Rappers and producers tend to heap a lot of praise on themselves: “best rapper alive,” “G.O.A.T.,” more Steve Jobs-ian ones like “visionary,” and, in the case of Kanye West well, “a God.” That’s all part of the game. But Richmond, California’s Iamsu!, a soulful sonic architect of ratchet music, has perhaps landed on the most apt descriptor of his strange take on immaculately produced, for-the-club hip-hop: designer.
“Designer,” a statement of purpose for sure, takes ’80s anime-style orchestration, pairs it with druggy effects, and then adds a lurching, stop-start style of rapping that proves just how aware ‘Su is of every change-up in his beat. And he delivers head down, humble knowledge that so many of his rapping peers forget to include: “Raised in the Rich where you don’t make it out / But if you believe that, then won’t make it out.”
For a little while, Iamsu! was credited with a feature on Kanye West’s Yeezus along with King L on “Send It Up.” Maybe he should’ve appeared, or maybe Yeezy could’ve found some room for some of ‘Su’s production, because “Designer” is a minimalist monster that would’ve fit quite nicely with Kanye’s synth-buzzing soundscapes.
“Designer” is a bonus track available on the deluxe edition of Kilt II, out today on iTunes.