NLE Choppa, Rod Wave, Chika, and Lil Tjay bless some Jetsonmade production for the latest XXL Freshman Cypher.
Though the word "Cypher" will never stop suggesting the appearance of bars, it would appear that XXL is doing their part in adapting to the climate. Seeing as the majority of the recent XXL Freshman inductees are far from traditionally lyrical, with many of this year's class being the most melodic thus far, it's no wonder that the latest batch of cyphers has felt closer to a song than ever before.
Stepping to the plate on the instrumental tip is Jetsonmade, no stranger to lacing hits for a variety of newcoming stars. Here, he blesses the quartet of NLE Choppa, Rod Wave, Lil Tjay, and Chika with an emotional, piano-driven instrumental, and the former wastes little time in establishing a tone. In fact, the entire process has been an impressive showcase for Choppa, whose passionate delivery and vulnerability has been given ample space to shine through. As he raps his verse here, there's a focus in his eyes that speaks to a young man serious about his craft; it's honestly refreshing to see.
Rod Wave is sturdy in his second verse, his natural voice arguably the top of his class, showcased here in his effortless transitions from rapping to singing. He renders his painful backstory in vivid detail, sounding comfortable over Jetsonmade's production. On a purely lyrical level, Chika is easily the standout, her dexterous flow jam-packed with substance. Despite the stylistic differences, she doesn't stand out as an outcast, feeling like an excellent addition to the foundation laid by Choppa and Wave. Closing things out is Tjay, who opts to keep things simple but effective with a classic from his playbook.
Overall, Cypher number two is a solid effort from the gang, and one that would actually make for an interesting posse cut should XXL decide to head in that direction.