A Year of Lil Wayne: Jeezy's New Song, "Bout That"
On 'Trap or Die 3,' a reminder of who trap's key figures really are.
Day 36: "Bout That" – Jeezy feat. Lil Wayne, Trap or Die 3, 2016
You know that it has to be eating at Jeezy that trap music is more visible to the broad public than ever before and that, concomitant with said visibility, Gucci Mane is enjoying perhaps the most popular acclaim and critical attention of his career. Meanwhile, Jeezy, who was actual real-deal legit mainstream number-one-single famous during trap's proper mid-00s genesis, seems to find himself increasingly relegated to the sidelines. It's no coincidence that his next album, due Friday, is called Trap or Die 3, which has previously been a mixtape series and the original incarnation of which is one of a handful of uncontested genre classics. Jeezy wants to remind the world that his trap bona fides are every bit as strong as his longtime rival's, regardless of who Drake is more eager to pose with on Instagram.
Naturally, this song, from that project, is about that track record, which Jeezy has been 'bout. "Don't be talking 'bout the trappin' shit I opened up the door for that," he raps, continuing, "I could have stopped at 101, tell me who shit coming close to that." It's a valid argument!
Be that as it may, however, there's one variable no one ever talks about in the annals of trap music but whose legacy and influence is inarguable. Obviously I'm talking about Lil Wayne, who we have to thank at least in some measure for the sounds of today's two biggest trap heirs, Future (whose Auto-Tune use is deeply reminiscent of Wayne's own experiments) and Young Thug (who has explicitly said Wayne is his only influence). If Gucci, T.I., and Jeezy are the various court nobles of trap (argue about which duchies and baronies they represent yourselves), Lil Wayne is moreso the court jester, the guy who pops in and out of the scene to cause mischief and occasionally draw your eye to certain inarguable truths, like the fact that the "Wasted" beat is bananas or that it's 2006 and you really should be paying more attention to DJ Drama mixtapes. He may have been on a slightly different wave sonically, but Wayne was right there on the same Southern Smoke and Trap-a-Holics mixtapes as the rest of the trap guys.
So Wayne's presence on this track makes a lot of sense. And in proper form, he shows up to throw things a bit haywire, bending his voice in an Auto-Tuned chirp that, for my money, sounds like a nod to newer trap heirs Rae Sremmurd. Is this a verse that will make you buy a new Jeezy album? That's a question for you and you alone, but I will say that "talking all that shit and we gonna have to talk to you in private / what block you on we gonna spin round it" is some bananas rapping and the way Wayne elongates the syllables on "Not the combaaaaat life / take the cooooops advice / and don't stoooop at lights" is pretty cool. The best line, though, is right at the end, when he says, "we moving slow and thinking quick / you ain't about this gangsta shit." Put that on your trap vision board. Also, for those keeping track, that's a song with Jeezy and a song with Gucci in the same month. Let's give Wayne a little credit.
Photo: Screenshot of Lil Wayne and Jeezy dancing to "Bout That" via Mack Maine on Instagram
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