Polo G Credit: Phil Knott

Chicago rapper Taurus Bartlett, better known as Polo G, rose to national prominence so quickly that new listeners could be forgiven for assuming he’s been a star for at least a few years. He broke out in January 2019 with “Pop Out,” a collaboration with New York MC Lil Tjay, where Bartlett mixes irrepressible joy and gut-wrenching sorrow in prismatic pop. Bartlett maintained that single’s narrative gravitas and melodic sweetness for the entirety of his debut album, June 2019’s Die a Legend. In early May, he announced his follow-up, The Goat (Columbia), on which he displays more flexibility as a rapper. On “Go Stupid,” producer Mike Will Made-It concocts an antagonistic vibe with metallic drums and austere keys, a mood that jibes better with the guests on the track, Stunna 4 Vegas and NLE Choppa, than it does with Barlett himself. He sprays compact, burly lines tinged with a bit of his old melodic bliss, performing with the vigor of an artist already hungry for the next challenge.   v