Who said the south doesn’t have lyrics? At least that is the consensus and complaint from a number of heads who believe that lyrical content should precede beat making in Hip Hop. Traditionally, the Roland TR-808 “808”, the beat machine responsible for hits in the early 80s like Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing and Afrikka Bambaataa’s Planet Rock, has been the “Soul Sonic Force” in beat making for the commercial success of Southern Hip Hop. Andre 3000, Cee-Lo, and Scarface probably comes to mind when you think of southern lyricists but Don Trip and Starlito are a dynamic duo that deserve recognition for their efforts to produce a lyrically sound album in their second collaborative project, Step Brothers 2.
SB2 is a tale of two MCs who are inextricably linked to one another because they both stand out as nonconformists in Southern Hip Hop. The songs on SB2 aren’t made for the strip clubs or the trap. These guys are rapping simply to display their skill set; an abnormality in the south. Starlito hailing from Nashville and Don Trip repping Memphis, two cities in Tennessee that are distinctively different in culture yet distinctly southern, have a lot to do with the robustness of their sound. Starlito’s polished flow distilled with Don Trip’s raw delivery makes for a sour mash of good Tennessee whiskey.
Paper, Rock, Scissors, 4×4 Relay, Bunk Beds and Caesar and Brutus are cleverly executed concept songs that pertain to their Step Brothers’ moniker. Leash On Life featuring Kevin Gates is a more socially conscious song where Lito raps “Breaking down bales/Just to make bail/Catching sells off a sell until you’re in a cell.” In 4×4 Relay Trip raps “My soul (sole) is not for sell even if I own my own shoe store/They wanna talk wordplay/I’m bout more checks than a survey.”
With production from Drumma Boy, Chizzy, Sarah J, and Young Chop, SB2 is definitely lyrical box Chevy music. Their Stranger Than Fiction tour is now underway and I am rooting for Lito and Trip to win over more fans. It would seem as though collaborating step brothers would be a dichotomous effort but this duo who don’t share any common kinship are actually kindred spirits.
Purchase on Itunes Step Brothers 2
© Copyright Eddie Savoy Bailey III, 2013
Written by: Eddie Bailey of The Savoy Media Group
Twitter @BttleRapHistory & @SavoyMediaGroup