It’s been a long time since rap music made me want to get buck. The sound du jour is zombie marching band, where the drumline seems to be the only section with enough animation left to create music, all rumbling bass drums and menacing, macabre, horror movie synths (think early Hitchcock, not so much Nightmare On Elm).
Listeners of a certain age may not remember, but there was once a time when crunk was king. Building off the late-nineties momentum of pioneers like Master P, it was a time before “trap rap” proper, when, rather than leaning hazily through a toxic fog of Xanax and codeine, Southern rap instead encouraged listeners to grab two cups of brown liquor from the bar and stomp their way to the dance floor, elbows swinging with reckless abandon.
Underground Dallas rap trio The Outfit, TX remembers, though. Fuel City, the latest LP from the uproarious three-man band from Texas’ other big city, harkens back to the era of tall tees and Bape sneakers, updated for a generation that grew up on anime and Call Of Duty. The result is not unlike if Trap Muzik-era T.I. was sucked into a Pac Man machine late one night, then promptly ran into Lil Sam and Lil Bo (aka The Eastside Boyz) and started a cage match in a whatever passes for the hood in the world of Tron. In short, Fuel City just might be the rebirth of the crunk sound.