Review: Young Dro – “Exodus 23:1 (Freestyle)”

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It can be difficult to balance menace and deliriousness, and few have the tools to make it happen like Young Dro. The Atlanta emcee has always possessed one of the more intriguing voices in the game—something particularly impressive considering the bizarre world of Southern styles he inhabits, where flows as diverse as Luda, Andre 3000, Weezy, Trae the Truth, Gucci Mane and Slim Thug, to name a few, combine to create one of the most aurally diverse geopolitical regions in rap—but he has refrained from flexing it quite like he does on the “Exodus 23:1 (Freestyle).”

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Perhaps it is due to an admitted unfamiliarity with the breadth of his canon, but the Dro I know usually squeezes his intimidating frame and flow into rubbery, catchy numbers that bounce along with the 808 in a kind of candy coated ghetto wonder world, Bankhead-cum-Neverland, where the blunts always burn, tips smolderding as hot as the women. It is striking to a Dro neophyte like myself, then, to hear the guttural snarl on display on “Exodus.” Appropriating Pusha’s ode to beef, Dro goes hard himself, albeit in the absurd way only he could pull off (“pull on eight triggers like an octopus/I grow eight arms”).

 

The freestyle opens with perhaps the most terrifying usage of hashtag rap tropes ever recorded, before sliding into that strange world of neon greens and blacks, gathering the thin lines between Pusha’s rawness, Juicy J’s Beautiful Violence and Dro’s own abstract goofiness. It does not all work—something like I had just described never could, really—but it is fascinating, none the less. 

 

 Download: Young Dro-“Exodus 23:1 (Freestyle)


“Exodus 23:1 (Freestyle)” receives a PARL 

 

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic


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