To be honest, I haven't really been keeping up with the Charlotte, North Carolina rapper Well$ that much, despite the fact that I hail from the land of Bojangles, Petey Pablo, the human rage face that is Tyler Hansborough's UNC basketball career, and that one clearing in Chapel Hill the woods behind the dorms where we used to smoke weed when we were freshmen in college. But the wonderful thing about rappers is that if they are good, as Well$ is, they will thrive without rap bloggers paying attention to them. His tape MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher (now available on CD) showed promise—it was packed with ideas, and found the 19-year-old trying on different guises, seeing what fit, discarding that which didn't.
Still, as a rap fan and not just a guy who posts rap songs on the internet for a living, Well$ didn't really click for me until I got wind of "'98 Juvie," ostensibly the young rapper's tribute to Juvenile (obvs), but in actuality the sound of a young, talented rapper coming more into his voice. He snarls here, stretching and contracting his flow like a rubber band (man). A line such as, "Got your favorite rapper feelin' insecure," might feel a bit hollow coming from anybody but, say, Kendrick Lamar. But with the rest of "'98 Juvie" serving as evidence that people should be looking out for him, other rappers might want to start getting a little unsure of themselves.