When Pill popped on the scene with the “Trap Goin’ Ham” video, I wasn’t sure what to think. As a fan of the show Cops and pretty much all reality TV (it’s sad but devastatingly true), I loved watching the video. While most rappers talk about the realities of their pasts and environments, most music videos don’t reflect it. In the “Trap Goin’ Ham” video Pill takes you to his stomping grounds in Pink City, ATL. He didn’t use models. No rented Lambos or fake money being sprayed. Pill shows you drugs, guns, scars, and residents. Considering the content, it’s hard to call the video “refreshing”, but it stood out because it was such a far cry from your typical, flashy hip-hop visuals.
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As engaging as the video was, I wasn’t sure about Pill as an artist. It seems like the cover-up excuse that rappers use for putting out material like this is “we’re exposing the reality”. Ever since the days of 2Pac, that’s been the justification. I’m still not totally convinced, but that’s a completely different issue and whatever the reason, I hate the idea of censorship. This is music. It’s expression. Say what you want. Marilyn Manson does not make kids shoot kids. Pill does not make kids sell drugs. Most of the time art is a reflection of reality, not the other way around, and there are hundreds of factors besides popular music that we should address before trying to blame musicians for anything.
Back to the point. Pill grabbed my attention with “Trap Goin’ Ham” and as I get to hear more of his material I’m seeing evidence of something deeper. His attitude is a middle finger and on first listen his lyrics may come across as the same old, but his word choice hints at a subtle depth that sets him apart. Check out his latest freestyle “Surroundings” and see if you get what I mean.
“Homeless peoples on corners and babies is pushing strollers; I’m older, but in my younger days mama made it look brighter, then my tears start to fall as I heard the flick of her lighter; Take me higher, I’m sick of being on low surface, living in projects with motherfuckers with no purpose.”
And here’s the newest joint, the opener for Pill’s upcoming mixtape with Drama, 1140: The Overdose, out June 1st. What do you think of Pill? Is it more of the same or do you think he’s got the potential to be more?
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