SOB X RBE Credit: courtesy the artist

By the end of the year SOB X RBE, the great rap hope of Vallejo, California, will have dropped their first two studio albums, February’s Gangin and its new sequel, Gangin II (both out on SOB X RBE/Empire), and possibly broken up—or at the very least, it seems likely  they’ll no longer be a foursome. On Wednesday, September 19, rapper Yhung T.O. announced he’d be done with SOB X RBE after Gangin II via a now-deleted Instagram post. Some online rumors suggest the group will disband, but it’s hard to consider SOB X RBE without T.O.’s soulful melodies, which are as crucial to their identity as Slimmy B’s impatient flow, DaBoii’s serrated bars, and Lul G’s uppercut rhymes. On Gangin, they mix pop-forward hooks with the kind of jittery hyphy-influenced rap that made them heroes in Vallejo—a party-rap collage that made their contribution to the Black Panther soundtrack (“Paramedic!”) hold ground amid tracks from Vince Staples, the Weeknd, and TDE’s entire roster. “Made It,” a sun-soaked, upbeat single from Gangin II, feels slightly melancholic given SOB X RBE’s current state. And if the rumors are true, this will be the last time SOB X RBE—this version of it anyway—play Chicago.  v