Rappers may select a track to freestyle over in one of two ways: tracks no one would expect them on, and ones that seem tailored like a fine sharkskin suit for that emcee’s particular style. Black Cobain’s poaching of Wiz Khalifa’s “Mary 3x”–off of the recently released Taylor Allderdice mixtape–was a fine decision; Cobain’s flow sinks in to the beat like a Tempur-Pedic.
Any blunt rap track would roll just fine around Cobain’s airy delivery, similar to Khalifa’s but with that gentle hint of southern twang popularized by his DMV/VA peers like Skillz and Wale. It is a pinching and squeezing at the end of verses that quickly flowers and blooms like honeysuckle, southern as kudzu but carrying the diplomatic reserve one would expect from being so close to the nation’s capitol, rather then veering deep into Atlanta or Houston.
“Mary 3x” has the same understated percussion that powers numerous other beats in the loosely knit genre. The kick drum is raspy and short, like the quick flick of a lighter, while the scattered strings of snares pop like marijuana seeds to the flame. Gently shimmering synths are the aural equivalent of a gentle high, twinkling and fleeting and lost amidst the more prominent drum line.
The end result is a freestyle that is an enjoyable and approachable listen, with the desire to dock Cobain points for playing it safe counterbalanced by the realization that it is safe because it works.
Download “Mary 3x Freestyle” here.
“Mary 3x Freestyle” receives a PAR
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