While the flattening effects of the internet can often have massively damaging effects on society, there are certainly benefits. In years past you might assume that the only people making music in a city like Detroit were Eminem and Kid Rock. To make it out you needed a major corporation to back you up and bring you to a global stage. But thanks to the internet Detroit rappers are showing that in 2019 you don’t need a label deal to make an impact. You just need a Tor browser, a good VPN, a handful of credit cards, and enough punchlines to take down Tyson. There is a full on scene going on in Detroit these days, with trio ShittyBoyz, Teejayx6, Kasher Quon, and 10k Kev being the standouts. I have dubbed this new wave shit talk not cause of the ShittyBoyz but because its what these rappers do best. Many tracks pouring out of Detroit these days just have those bars that just make you make the Russ face below. The only
thing this new wave likes as much as absolutely obliterating their opps is scamming, which seems to be not only their primary mode of income but a way of life onto itself. Even when taking important rap meetings Teejayx6 doesn’t forget his roots, as he casually went from Atlantic label meetings to propositioning fans for scams on his gram (otherwise known as a pro move). While the ShittyBoyz are often more light hearted, scam rap highlights the highs and lows of the process. In the music coming out of Detroit you’ll hear both about the exact money you can get from a SunTrust account versus a Bank of America account and the pit in your stomach that you get while paying for a MacBook with a fake credit card. Rappers from the D hit bar after bar after bar not sparing a single detail no matter how grimy, and almost always eschew a chorus in the process.
The rappers from the D with the most furious output of late have to be the ShittyBoyz, who despite their goofy name and youth are absolutely to be taken seriously. ShittyBoyz are comprised of of Stan Will, TR Dee, and BabyTron. BabyTron has definitely received the most attention for his solo output so far and due in great part to his look. My first foray into the group was Punch God 2 which BabyTron hits solo. I asked myself two questions upon initial viewing: Who is this white child, and how does he know so much about credit card fraud? While I was skeptical at first the group’s album 3-Peat showed me their staying power beyond the memes. Song after song delivers both intense and hilarious punchlines over beats that sound somewhere between old flash game soundtracks and New Jack Swing instrumentals. I actually legitimately recognized the sample on standout track Beast Mode not by name but pure subconscious. I could not even identify the song name of the sample but anyone who was raised by black parents knows EXACTLY the song I’m talking about. ShittyBoyz mix this embedded nostalgia with modern references making what’s old feel new again. Many of the beats incorporate chipmunk style soul samples that the Boyz shine over. You would think the underlying vocals would clash with the rappers but they go together effortlessly. Spirit Bomb is the best example of this co-op on the project, though Gamebreaker without a doubt has the best punchlines on 3-Peat. Stan Will and BabyTron take the lead on this one with hilarious bars like “skinny boy but the glock replace the muscle” and the defining line of a generation “I ain’t snap you for nothing bitch get a face up”. We all know what that app is for I’m very glad ShittyBoyz are acknowledging it, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as their bars go. There’s at least 20 “glock in the party I be strapped like a g*y b*tch” level bars on 3-Peat (thank god for SOBxRBE).
TR Dee is an early contender for the Offset of the group, as he is thus far under appreciated and unfathomably honest but he goes hard nonetheless. He gets one of the few solo tracks on 3 Peat with Dame Time, a track that really reinforces this being a concept album. The cover has the trio photoshopped onto ballers faces holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy and balling is literally never not the current or next bar’s topic. Take a shot for every time balling is mentioned, and listen to Star Player if you’re looking to black out in a hurry. On Dame Time TR Dee shows out over an unmistakably Detroit beat with more references to scamming then I could count. Dee also mentions top being so good it knocked his socks off in the track like he’s a Looney Tunes character, which still has me cracking up. That comic surrealism is perfectly countered with Dee’s brutal honesty. However Stan Will definitely had the line that hit me the hardest, when on Jet Li he said “Picky with these hoes only on my 5th body”. This bar struck me because I realized it’s a fact almost no other rapper would claim that but here it’s stated proudly. That alone differentiates the ShittyBoyz. They’re completely transparent about where they hail from (the trenches) and where they’re going (the sky) and exactly how they’re getting there (scamming everyone they come in contact with). The rap style exhibited all over 3-Peat is the damn near definition of fast and hard, knocking you over the head and reading your routing number before you even know what hit you.
It’s clear the Boyz possess an immense amount of talent which hopefully will help them last long after their memeability wears thin. BabyTron’s verses have already been used for countless “white boys evolving” memes even though he has been hush hush about his true ethnicity, stating he’d only reveal it in a Say Cheese interview (place your bets on that in the comments). The memes are funny no question but they make me ask why so often in hip hop being adjacent to whiteness makes artists so much more marketable even if they aren’t, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing that astounds me most about ShittyBoyz is their lack of coverage. The punchlines could be analyzed for days but these guys don’t even have a rap genius account. Regardless all that will change soon because these guys are building a movement. When I showed a few homies there music one immediately asked if it was new Blueface. The Detroit style of seemingly offbeat but undoubtedly purposeful lyrics quite often gets confused with their West Coast contemporaries but their beat selection and lyrics keep them unique. I expect their names to be getting uttered alongside other Detroit Standouts like Sada Baby soon.They’re definitely one of the best new groups of 2019 so far and I’m ecstatic to see what’s next. PS. I can’t help but think this entire groups ascension is a strange butterfly effect type ripple from this legendary Kodak Black tweet.