You can tell from 100s debut album, Ice Cold Perm, that he’s got a penchant for old school player culture. There’s the Doggfather-inspired cover art, his raunchy affinity for Juvenile, his Suga Free-esque pimp insight, and a slick talkin’ snarl that you can see through the speakers. He’s 2012′s Dru Down spitting with Nipsey Hustle hunger over Main Attrakionz cloud rap with more slap. Did we mention he has a certain obsession with perms? The 19 year-old Berkeley rapper is a throwback, but not in a mimicking sort of way. He has a compelling voice, a distinct persona, and has gotten national attention despite being relatively unknown on his home front.
Most Bay Area rappers have a distinctly Bay voice and a tendency for repping hard for the region in most of their songs. That spawns local pride in local fans, but can potentially alienate others. One thing you notice when listening to 100s is that you can count the Bay Area references on one hand. And those references are in his passing mention of the Bay Bridge or Crossroads (a Berkeley thrift store) not blatant Berkeley shout outs. Even the West Coast references, a notable inspiration of his, are minimal giving him a placeless sound that can appeal to rap fans worldwide. In that way, he reminds us of Fillmore rapper DaVinci.
We predict he’ll win over the young cloud rap kids thanks to his synthy Joe Wax production, gangsta rap fans due to his gutter subject matter and lip-curling delivery, AND the hipster Pitchfork/ FADER rap nerds because they obsess over any hood ass shit they don’t understand (i.e. Chief Keef). Unfortunately, that last group mentioned is the greatest indicator of an artist’s success these days. Given that, the longer 100s can maintain a certain old school mysteriousness, the better his chances of titillating the hipster blog illuminati long enough to make it mainstream.
We here at 38thnotes will be slapping bruh either way. Listen to Ice Cold Perm in it’s entirety, download it, and peep the video for “Slow Drip” below. For the record, our favorite tracks are “Brick $ell Phone”, “1999″, and “’92 Gator.” If you’re offended by hip-hop’s distinct brand of misogyny, be forewarned, but also know that this shit slaps.
One final note… As writers, we respect 100s’ team. Here’s our favorite sentence from his bio: “Ice Cold Perm is laced with smooth slaps and icey raps, their unique chemistry taking listeners on a skewed ride through a young man’s mind … where the potency of your Activator is the currency of the realm.” Word Cotton.