Troy Ave-Bricks in my Backpack 3:The Harry Powder Trilogy review
I think cocaine is much more symbolic in hip hop than people give credit. Everyone knows the literal impression that coke leaves on impoverished neighborhoods (at least you think you know cause you saw that documentary). Don’t forget that hip hop grew up as a flying middle finger to an established Reagan Americathat disregarded low income citizens. Hip hop is always going to be oppositional to some extent. Artists like Troy Ave use cocaine not just as a way to seem dangerous, but as the Darth Vader way of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps in a country that still doesn’t care that much about its poor. Troy Aveillustrates this quite well in his new mixtape Bricks in my Backpack 3: The Harry Powder Trilogy.
He is a strange mixture as coke rappers go and fairly dedicated. Working his dealer persona into every song without apology but this isn’t the Clipse. He’s not playing home run derby with coke metaphors, honestly I’m not sure he could. Even on songs I love like “Lord Is My Witness” his slow flow and predictable lyrics will have you calling out his next line while you enjoy the fantastic organ DJ Uneek worked into the beat.
Bricks in my backpack isn’t just NY trap, it suggests the hell out of 50 cent. His lead single from the tape is “Red Cup” and once you hear that piano, you’ll get the G-unit vibe. He does his best to be just as unlikeable, starting his verse with “I don’t do sh*t but get money and f#$k hoes…” unlike 50 his sense of humor is deceptive. When 50 joked he bellowed that Care Bear villain laugh, when Troy Ave jokes he says with a straight face “Word to my spleen…(Free Base)”
The mixture of coke talk, unlikeable images and great, catchy hooks is emotionally dizzying if you’re the type of listener trying to figure things out. For instance, a song called “Super Cool” has a self explanatory mission but in building his case, Troy Ave wants you to know this about his sex life “Doing bout a thousand forty strokes an hour seven minutes later she gone take a shower. Clean quickies on the real, just in time to take my chicken off the foreman grill (Can’t let it burn! *doubled vocal*).” This seems like a lyric from a novelty rap song, it comes alongside 16 other tracks full of gun shots, cocaine, and jokes like this. In Cokeamania he brags about slanging wood like Jim Duggan. That’s right the song is called Cokeamania. Track number seven is called Chiddy Chiddy Bang Bang. Amongst all the silliness it makes sense that Action Bronson comes through on “Wheelin’ and Dealin’” for a verse full of powerful ridiculousness.
Number four is my favorite(Snow). He starts it with “Ain’t nothing subliminal about it drug dealing n#$% I got it…” It is subliminal; the beat is all delicate chimes, and tone. His voice sings the chorus in a quiet and pristinely mocking way using the delicate environment created to brag about making it snow. It’s his way of continuing the “if I’m a monster you built me” narrative. It’s snide, mean, uncaring and funny. For me…it’s catchy as anything this year and interesting right down to the last few seconds where he warns haters who disapprove of his singing.
A while ago I learned that music is about moods: for some moods I need Santana and some moods I need Troy ave
To stream or download Bricks in My Backpack 3 click the link below: