Mr. Crawford

Mr. Crawford

Much has been made of Alabama-hailing MC NoCap’s ability to weave between traditional rapping and the pain-influenced harmonizing that dominates many contemporary hip-hop playlists. Much less attention, however, has been paid to what the MC has been trying to tell us. On breakout single “Ghetto Angels,” it was how much he missed the friends he’d lost to the streets. On his debut album, Mr. Crawford, it’s who he is as a man and an artist. “They telling me to make some club music/Nah, bitch, I’m a pop-star drug user,” NoCap sings on “I’ll Be Here.” Not unlike admitted influence Lil Wayne, the MC is partial to near-endless non sequitur, but buried within these brain dumps are declarations of identity: “My scars are amazing, I lost homie after homie,” he raps on the Kodak Black collaboration “Save the Day.” “I’m a real n***a, ain’t gotta record every time I hand out book bags,” he wants us to know on the album’s title track. “I was really in the streets before my YouTube,” he confesses on “GoRealer.” There’s likewise plenty here about the life he’s led since becoming maybe the most buzzed-about Alabama MC to date, but he’s just as quick to remind listeners—as he does on “Forever Loading”—that he's coming for everything he’s owed: “Lord forgive me for my sins, but I’m living off revenge.”

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