City Morgue and Tokyo’s Revenge show the breadth of Soundcloud rap | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Music » Music Review

City Morgue and Tokyo’s Revenge show the breadth of Soundcloud rap

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment
Update: This show has been canceled to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

About three years ago, “Soundcloud rap” emerged as a catchall for a variety of aggressive, rock-influenced hip-hop made by digital natives operating outside the mainstream. It often felt unhelpful to group together rappers whose styles were tugging hip-hop in several different directions, and naming that incohesive group after a streaming service didn’t make the situation more clear. But the ambiguity of the Soundcloud rap category has also allowed it to include artists who move in several different directions all by themselves, producing saccharine ballads about heartache side by side with brash rippers that sound ready to blow your speakers no matter how quietly you play them. Misanthropic New York group City Morgue definitely lean toward the latter: their lurid, hostile tracks borrow from Memphis rap’s sinister sonics, nu-metal’s pop-friendly heaviness, and crunk’s delirious shouts. On December’s City Morgue Vol. 2: As Good as Dead (Republic), the dark, downcast instrumentals of producer Thraxx inflict both dread and desire, while the bellicose bars of rappers ZillaKami and SosMula seethe even when they switch from throaty screams to melodic quasi-singing (as they do on “The Give Up”). City Morgue’s current tourmate, TikTok phenom Tokyo’s Revenge, has taken off by mixing lovelorn R&B singing with the syllable-jammed aggro rapping popularized by fellow Floridian Ski Mask the Slump God. On the 2019 EP Mdnght (Side B), released by the Blac Noize! label, he veers between these two poles. He’s most magnetic on the anxious ballad “Drug Lullaby,” transplanting the morbid histrionics of third-wave emo into a tortuous performance tinged with vulnerability that’s hard to pin down.   v



Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment