KEY! Before I Scream

KEY! Before I Scream
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If Key! has one thing going for him, it's that the Atlanta MC doesn't take himself too seriously. That's a fact that even his critics — and there are more than a few of them — won't be able to deny.
 
"My money long, it's gon' last forever / My bitch thick, she's got ass forever," he spits — somehow without snickering — in his nonchalant molasses flow, over whining synths and a skittish snare on "38 Hot." The song kicks off the hotly tipped young MC's new mixtape, Before I Scream, And while that aforementioned punchline will delight open-minded listeners (and irk more lyrically inclined rap purists), it's not even the most outlandish couplet to be found on these 11 tracks. British MC Skepta nearly steals the show in that regard with his guest verse on "See No Evil," spitting: "They said it's beef but that don't get to me / Just jumped in the plane again I'm reading vegan recipes," over synths that chime ominously like choir organ notes in a haunted church.
 
But Key! is never outdone by such guests, especially on "Nobody," where the instrumental — featuring percussion akin to a spoon clanking in a spittoon — compels him to spit hilarious one-liners like: "Bad bitch in a thong / Shrimp filet mignon."
 
Listeners hankering for deep lyricism won't be satisfied by this mixtape, but anyone with a penchant for unpretentious rap — and catchy, uniquely crafted beats — will eagerly chuckle and nod right along with Before I Scream. (Independent)