help at-risk youth founded by the current Illinois Secretary of State in 1959; the Guys tell me the song title doesn’t directly reference “the person Jessie [sic] White and/or his actions in any way.” Still I’m not sure White would go for the way the Guys use the Tumblers’ acrobatics as a metaphor for the kind of unsavory “flipping” described on the track, but it works well—every so often the line “Jessie White / I be selling dope like every night” will get lodged in my brain. Take a listen to IG: We the Guys and watch the video for “Taxes” below.