If Looks Could Kill
If Destroy Lonely’s music has happened to elude you, this is officially your opportunity to catch up. Figuratively part of a lineage marked by Future and Young Thug, as well as literally the progeny of Disturbing tha Peace rapper I-20, the Atlanta artist grew a profile alongside his Opium labelmate Ken Carson on memorable duo joints “MDMA” and “Murda Muzik.” Bolstered by Playboi Carti’s co-sign, his 2022 all-caps NO STYLIST mixtape benefited from the blending of his digitally processed rap-singing with some forward-thinking beats by Clayco, Cxdy, ProllyIan, and trap veteran TM88, among others. The lowercase song title scheme behind his proper full-length debut notwithstanding, If Looks Could Kill feels like a more formal extension of its predecessor. Most of the prior tape’s beatmakers return alongside a handful of like-minded others, to deliver stark atmospheres, grimy rock accents, and overdriven bass for tracks like “chris paul” and “how u feel?”, strategically designed for emotional mosh-pit readiness. He regularly employs deliberately repetitive, almost mantra-like hooks, as on “raver,” as well as melodic vocal riffs that prove similarly hypnotic, like on “by the pound” and “fly sht.” Carson returns for the bonus track “money & sex,” a disorienting finale that ultimately amplifies their confluent styles.