Oakland rapper Guapdad 4000 might still be bubbling in the fringes of the mainstream, and may have received a cease and desist letter from The Gap over merch likeness, but don’t let his subtle success take away from his years of experience in the game. Along with fellow Cali rapper LaRussell, he’s joined the new multimedia project Tales Of The Town which comprises of a collaborative album, podcast, book, and short film all dedicated to exploring Black history in Oakland. The two MCs just released a teaser for the collaborative project, “F**k 12 Freestyle,” that’s exactly about what you’d expect.
The freestyle’s backed by a classic West Coast swing, practically begging for you to put hydraulics on your car with hard bass hits. There’s a menacing and simple piano line that gives the track a melodic driver and some atmospheric backing keys for the verses. Just listening to the sound of the track, it’s clear that Guapdad and LaRussell are pulling from a very specific style in Oakland rap history, and it’ll be interesting to see how closely they stick to that sound moving forward. Maybe they take it even further back, or provide some more modern California beats.
As far as the lyrical content, well, there’s not much more you need to know beyond the title to understand what the track is about. What makes the verses stand out, however, is how they are able to detail their verses with not just quotable and wordplay, but with almost narrative descriptions and examinations of how police brutality, the wealth gap, and Black community struggles are larger than the individual.
LaRussell’s chorus, for example, briefly alludes to housing displacement with the line “Never get complacent, the house ain’t a home when it’s vacant / How they built a hood and a power plant adjacent? / Never thought we’d make it in a house from the basement.” Guapdad’s offering has him rapping about how his town needs “cups, cribs, and coffins” and blames the banks “approving y’all for them cafés,” potentially addressing gentrification as he talks about a “broad day light frappe.” As we saw in our Snack Review series, Guapdad’s quite the food junkie, but given the context of the verse, you won’t catch him with a frap in broad daylight.
Tales Of The Town‘s accompanying podcast, the Hella Black podcast, just released its first episode “Great Migrations,” which you can listen to here. Their collaborative album will boast 11 tracks and feature G-Eazy, Fredobagz, Jane Handcock, and more, and is set to release on October 14th via Empire Records. This follows a prolific 2022 for Guapdad so far, with an EP and multiple singles to his name in the year. Last time he was making waves on the headline circuit was his publicized situationship with Yung Baby Tate. You can check out his new track with LaRussell, “F**k 12 Freestyle,” below.
But look at what we got though, n***a,
Police got a tank and we got potholes with them,
I remember when the town had a few new people
I get tacos, look around like “Who you people?”