Published Feb 20, 2020Memphis, TN has long been a space where rap music has thrived, yet in the past few years, we've seen a resurgence of music popping out of the Southern city. Key Glock, a 22-year-old from South Memphis, is the latest artist to put on the city — but with a twist that straddles the trap world, for his latest release, Yellow Tape.
Key Glock starts the album on a strong note, using "1997" to start telling his autobiography. Over candy-coated production that nods to the slow Southern blues, Glock outlines his past and present, though doesn't definitely define his future. In contrast to the guitar riffs on "1997," Glock quickly switches to a West coast ode with "Dough." Pulling from "Nuthin But A G'Thang," he mimics the signature deliveries of both Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at varying points, while speaking to the lessons he's learned from those who came before him.
Aside from the West coast nod, most of the production of Yellow Tape is a stark reminder that it's from a Southern artist whose accent is loose, but still pronounced enough to notice. In a series of songs under three minutes, Key Glock speaks about money, women, women not getting between him and his money, jealousy, material goods, protecting himself and his material goods and, well, not much else. Except for the aforementioned songs, and to a degree "Look At They Face," where Key Glock falls short is his own lyrics.
Though his verses flow, even when he misses the beat ever so slightly, Key Glock relies heavily on repetition to make the words stick, and unfortunately it doesn't work. Moreover, songs like "Ooh" and "Biig Boyy!" are bloated with adlibs and his lackluster energy on "Flyest Highest Coolest Smoothest" and "1 of 1" makes them feel stiff, rather than what could've been unique descendants from the world of Academy Award winners Three 6 Mafia.
Key Glock may have started Yellow Tape with his autobiography, but he stopped writing after the first chapter. Maybe his next chapter will be a little further down the yellow brick road. (Paper Route Empire)