Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Kevin Gates – Arm & Hammer



Megan Harrington: Kevin Gates is a good rapper with satisfying instincts where his delivery is concerned, but he refuses to broaden his production beyond trap. “Arm & Hammer” isn’t bad, but it is boring, very much in spite of Gates. Thanks to Beyoncé, minimalist trap drums and tense crooning sound cutting edge. Here, they’re closer to the ingredients for cake than the ingredients for crack. 

Alfred Soto: Not as startling as “4:30 A.M.” but I’m a sucker for his pained gravelly timbre and organ when it’s mixed as well as it is here. Plus, sandwich bags, Arm & Hammer and scales make their debut in a hip-hop song.

Edward Okulicz: That grainy, angry organ is terrific; imagine a trap “We Found Love” played at 33 rpm. Gates, too, sounds grainy and angry. Not quite as angry as if, say, he’d just been given a shipment of actual Arm & Hammer instead of coke, but numbly menacing. It does rather feel like a good bit of gritty scene-setting that doesn’t go much further, though.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Gates has an amazing bark, like how you imagine an elevator would sound like when it whirrs out of control. A real 0-200 growl. This is one of these songs about making and selling drugs, and Gates has better versions of those songs. But that voice, man.

Brad Shoup: The organ bit, delicate and deliberate, could score a demonic baseball rally. Gates has voices, and he’s got details — the congratulations bit is awesome, and even the cell conversation in the hook hides a grin. Everything about the weight’s pretty standard, but I feel like he’s doing what he can to remedy that.

Juana Giaimo: Everything has a limit, and I think this is the one for cocaine metaphors.

Reader average: [4] (1 vote)

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3 Responses to “Kevin Gates – Arm & Hammer”

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