10 of the best tunes from one of the hottest rising stars out of Los Angeles
In a whirlwind of a year, the Los Angeles-based rapper known as Blueface has threatened to take the rap game by storm. Thanks mostly to a key number of his singles going viral on social media, the 22-year old Jonathan Porter managed to not only become the hottest rapper to emerge from his city in a matter of moments, but he’s also arguably one of the fastest rising stars in the game right now. Despite only a small amount of music to his name, anticipation continues to build for the rapper as more and more people seem simultaneously drawn or repulsed by his frantic, off-beat wordplay. Reminiscent to West Coast tongue-twister rappers such as E-40, Suga Free, Knoc-Turn-Al and others, Blueface is a welcome shot in the arm to a scene that could use a new unconventional rapper.
For those of you who are just getting around to checking him out based on the name, the reputation, or trying to figure out where to go beyond the memes and the hot takes, you’re in luck. We’ve selected 10 of the most essential Blueface tracks to get you started. Some of these are the singles that blew him up, the deep cuts that showcase the edges of his skill, or even collabs that indicate how others might find chemistry with his wildstyle antics. If you’re one of the converted, plenty of these songs should meet your approval and if you’re one of the skeptics, maybe one of these will have the exact combination to unlocking his puzzling approach to rap.
Deceptively minimal and markedly casual, “Dead Locs” is one of those classic Blueface tracks that actually doesn’t have any of the particular tics that the majority of people would associate with the rapper. Instead of his screeching tone and his rambunctious energy, for the most part Blueface is pretty subdued, constantly returning to the "On the Dead Locs" refrain as a jump-off point. It’s a basic formula to inject Blueface’s many catchphrases and quotables into your brain, but it works effectively thanks to the relentless assault of the rapper’s motormouth charm and snide braggadocio. It's no wonder “Dead Locs” is just one of the many salvos that got turned into the memes that kept Blueface in everyone’s eyes, ears and mouths.
"Dead Locs Pt. 2"
Unlike it’s more popular progenitor, “Dead Locs Pt. 2” is the raw and uncut Blueface that more listeners are becoming familiar with. From a whisper to a parrot-like shriek, and now running wildly across the beat with abandon, you can hear Blueface go from smug to downright vile as he delivers both threats and boasts with ease, while the beat from the original record gets flipped into an uneasy backdrop. Despite being the less beloved of the pair, “Dead Locs Pt. 2” is it’s own beast and deserves frequent consideration as one of the upper tier tracks from Blueface. If you don’t scrunch your face up in anticipation of the drop with that intro, you’re clearly not ready for the typhoon of flows to come from the famous crip himself.
"Next Big Thing"
“Welcome to the Meat Show” indeed. With only two hooks and a rapid-fire verse, “Next Big Thing” is a drive-by of a record that barely gives you time to know what hit you before it’s vanished into the night. It’s one of the most maniacal and breakneck-paced verses in the Blueface catalog, with the rapper shrieking nonsensical jeerings to ‘the ladies’ at the top of his lungs and running wild all over the track. It's one of the stranger tracks in recent memory to manage to go viral.
"Blow Her Bacc" Feat. 1TakeJay
Though Blueface is most certainly a one-of-a-kind talent, he isn’t the only new face to pop out of the woodwork in Los Angeles with an unconventional rap style. For the past couple years, a new underground has been bubbling with names such as FrostydaSnowMann, Shoreline Mafia, 03 Greedo, DrakeO the Ruler and others attracting varying degrees of attention. Some, such as Almighty Suspect and 1TakeJay have already collaborated with Blueface on records, and no doubt as the year progresses we’re bound to see Blueface appear on records with his peers as well as older and more established names in the LA rap scene. On “Blow Her Bacc,” you’ve got Blueface in exuberant form sounding downright goofy, a perfect foil to 1TakeJay’s prankster energy. Compared to the tamer “Thotiana” (a surprisingly conservative single to push to radio), “Blow Her Bacc” at least features the off-kilter sensibilities of the young rapper in a format suitable for clubs and parties.
