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Key Glock - Son of a Gun Music Album Reviews

With his gorgeous, cocksure flow and odd ear for beats, the Memphis rapper asserts his position as a singular rising star.

Memphis rapper Key Glock’s music exists in a world where extreme is normal. There’s no artificial binary between realism and mythos—everything feels right on the edge. On his new tape, Son of a Gun, which comes on the heels of February’s Yellow Tape, he offers more autobiographical flashes that span childhood to present day and veer from heartfelt to troubling. While the themes rarely expand beyond growing up, hustling, getting money, and buying ostentatious extravagances, the air-tight focus of his narratives and the richness of his language reveals a writer capable of detailed world building.
“Cream” parrots the Wu-Tang Clan’s song of almost the same name. Many have paid tribute to the Clan’s classic, but Glock brings his own self-assurance. Depicting a day in the life of a hustler, the 22-year-old describes rising out of bed, saying his prayers, and immediately counting his money. A declaration like, “Came up out the dirt, now I got diamonds around me” might feel overly worn but Glock balances it with funny wordplay: “And ever since I was ten, my best friend name was Ben/Franklin, nigga, what you thinkin’?” He rarely wanders beyond his narrow field of vision—there’s no room for guest rappers—but Glock’s delivery is confident enough to reinvigorate even the hoariest street-rap cliches.

Helping color in Glock’s universe is his unusual taste in beats. Son of a Gun is distinguished by a set of tightly wound instrumentals featuring booming drums, strange samples, and a level of murk that brings a noir atmosphere and high-art sheen to the proceedings. The classical-music sample of “Son of a Gun” and repetitive acoustic riff of “Money Talk” (both served up by frequent collaborator Bandplay) are among the most daring pieces of music Glock has ever spit over, but his flow—identifiably Memphis in its swagger—stays eternally loose, multidimensional, and dripping in a natural confidence that forces every beat to bend to his will.

Glock’s most potent showcase yet might well be “Rich Blessed N Savage.” He flows with a natural sense of melody that makes every bar gorgeous to the ear: “Bitch, I ball, it’s necessary/I’m cool as Ben & Jerry/If you don’t like me, blame my parents/Sit down if you can’t stand me.” The next step for this talented young spitter is to add some new colors to his palette, even if just in the form of mild updates to his current formula. Still, by staying fully attentive to the next dollar to be made, the current watch on his wrist, and the impending threat to his well being, Key Glock doubles down on his strengths on Son of a Gun, asserting his position as a singular rising star.
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