The crux of the ho-hum feeling Gotit’s latest project elicits is his relation to the true pioneers of the genre. Gotit’s big homie is Gunna. Gunna’s big homie is Young Thug. Gotit’s probably a third or fourth generation representative of this particular vein of Atlanta gangsta rap. It makes his performance feel perfunctory like he’s just going through the motions and following in the footsteps of his trap-cestors. It’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just that Young Thug’s version always felt transcendent, surprising. Gotit and his merry band of fellow “Lil” rappers who appear here just feel staid. Drawing inspiration from Gunna and Young Thug, Lil Gotit walks in his predecessors’ footsteps without blazing much new trail.
Lil Gotit makes cool background music. The current glut of trap music makes trendsetters somewhat of a premium but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for trend followers who execute well. That’s what you get when you throw on Gotit’s new album, Crazy But It’s True. It’s fun. It’s irreverent. It’s… sort of the same as almost every other trap rap album that’s come out in the last two years, right down to the producers who contributed to the majority of its beats. But that’s not the worst thing to ever happen.
Cubeatz, Quay Global, Wheezy, and more provide bouncy soundscapes for Gotit’s Young Thug-derived flow that range from spooky, hi-hat-driven trunk rattlers to ominous-sounding bangers laden with thudding 808s. In other words, they’re practically interchangeable with the production from other recent Atlanta-based trap rap projects from the likes of Lil Baby, Gunna, Lil Keed, and the rest. The beats, mass-produced though they may be, generate exactly the mood you want from them, which is that weird, beta-wave sleep pattern zone between alert and exhausted you hit right around 2:30 AM at the club.
In fact, Gotit’s flow so resembles the trap rap starter kit employed by so many of his contemporaries, if there weren’t such a subtle difference between his and Gunna’s voices on “Hood Gunna,” they’d be practically impossible to tell apart. Likewise, even Lil Keed leans on a Young Thuggish yodel in his feature on “Drop The Top,” with Gotit utilizing Thug’s straightforward flow. The result is a song that sounds a lot like a Young Thug song performed by two of his stylistic offspring. While the subject matter here and elsewhere rarely deviates from the well-worn pathways of drip, drugs, and gunfire, it’s all performed with aplomb and commitment to the style.
Gotit’s inability to differentiate himself from his contemporaries — or even his new album very much from his debut, Hood Baby, released barely more than four months previous — even extends to his second self-chosen nickname. It’s some kind of coincidence that a rapper who wants to go alternatively by “Hood Baby” rises to prominence at the same time as Da Baby, Lil Baby, Sada Baby, SahBabii, and Young Baby Tate. It’s as likely a result of some spectacularly bad timing as it is intentional, but it’s the sort of coincidence that underlines the theme of unoriginality.
However, that doesn’t stop the album from being loose, free-spirited, and nearly hypnotic. Sure, there was a moment I honestly couldn’t tell if it had started over. There’s so little stylistic variation in the beats and flows that it’s easy to lock into head-nodding autopilot and lose track of just which track happens to be playing at any given moment, but the energy remains consistently high and inviting. Sometimes you don’t want to be challenged by your music and you sure as hell don’t want to think. Lil Gotit makes music to vibe out to. That kind of purity is a little hard to come by these days.
So many rappers, instead of telling their stories, have to focus so much on proving themselves — to fans, to skeptics, to their labels. They’re overreaching for hits to follow up viral moments, they’re overstuffing their albums with tracks to appease streaming tallies and game their way to inflated first-week totals, they’re going so far in one direction or another to challenge or placate critics, it’s hard for them to develop any sort of identity. Lil Gotit’s identity may not be totally original, but what does that matter when tracks like “Da Real HoodBabies,” “Water,” and “Runnin’ Bands” bump so hard? At least he has an identity, even if it is sort of a copy of a copy.
Gotit isn’t here to prove he’s the best rapper or the most creative or even the most “out there.” He may not even have that instinct in him at all, which, in a way, is how he sets himself apart from his mentors with their intention to flip perspectives and strain conventions like Gunna with his wordplay or Thug with his elastic delivery. His YSL roots give him the pedigree to show up and he’s working from tried and true designs. This Hood Baby didn’t fall far from the tree, but with roots like his, Lil Gotit’s got it made in the shade.
Crazy But It’s True is out now via Alamo Records. Get it here.