Black and white image of PGF Nuk
still of PGF Nuk from the music video "Button Boys ft. Big 30"

Most rappers can only dream of making a song as powerful as PGF Nuk’s breakout single, “Waddup.” Superficially it sounds like a pretty standard drill track—terse verses in a wrought-iron flow, lean percussion, a sparse synth melody as chilly as a dusty pipe organ—but Nuk puts it over the top with his style. The Englewood native’s subtle yet pugilistic performance has just enough swing to feel unpredictable. He might lag just behind the beat or jump ahead of it ever so slightly to drive home his menacing, unsettling lyrics. Like all the best drill, “Waddup” channels its sense of threat into adrenalized fun concisely enough to slide right onto rap-radio playlists. It could carry an entire album, and it’s so good it could appear on that album more than once—which it does. Nuk’s new self-released Switch Music includes a version of “Waddup” that features star Chicago rapper Polo G (Nuk’s cousin by marriage) and closes with a “Waddup” remix that includes a guest spot by fellow Chicago hip-hop heavyweight G Herbo (who also drops in on opener “Hot Summer”). Switch Music feels a little long and suffers from some odd pacing, but when Nuk shines—as he does against the raw, blown-out bass of “Five Guys”—he sounds like he can make mincemeat of anything in his way.

  PGF Nuk’s Switch Music is available through the artist’s website.