By my count, I’ve written more about Sauce Walka, the Sauce Factory and any affiliate, offshoot or worth-mentioning clone than anyone. Last Friday, we went deep into the real purpose of the local rapper waging a war against Drake and his always hyperbolic, seemingly insanely invested for no other reason than feint connection fan base. We’ve discussed what makes Sauce Walka and by extent TSF an indelible force upon the world because they inhibit bits of nihilism and magnetic personality. Even if they’re mostly working with real-life actions and the mold 50 Cent left a decade ago to create a trolling, bullet-spitting former pimp who used to sell drugs and rep a flag, they’re pretty damn convincing in their portrayal. It’s why Walka got so aggravated over Drake and the jacking of his dripping dance. Either his real-life exploits and beliefs are going to make you understand, or he’s going to karate kick you into honoring the code of the streets.
By that stretch, his Sorry 4 The Sauce 2 tape, which dropped on Saturday, is where you find Walka at his absolute loosest. He toys around with flows for the entirety, most notably aping the Screwed Up Click on “Wanna Be a Saucer” and standing on top of the klaxon of drums and synths that make up Rich Homie Quan’s “Flex." The latter is the tape’s opener, essentially letting the world know that Walka still represents for his set and isn’t apologizing for it. Matter of fact, he won’t apologize for anything, as “SauceFaxcts” details; this is his side of the story in regards to an altercation he had with fellow Houston rapper Tr!!y at the Galleria this past spring. There are minor moments on every TSF-related tape where things escape the nomenclature of affixing the world with Sauce language and things get real. In Sauce We Trust had “Black On Black Crime,” where Walka was about as confrontational with his past and society as J-Dawg is every day. Sorry 4 The Sauce 2 has ten minutes of Walka riffing on why Codeine is a drug that belongs to the South and has been appropriated. I honestly dare you to listen to everything said on “King Codeine” and not laugh when you hear Drake mention Robitussin on his and Future’s What a Time to Be Alive joint album.
Excluding “King Codeine," Sorry 4 The Sauce 2 clocks in at about 50 minutes. Or, an episode of a popcorn gangster flick where the hero constantly wears red, beats people up and enunciates every word to the fullest extent. Sauce Waka treats his raps like a chemist deals with an experiment. The elastic screeches and ad libs are going to be there forever, but so are little wrinkles thrown in to keep things fresh. Walka may not navigate the muddled lurch that Future used to craft “March Madness,” or may come nowhere near matching the unbridled happiness emoted by Disclosure and Sam Smith’s version of “Latch,” but he’s high and comfortable enough to try. If he’s going to remix Fetty Wap’s “My Way” into a pimp-to-prostitute declaration called “Pay,” then he’ll do it. If he’s going to turn into his version of Big Moe for tape closer “Sauce Baby,” then so be it. Where Sauce Walka gets off is that he’s a perfectly capable rapper enjoying being a souped-up version of The Mack too damn much. I mean, he is the son of a wrestler, so why not turn his own personality up a notch and present it to a mass audience?
OTHER TAPES TO CHECK FOR
June James; You're a Jenius 4
The best thing about June James is that he has a knack for fine-tuning his usual assortment of big drums and even bigger snares to fit whoever is about to climb on a beat of his. The fourth installment of You're a Jenius features the usual heavy hitters (BeatKing, Slim Thug, Rodji Diego, Stunna Bam, Chedda Da Connect) but mostly contains a backend highlighted by a large batch of TSF-ready cuts. Download here.
TRACKS OF THE WEEK
Doeman, “Shook Ones”
Tour life seems to have Doeman’s attention these days. When he’s not comparing himself to A-Rod in his prime, as he does on his rather slick “Shook Ones” freestyle, he’s plotting the road to his O.B.E. tape. Sometimes, it’s best watching people tear through freestyles for the utter hell of it.
Rapping at warp speed has never escaped Doughbeezy. Getting back to rapping without having any apprehension on what he should be is when he’s at his best. Reggie Bush & Kool-Aid 2, the sequel to his first all-flows tape, is coming soon and while there’ll be some mention of the darkness Dough gracefully eluded this year, he’ll be fleshing out every rhyme that hasn’t left his lips already for the entirety of it.
DeLorean feat. Bam Rogers, “Pay Off”
There are different layers in crafting perfect riding music. Some tracks are about the eventual come-up. Some are merely about a particular car and spreading wealth. And others just work around chaos and harness that shit like an Infinity Stone. DeLorean’s “Pay Off," his first track post-HPMA Best Rap Artist win, lies in that first tier. Between him and Propain, there aren’t many who could make a night popping bottles celebrating a victory feel minor knowing a lot of shit has to happen for major wins to come.
TJ Boyce feat. Bun B, “Let It Go”
The reason TJ Boyce’s name sounds familiar to you is that he made a record a few years ago with a video that featured Maliah Michel dancing to it. On “Let It Go," he crafts an easy-to-embrace strip-club anthem where he says he’s letting money go like Ted DiBiase. Seeing as Bun has already crafted one of the greatest strip-club songs ever (“Take It Off”), he’s more than welcome guest-wise here.
BeatKing, “Texas Uncle Luke”
You know where the opening phrase of “Fuck all that radio shit for right now” from BeatKing’s “Texas Uncle Luke” originates? DJ Jubilee’s New Orleans bounce monster “Get It Ready.” Club God is a monster, too, about as single-minded and FCC-unfriendly as you can get on “Texas Uncle Luke,” where he’s rapping solely about getting laid as often as possible. Compared to The Weeknd, BeatKing is crasser about drugs, poking chicks in the ass and not giving a damn what happens afterwards. Luther Campbell would be proud.
Paul Wall feat. Curren$y & Devin the Dude, “Crumble the Satellite”
We’ll have far more to discuss in regards to Paul Wall’s Slab God album, but for now we have to focus on “Crumble the Satellite." Scoop Deville’s “Swangin’ In the Rain” was a gorgeous piece of work with The People’s Champ tipping as slow as he could. “Crumble the Satellite” pokes around in a haze of guitar strings and pianos. What does Paul do? Preach. What does Devin do? Audibly detail his love for weed and go full onomatopoeia to mimic the sounds of a goddamn spaceship. It's time we recognize Devin Copeland as a national treasure and be thankful for him.
Cheldon McQueen feat. Le$, “Gold Koto”
As often as we’ve featured Le$ in his solo missions (there have been two more since our last column), it’s best we show some of his best guest moments of the year. “Gold Koto” not only climbs on RZA-esque production, it sees upstart Cheldon McQueen represent the H while being spliced between anime clips from Jorgey Films and a crew that looks ready for a postapocalyptic wasteland.
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SHOW ME HOW
Killa Kyleon, “Ready Or Not”
What may have been considered stubborn two years ago is now just outright arrogance — if you’re Killa Kyleon. Some artists have taken the daily freestyle route, combined them all for a tape and left it alone. Not Killa. His 30 Days 30 Deaths project dropped earlier this year, and all he and David Stunts have done is release a video for every single track. That’s a comfort few artists even have, whatever status they’ve achieved. Kyleon has been beating people with bars for years, and he couldn't care less about trying to prove something different.
Yves feat. Kirko Bangz & Bun B, “Team On the Back”
Three years ago, Bun B & The Niceguys came together for the “Ari Gold” remix, a feather in the hat of The Niceguys’ James Kelley album. Three years later, Yves has operated solo and can still count on a rugged Bun B feature. Kirko Bangz bridges the two on “Team On the Back,” where carrying shit like Marshawn Lynch is how you get things done.