Riff Raff Something-From-Nothing Series Pt. 1
Visit Peedi Crakk’s Website at: http://peedipeedi.com
As Jon Caramanica noted in his review of Cam’Ron’s Purple Haze, “The avant-garde need not be moral.” Same time, prudes like me say the immoral better be avant-garde as all shit, a hard (though soft-focus) line that lets me (say) hack on Ying and Friends but revere the Dips and Clipse (and Nas in spots). So the net effect is one critical continuum that discounts gross-outs and whatever rapped soft spots I’ve accrued in favor of word conspiracy, matrices of signification and– yes– the sweetest riffs. I don’t know when this happened exactly, but rappers fucking stuff just bores me anymore– the true challenge of the harder content is not in its hardness but its bea(u)tification.
Now I’m probably in the minority here, but on this front North Philly’s Peedi Crakk seems a bit unrec’d– this guy’s actually pretty great, nasally voice, ringrolls and all. Crakk knows the tradition he’s working in, and seems anxious to rhyme sex only insofar as he aligns himself with the most skillful of his predecessors. So like this one–
Peedi Crakk Download #1: “Between Ya Thighs”
Peedi’s beat here is the same Timbo fire Ludacris used for “The Potion”– instant alignment with one of sex rap’s most compelling acts. But while Luda played this decentered wooden rollercoaster rattle with fear-inspire and barking dominance, for Crakk the beat’s disorienting. At first Crakk plays into his squeaky voice and dizzy flow with flickers of second-later catcalls and lyrical sheepishness:
Her breasts was busting out the blouse oh my/
Her ass was puffy like the clouds in the sky/
Her waist very slim like she lived in a gym/
Her face every bit of a ten we got it in/
For better/worse the freestyle has virgin appeal, as if Crakk’s trying his best to keep himself together but eventually can’t take it:
Dropped her off in the pro-jects/
Looked at my Ro-lex/
MY ROLI TOLD ME ‘CRAKK IT’S TIME TO HAVE MO SEX’
By the end though he’s mustered up some confidence, his big line coming in the form of a suggestive r&b cliche rejuvenated by Crakk’s brilliant second-line punch:
She put her legs in a position that I’ve never witnessed/
Please ma, I sorry, don’t make me beg forgiveness
What’s brilliant then, Crakk overcomes both his sexual and lyrical timidity with the same rhyme– like this is Rap American Pie or something. By the end we have to wonder whether Crakk’s hook (“Give it to me, girl, don’t be scared”) was, at least initially, a bit self-motivational.
…But I swear it was in self-dissent…
Then again, sometimes, as the Yvette Noel-Schure and Marie Morreale’s over-simplified, vaguely racist 1990 children’s book RAP! explains, “It is not what you say in rap, it is how you say it.”
Peedi Crakk Download #2:”Let’s Go Whoa”
So let me undercut myself entirely and say that Peedi’s Swizz-produced single gets me precisely because somehow, he cobbles together crazy personality out of zero-content rhymes. “She get wet/ whenever I spit that/ if I wanna hit that/ all I gotta do is Talk My Shit”– well, OK, except the delivery scheme Crakk takes up here rumbles tough against the song’s singular guitar ditty, which heretofore Crakk’s flow’s either doubled or ignored. Stuff like that (check it out). I normally hate the “rhymes as strictly rhythmic” or “sound of voice as new instrument” type excuses people make for rappers who accidentally forgot to write good rhymes for their song– the best manage all three, all the time– but a billion Crakk “Rrringg!”s make an admirable case.