Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Song of the Day #214 - Travis Scott - Sloppy Toppy (ft. Migos and PeeWee Longway)

Know that she got it, I know that she got it, I know that she got it!


If you ever wanted a complete master course in the appeal of sheer kinetic flow, just listen to this song and then see if you can tell me what even a single line is about. Spoilers: it was probably about gettin ya dik zucked. This song is about a girl that gives great head and probably over half of the lines explicate that quality in no uncertain terms. Sometimes it's like actually pretty gross levels of detail, y'know? Well, I didn't really know until I was trying to make a stepchart for this song and I finally processed exactly what was being said and I decided maybe this one wasn't worth pursuing, maybe shouldn't be played in a public movie theater.

The important part is that I was so caught up in the flow of the song, so much so that I wanted to make a stepchart of it, I didn't even think about the actual English meaning of the words being said. For me, this was just an exploration of the interplay between "oppy" and "rari" type sounds, defined in the first two lines: "She see me pull up in that Rari/I'm thinkin bout choppin the toppy", oh man, what an starter, how do Migos always manage to nail a flow in just the first lines?

And what a moment, too - the intro suggests an entirely different era of beat, one that I don't dislike but maybe would be a little disappointed about given that this Travis Scott in 2014, and then immediately shifts into something that sounds more like 2020, brooding and dark and relentless and complex, always surprising me a little bit, no matter how much I brace myself for it. The song is in many ways straightforward: the subject matter is practically singular, the hook is functional and oft-repeated, everything has a sort of functionality to it, a feeling of efficiency and purpose. It is, in short, an absolute monster of a banger, the sort of thing that almost makes you wish you had a car just so you could drive around blasting it.

But what makes it even more than that is all the little things, the places where a small tweak or enhancement lets the love and effort of Travis and FKi's production shine through, and that, accumulated, gives the track an exciting density that satisfies even the most extreme addiction (I would know). Like the intro to Travis's verse is SICK, the little Boost Mobile chirp into the roboty voice? Damn but is Travis even old enough to even use a Boost Mobile burner? Eh probably. Or how about Quavo's distorted "meeeeeeeeeeeeee"? Or the way the strings get more and more dynamic on each repetition of the hook? The way the beat morphs halfway through each Migos' verse, brilliantly emphasizing their shifting flows?

My favorite, though, has to be PeeWee Longway's verse... I was walking back from a friend's place about a week ago, listening to this song for the first time in a while, and I started thinking "man, what was that song with the really good PeeWee verse where he shouts 'Longway, Longway!' at the end?" Knowing that he does that on like 2/3rds of his songs, I began to brace myself for the exhaustive process of tracking it down. But, of course, it was this song! I forgot he was on it, but somehow subconsciously started thinking about it because of the deep down association. Memory! The way he says "Duffle bag filled up like I'm Money Mayweather/Boogers in my Rollie, Pikachu yellow"... and then like every line after that... is a sort of weird "roundabout" flow that only he can do, even in the among all the flow-experts in Atlanta. I'd try to explain it more but this is long enough and I'm tired.

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