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Last week, the controversial Brooklyn drill pioneer, 22Gz dropped a new single, “Retaliation”.
The new song shows a different side of 22Gz’s signature, percussive flow - delivering the same, fiery drill bars but this time over a decidedly non-drill beat, instead opting for more trap-sounding production. The sound and the visual both feel inspired by his new home down south in Atlanta - the surroundings and open carry hinting that he’s probably far from his native Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“Retaliation” comes just after his Funk Flex freestyle on Hot 97 last week, and continues the recent trend we’ve seen of 22 branching out beyond his drill origins - whether that’s performing alongside avant-garde fashion at Pyer Moss’s Paris Fashion Week show, being spotted with Virgil Abloh last month at NYFW, or experimenting with new sounds on his latest project, ‘The Blixky Tape 2’.
The last project of course included staple drill hits like “Twirlanta” and “Fallen Blixkys” - two of his biggest songs to date - but we also got to hear a few different sounds: a new autotune flow on “LLNB”, a hard-to-describe-but-definitely-not-drill beat on “Collections”, and a super compelling, intricate melodic flow on the sleeper standout track, “Never Be The Same” feat. Jackboy.
It’s also worth pointing out that Jackboy is a close associate of 22’s Sniper Gang label head, Kodak Black. The two have had public disagreements lately, but Kodak recently extended an olive branch via IG post. When asked about their dispute, 22 said “that’s them” - showing that he practices what he preaches by keeping real life separate from the music.
Last week on ‘On the Radar’ with Gabe from Power 105, we got a look at how far 22Gz has come in his evolution - giving his props to any artists out of New York doing their thing, shouting a bunch out by name including rising Bronx drill stars Kay Flock and DThang, Queens’ Shawny Binladen, Dee Aura, and Big Yaya, and even giving a nod to artists that have dissed him the past - most notably including CJ (“Whoopty”) - even suggesting that he would be open to doing music together. He also said he would rather refer to the genre as NYC drill to be more inclusive - focusing less on division and more on creating an environment for everybody to win.
Recently we’ve even been seeing him lean in to his humble origins dancing on the NYC subways - even pulling off a few hat tricks when he pulled up to No Jumper last month.
Also on ‘On the Radar’, 22 made the exciting reveal that he’s got songs banked with big names like Roddy Ricch, Yung Bleu, Bas, and Icewear Vezzo. Hopefully, “Retaliation” is a sign that we’ll be getting some of that new music soon as we continue to watch his growth & development - both as an artist and as a person in general.
Check out the video for “Retaliation” - and stay tuned for more from the young NYC drill legend, 22Gz.