Despite racking up some considerable views on Worldstar, “Freak Bitch” isn’t one of the more popular tunes in the Blueface arsenal, which seems surprising. Armed with a beat dripping with steel pan drums like diamonds, Blueface is all raunch here and happy to lay down all his game for everyone to see. It's strange how this record didn’t go viral though, considering you get to hear Blueface expertly dance from a Kobe joke into proclaiming he’ll never hound a girl he’s into. While it’d be quite the stretch to say a relentless player and prankster like Blueface could be "woke," he still manages to maintain a sort of charismatic-loverman persona besides all his jokes and eccentric impulses. If “Freak Bitch” is something to judge him by, perhaps there’s a lot more bizarrely amusing sex raps in Blueface’s future, which would be quite welcome indeed.
"Respect My Crypn"
Perhaps one of the most terse and grim of the viral singles of 2018, “Respect My Crypn” has the distinct hallmark of having earned the praise of the likes of icons such as Ice Cube. It’s understandable why the track attracts attention and respect, with Blueface adjusting his wild imagination into strictly menacing territory that belies the all-smiles energy of his videos. Even the hook with his boast of “mopping the floor and hiding the wet sign, just to catch ‘em slippin” feels more like something you’d hear out of a Roadrunner cartoon than a gangster rapper. Nevertheless, in just a matter of minutes, Blueface rushes in and out around the steely chill West Coast synths, sounding just as nimble as he does cruel.
Trendd & Blueface - “GFYM”
While the hype and demand for Blueface has been pretty notable, his official output is deceptively small with only a single official tape remaining on streaming services. However, an exception remains in a collaborative tape with friend and fellow LA rapper Trendd on their We Over Famous project. There’s a number of interesting tracks to choose from for those eager to hear even more of Blueface plying his trade, but an easy standout has to be their single “GFYM” (an abbreviation of "Got it From Your Mama"). It’s a darker, slinky type of throwback ratchet track with a clubby, almost techno feel that finds both Trendd (who acquits himself quite well here) and Blueface in top form of cockiness, the latter sounding especially unhinged against Trendd’s more conventional rap approach. The tape is an interesting glance at the brief period of Blueface’s "underground" career before stardom appears to have scooped him up with relative ease, and has plenty to offer those still acquainting themselves to the rapper. Perhaps as well, this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Trendd either...
A track from one of the Too Coccy sessions that were once previously available on streaming but appear to be tucked away for a period, “Movie Scenes” is a track that instantly stands out for the newer converts to Blueface’s madcap antics. The beat from producer 2Raw bubbles and bursts like it got panned out of the La Brea tar pits, but soon everything comes to life once Blueface gets on the mic and starts to weave his weirdness all over the track. It’s impressive to know that while wading through a mish-mash of bizarre utterances, it’s probably going to be the young rapper comparing eating pussy to devouring Frosted Flakes (yes, using THAT catchphrase) that stops the listener in their tracks. While now reduced to "deep cut status," “Movie Scenes” is prime material out of Blueface and deserves recognition as one of his best so far. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll see it get an official re-release.
James Too Cold - “No Witness" Feat. Blueface
Upon his breakout, plenty of people instantly felt the need to inform anyone who would listen that Blueface wasn’t rapping on-beat. This ignores the fact that icons ranging from Jay-Z and Common to Andre 3000 and E-40 have all made certified classics by veering as far from a conventional flow as possible, crafting their own pockets where normal rappers wouldn’t dare. So it’s no surprise that E-40 would see fit in giving Blueface his acknowledgment and blessing as a disciple, by saluting him as a rising star. Better yet, Earl appears in this video of one of his newest signees to Sic Wid It, James Too Cold, who raps alongside Blueface on the former’s “No Witness.” Here, Blueface takes a much more considerably laid-back and weaving approach compared to James’ relentless assault and battery of bars, serving as a perfect counterbalance to keep the track floating along. Certainly, the stars of this single are the younger guys, but it’s touching to see the older generation respect younger talent and encourage them to shine.
Produced by LowTheGreat, “Famous Cryp” is the titular track from the rapper’s 2018 mixtape that features many of the big hits previously mentioned in this list. However, “Famous Cryp” deserves some recognition for having some downright earth-quaking bass on it, sure to leave your speakers rattling for days. Not to be outdone by those churning 808 subs, however, Blueface is happy to be the star of the show with his usual brand of conniving wordplay. "Taco Shells" for the beef, and his confusing catchphrase of “Where’s the Meat?” only hint at the usual weirdo babbling, leaving the listener’s sides split with laughter and keeping you rewinding for the breathless punchlines going a mile a minute. Another one for the heads, “Famous Cryp” is one to keep tucked for yourself when the rest of the catalog is old news by comparison, to keep Blueface’s charms ever so fresh.