Saturday 15 July 2017


On a backdrop of bristling glitchy beats, with shuffling hi-hats and smart snapping handclaps, kicks thud-bouncing, low modulated bass rumbles ominously like a looming haze and piano chords play out seriously brooding into a muted sparkling tract of synth like dripping icicles. It's cold, sharp, practically frozen solid, as Milwaukee rapper Rockz aka RockzSolid represents the south-side of the city in a broiling tumble of bars that reference everything from the internet to food in an acrobatic exposition of inner city fire, her vocals elastic and harsh, a vehement showcase of skill and hard work over stunting in hip hop terms.

'DJ Itchin' gets its title from the retro jostling hooks of the track, a set of adjoining percussive punctuation comprising vocal chops and throwback turntable scratching by DJ Sham. The unrelenting flow of Rockz skips and suplexes either side, choice lines arriving in the form of "you ain't makin moves, just Facebook news," having already asserted that views mean nothing if you're not making money; later she makes a socially charged analogy in putting down unskilled contemporaries: "these chickens out here spittin food stamp raps with their glued back tracks." The crowning phrase from this track – "I got that organic rap but I can spit that fast food" – feels fresh and inventive: whilst she can spend time and write rhymes, she can just as easily bust out a bar on the spot. The wordplay, the very real references, and her fierce tone with Midwest lilt shows Rockz as a well grounded force of rap to be reckoned with.

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