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Over the weekend, Lil Yachty and emerging Soundcloud superstar, SSGKobe, dropped “Fuk Em” - breaking the collective brains of Kobe’s diehard fan base with a killer collab making use of his distinct, abstract sound and signature ad libs. Not only is this just the latest in a string of high quality singles from Yachty, it’s yet another example of him tapping in with new trends and tastemakers to shine a light on the stars of tomorrow.
“Fuk Em” is a fun, upbeat short-and-sweet song with a punching bass and big synth-based electronic production with a kind of muddled sound - leaning towards a style the current Soundcloud generation would describe as “rage” (for those not in the loop). The track opens with a head-nod-inducing bass and Kobe’s signature high-pitched “Yeah” ad lib, giving way to Yachty’s uber confident, affected-vocal flow he’s been perfecting that almost makes it hard to tell whether he’s rapping or singing. Midway through, the bass cuts out and Kobe enters to deliver a melodic verse with an unorthodox flow - providing glimpses at his full range of abilities that gives you an idea of just how compelling and far-reaching his sound is going to be.
The video for “Fuk Em” (directed by JMP) shows Yachty and Kobe mobbing around the cobblestone streets of lower Manhattan, NYC and prominently features what is probably Soho’s best tour guide in the mysterious and emerging tastemaker, DJ, and all-around cool kid, Zack Bia. As always, Boat is draped in impeccable oversized drip, while eagle eyed fans will notice Kobe rocking the same Moncler jacket he wore during his On the Radar Interview with Power 105’s Gabe from the same trip - where we learned that this video was shot during Kobe’s second ever trip to the big apple.
Over the last several years, SSGKobe has established himself as one of the standouts of the increasingly popular new wave of melodic, electronic-production-favoring, pop-leaning hip hop artists emerging online. The types of young digital-native artists that aren’t afraid to push boundaries and experiment with their vocals and are super tapped in with online culture - opting to organically build their profiles and communities through Soundcloud, Twitch streams, and Discord chats rather than traditional channels. You can tell Kobe is a rare talent by the way he has fully embraced the new wave and embodies many of its most compelling elements: from big dramatic rage tracks like “MIA”, to smoother melodic tracks like “Thrax or “Caddy”, or even the third gear we hear on songs like “Calabasas” - featuring straight bars in a super compelling relaxed flow devoid of almost any of those signature melodic elements. Point being, it’s pretty remarkable when an artist’s three most popular songs (all with over 10M spotify streams) each have their own distinct sound.
All in all, “Fuk Em” is an excellent, much needed collab between two kings of Soundcloud from different eras. Yachty, one of the undisputed leaders of the very first wave of “Soundcloud rappers”, has done a hugely impressive job of remaining in the mix and in a constant state of evolution - made all the more impressive by his many and frequent contributions to ushering in the new generation of stars like SSGKobe.
Check out the video for Lil Yachty & SSGKobe’s “Fuk Em” (featuring special guest, Zack Bia) below: