New Houston Rap

Chedda Da Connect's 'Chedda World' Strengthens Houston/Atlanta Bond

Houston and Atlanta are becoming rather easy bedfellows.

We’re talking the kind of bedfellows that are way too easy to guess, as if they belong together and you’re waiting for the moment when they essentially fuck and get it over with. Houston has been fucking with Atlanta’s alien-like grasp of simplicity as a path to musical greatness for a while now. Atlanta has borrowed our beloved culture of drug additives to create such simplicity for a little while now. T.I. can legit say he has a UGK track, and the Sauce Twinz have recorded with Migos for a potential summer smash.

BeatKing has joked about crafting a 10-track mixtape with Zaytoven, the ATL producer who spearheaded much of Gucci Mane’s best mixtape moments. He’s also garnered a bit of radio resurgence thanks to Young Dolph’s “Preach” single. Zaytoven and his tiny little piano that has made similar-sounding production for almost a decade now also appears on Chedda Da Connect’s Memorial Day tape Chedda World. See how all of this links together? Of course you do.

Chedda, he of “Flicka Da Wrist” fame, has stated on the record that he wants to avoid becoming a one-hit wonder. Somehow he’s managed to entangle himself in a small feud with Lil B as "Wrist" has been over ESPN and become an unofficial anthem for the Houston Rockets and beyond. In a sense, he and his former roommate T-Wayne ("Nasty Freestyle") are the first distinct viral stars from Houston.

Chedda World attempts to build off “Flicka Da Wrist” with a multitude of different emotions, most of which are tied back to Atlanta’s simplicity. By proxy, this is how Chedda concocts the majority of his songs: simple patterns, a little Autotune, some of the forceful punch that made Rick Ross’ 2010 hit single “B.M.F.”; and topics of victory, whether by slight of hand or charisma. He can make something as radically awkward as “Twinkle Twinkle” with Rizzo & T-Wayne rather disarming. You can feel offended as hell that a rapper who sometimes sings and raps with a heavy tongue would take the melody of “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” for a three-man joyride. You can feel like Chedda & “Flicka Da Wrist” producer Fred On Em attempted to nearly re-create everything that made “Flicka” work from the beat arrangement to the chorus and lead up for “Catchin Playz” and it having absolutely none of the same fun.

The bulk of Chedda World fits into a long 13-track movement between the sleepy jump of Houston and Atlanta sludge by the hands of Nard & B, the aforementioned Zaytoven and Big Ant. XO On The Beat provides the instrumental defibrillator that “Twinkle Twinkle” needs to move beyond typical strip-club fodder. Belonging to two different iterations of Houston rap buzz, Chedda and guest Kirko Bangz stretch “Diamonds” into a drugged-out slice of celebratory Americana.

On face value, the world that surrounds Chedda Da Connect is one of excess. Even if one gain is temporary, another one is said to replace it. It’s how one flips through “Texas Tea” and “100 Bands” back to back as if they came from the depths of Gucci Mane’s greatest recording pace. Which may be one of the reasons some have compared the two.

Gucci is from Atlanta, by far an innovator with a knack for finding talent (see Young Thug, Waka Flocka Flame) and for crafting lazy-tongued simplicity into a mixtape aura that has yet to be surpassed by anyone. Chedda has found his minor Gucci moments with repetitive choruses and running to the well with flow patterns that match up with previous songs. There’s no telling if he’ll become as beloved as Gucci but for now, they’re slight kindred spirits in composition — and that may be it. Chedda World may hold small ties to Atlanta, but it is unmistakably a watershed moment in the union between Atlanta and Houston.

Listen to/download Chedda World here.

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Brandon Caldwell has been writing about music and news for the Houston Press since 2011. His work has also appeared in Complex, Noisey, the Village Voice & more.
Contact: Brandon Caldwell