Mobile, Alabama’s NoCap raps with the visceral energy of someone constantly facing their demons. Granted, the MC (born Kobe Vidal Crawford in 1998) is a tantalizingly clever wordsmith, but his turns of phrase are always secondary to the way he sings. Some of that is attributed to the Auto-Tune that consistently washes over his voice, but it’s also in the way he approaches his subject matter: clear-eyed, unafraid, and honest. Take “Ghetto Angels,” his 2019 hit. He sings of his friend, dead in the street, and vaguely implicates himself as someone who should have been there. “Tell me, Slim, how did you die by yourself?/The paramedics sittin', watchin' you melt/You was probably tryna catch a sale/Damn, you should've stayed in jail,” he raps. Where Cap grew up, sometimes being locked behind bars is safer than being out on the street. In the relatively untapped rap climate of Mobile, NoCap helped paint a picture of the city’s scene, alongside MC’s like OMB Peezy, Rylo Rodriguez, and the OG star, Rich Boy. But NoCap stands out for his no-holds-barred approach. On “Radar,” from 2020’s Steel Human, Cap raps, “They don't appreciate you until you dead and gone/Up late in my cell wishing I was home/Just 'cause I'm rich, they think all my damn problems gone.” NoCap’s made it out, but his past lingers everywhere he goes.
BORNAugust 20, 1998