Atlanta’s latest lyricist George Ramirez, better known by his stage name Kap-G, may be relatively new to the game, but is well on his to making a name for himself in the mainstream rap industry. Following his success with last year’s “Real Migo Sh*t 3,” the young artist brings in bigger names to further finesse his gritty and raw delivery on his March release “El Southside.” Enlisting production from Pharrell, Young Thug, Cash Out, Nechie, and YCN Lucci, South Side is both a step back into the time where southern artists’ street vibes ruled the radio, while bringing in some new trap elements into the fold.
Some may remember Kap-G from his minor role on the critically acclaimed “DOPE,” but the Mexican-American rapper has been steady making waves in the music world for years. Since his initial drop of his mixtape “Real Migos Sh*t,” the Atlanta-native has consistently dropped tape after tape and single after single. Ramirez found notoriety in his controversial single “La Policia,” during the height of the police brutality cases circulating the news. Drawing the attention from seasoned veterans like T.I. and David Banner, who appeared on the remix, the track brought attention to the social unrest and unfair treatment of minorities by those that hide behind the badge.
Following this same social awareness and resilience to authority, the 21-year-old rapper took a lighter note with “El Southside.” Turning more to the mainstream and focusing heavily on pop-culture references, this latest tape is something that brands more trunk-pop hits than socially conscious. Tracks like “Fashion Show” and “Don’t Need Em (featuring Young Thug)” are geared more towards radio play a rap-pop sound and modernized sound. Their simple lyrics and repetition do not find the young rapper the best of his emcee skills and, if listeners have stayed current with the tracks flooding the hip-hop stations, there are no new ideas here other than catchy hooks.
It is in this simplicity that Kap-G finds his niche. Being young and from the College Park, it is clear that trap and trunk-popping music has heavily influenced his style. Easily one of the most infectious and standout tracks “Girlfriend” has the young rapper showing off his lyrical prowess with some flossing rhymes about taking another man’s girl over a playful Squat Beats production.
Being the age the artist is, “El Southside” reflects the life of a young trap star and his interests of money, clothes, drugs, partying, and women. Kap-G flexes his use of auto-tune and ad-libs on “FIU”, but does not rely on synth or Trailer Park Legend’s production to deliver a passionate flow. “Power” follows a similar party-vibe Offering more than just party tracks, the Atlantic Records rapper offers as close to romance as he can on “Netflix and …”. Not the most sensual of tracks, but that is not what Kap-G is known for or what he has delivered in the past.
With “El Southside,” hip-hop listeners are not getting anything new, per say, to the rap game but are getting a dose of a retro southern vibe. Retro in the sense of an early 2000s Gucci Mane or YG. What stands out the most on this project is Kap-G’s versatility in his verbal flow. Jumping from a fast-tempo delivery on “Like El Chapo” to a more low-key, laid back rhythm on the Pharrell-produced closer “Southside.” One fault that “El Southside” may have are the multiple pop-cultural references that could serve to date the project in the long-run. Considering that this is just the
rapper’s latest mixtape, it may not be a certified classic but definitely makes the young emcee stand out for his unique blend of California vibes with a mix of Southern grit.
Opinion by Tyler Cole
Edited by Leigh Haugh
Vulture Hound: Kap G – El Southside (Album Review)
DatPiff: Southside Kap-G
TheRealKap-G: El Southside
Featured Image, Second Image, and Third Image Courtesy of Atlantic Records, Inc.
Top Article Image Courtesy of Vibe Magazine by Jory Lee Cordy