Does Young Scooter continue to stand on his own, or does the Freebandz veteran fall by the wayside?
For nearly a decade, Young Scooter has been one of the mainstays of Atlanta street rap. A man who claims to make “counting music” (as in money, if you aren't aware), Scooter has provided dozens of anthems, earning thousands of listeners in the process. A long time collaborator of ATL legends like Gucci Mane, Young Thug and Future, Scooter’s new project Trippple Cross features the latter two in abundance. But is the project worth the wait, or is Young Scooter starting to finally run out of steam?
As the chemistry between Scooter and his longtime collaborators has been a key selling point, some emphasis should be placed on how much Trippple Cross benefits from the collaborations. Young Thug is in a rarefied form here, from the effortless breeze of his hook on “Bread Crumbs” to the demented adlibs peppering the background of the self-titled track. Considering this is the most concrete burst of output from Thug in a while (who is apparently taking a year off music), it’s bittersweet to hear him refined and focused. It might be a while.
That said, Thug’s performances rarely steal the spotlight, operating as a perfect compliment to Scooter’s more meat & potatoes approaches to rap. On the other hand, the more familiar pair of Future and Scooter feels oddly insufficient, especially in comparison to their earlier classics. “Both Sides” comes close to the passion of vintage True Story-era Future, but runs out of steam rather abruptly toward the end. “Do It Big” sees Future’s current style hitting the sweet spot, but “Real Talk” falls short. A troubling sort of thing to find fault in, given Future and Scooter’s mutual rises to prominence depended on the exciting nature of their back and forth dynamic.
While he specializes in street rap, Scooter has always possessed an ear for unique production; at times, his beat selection helps elevates him over some of his more eccentric peers. Trippple Cross is no exception to the rule. The project boasts selections from well-established names like Zaytoven, Metro Boomin as well as some of the less-discussed names in Atlanta rap production; frequent Freebandz deep cut provider ATL Jacob or occasional Migos collaborator Stack Boy Twaun.
Whether it's the balearic piano lines of “Bail Out” (also boasting a feature from the now infamous Youngboy Never Broke Again), the sludgy synth dirges of “Zone 6 Took The Rap Game” or the druggy carnival vibes of “Plug Lingo”, Scooter never sounds out of place. If anything, the highlights of Trippple Cross are the moments of unpredictability. While more familiar material like “I Know” and “Play With Millions” feel closer to rehashes of earlier peaks, there’s enough variance to keep the project exciting across the board. However, longtime listeners will no doubt need to know how Young Scooter fares.It is with great pride I announce that the Lil’ Mexico legend is in top form throughout.
As a rapper with almost a decade’s worth of experience in the game, Scooter has fine tuned his approach to primarily highlight his strengths. His rapping certainly tends towards the more slow and steady approaches, especially when compared to the homies Thug and Future; still, he always manages to sound equally as lively. Favoring conversational analogy over “bars”, Scooter describes things so matter-of-factly (mentioning he rolls weed up like Young Dolph) that he manages to convey more than any cliche similes could ever do. Scooter is without a doubt the star of his mixtape despite the appearances of his more mainstream-appealing associates.
As far as expectations go, Trippple Cross serves two purposes. One, it’s exactly what longtime fans of Young Scooter both want and deserve. Two, it’s a good gateway for the more unfamiliar fan, who might have discovered the project through Future or Thug. Thematically, the project isn’t exactly the most varied. Scooter tends to favor his preferred topics: getting money, not betraying the streets, and so on. Still, he manages to do it with enough passion and finesse that one rarely minds how little the deviation occur. With the benefit of stellar production, a star studded supporting cast, and sheer dedication, Trippple Cross is most certainly a win for Scooter - and Atlanta, for that matter.