It’s been 14 years since Tom Cruise did the Yung Joc motorbike dance. In the summertime of 2006, Cruise was out on the promotional path behind Mission: Inconceivable III, and he put in an look on the late, lamented BET video-countdown present 106 & Park. That day on the present, one of many huge movies within the countdown was “It’s Goin’ Down,” the breakout hit from the Atlanta rapper Yung Joc. Cruise, watching the video, did what everyone did the primary time they noticed the “It’s Goin Down” video: He absentmindedly mimed together with Joc’s revving-a-motorcycle dance. Then host Large Tigger and M:I III co-star Ving Rhames made an enormous factor out of it. Cruise, visibly humiliated and delighted in equal measure, did his not-great perfect to copy the dance. The studio viewers went nuts. The video of Cruise doing the Joc dance stays, fairly presumably, the perfect factor on YouTube. I nonetheless give it some thought on a regular basis.

This was inevitable. It wasn’t essentially fated to be Cruise, however some extraordinarily well-known individual was going to get caught in public trying the motorbike dance in the summertime of 2006. “It’s Goin’ Down” was in all places that summer time, and so was the dance. That spring, I noticed Joc open for T.I. on the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and Joc carried out “It’s Goin’ Down” twice, at first and the top of his 15-minute set. Shortly thereafter, Joc was a shock visitor on the Scorching 97 Summer season Jam in New Jersey. Introducing Joc to a soccer stadium stuffed with New York rap followers, Jim Jones stated one thing like this: “Y’all like that little dance that he do?”

Everybody preferred that little dance. “It’s Goin’ Down” was an enormous hit that peaked at #Three on the Scorching 100. However 14 years is a very long time. Yung Joc went on to rap on a #1 T-Ache hit in 2007, however he hasn’t had a charting single for the reason that 2011 Yo Gotti/Stuey Rock collab “I Know What She Like,” which peaked at #91 on the R&B chart. Earlier this 12 months, footage of Joc driving for a ride-share app went viral. As of late, Joc’s identify is as soon as once more in a success single, nevertheless it’s not in the way in which he would possibly hope. Within the first line of the snowballing smash “We Paid,” the tiny, squeaky-voiced Detroit rapper 42 Dugg invokes the fleeting nature of the motorbike dance: “Earlier than I’m going broke like Joc, I’ma fuck with that canine like Vick.”

42 Dugg isn’t the primary individual to rap about Yung Joc going broke; Gucci Mane stated one thing related on the 2012 Future collab “Fuck The World,” when Joc had solely simply dropped off the charts. And Joc is presumably not broke, a minimum of in the way in which that I perceive the time period. He hosts a morning radio present in Atlanta, and he’s on one of many VH1 Love & Hip-Hop actuality exhibits. I’d like to be as broke as Joc. In a video posted in response to that 42 Dugg line, Joc flashes an enormous wad of a whole bunch on the digicam. He additionally admits that he likes “We Paid.” How might he not? Everyone likes “We Paid.”

When “We Paid” hit YouTube early in Might, it was not an occasion. Lil Child, 42 Dugg’s collaborator on the tune, had simply launched the stuffed album My Flip, and he hadn’t stopped cranking out visitor verses. 42 Dugg was not but a model identify. On first hear, “We Paid” seemed like yet one more vaguely melodic slow-creep Atlanta lure tune in a world stuffed with them. It’s a spacious, informal tune: Some gentle lyrical flexing, just a few drum hits, piano hits and synth tones deployed quietly and successfully. The tune by no means publicizes itself. However “We Paid” sticks with you. The primary 10 or 15 instances I heard it, I most likely barely observed. However someday in the previous couple of weeks, I’ve found out that I really like “We Paid.” Lots of people love “We Paid.”

The minimalism of “We Paid” works for it. 42 Dugg and Lil Child are complementary rappers — two deceptively gifted technical stylists whose flows are each catchy and complicated. They each discuss an entire lot of shit on “We Paid,” and their voices weave out and in of one another, discovering a hypnotic call-and-response groove. Child raps about spending cash on his buddies. Dugg raps about spending cash on himself. Each of them collect steam and drive as they preserve rapping. There’s one thing profoundly satisfying in regards to the tension-and-release dynamics of “We Paid,” the way in which it builds as much as the hook — “yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah we paid.” Within the video, Child and Dugg and buddies burn rubber in costly vehicles round some woodsy and secluded neighborhood, trying cool as hell.

Proper now, Lil Child is perhaps the most important rapper on this planet. My Flip got here out in early March, and it’s displaying critical endurance, overshadowing albums from Lil Child’s friends like Gunna and Lil Uzi Vert and DaBaby. As I write this, My Flip is spending its fourth week at #1 on the Billboard albums chart; Bob Dylan’s Tough And Rowdy Methods was not fairly tough or rowdy sufficient to dethrone it. Final week, “The Greater Image,” Lil Child’s considerate and hanging standalone protest tune, debuted at #Three on the Scorching 100. This week, “The Greater Image” stays within the prime 10, whereas “We Paid,” extra of a slow-building hit, has climbed as much as #18. In truth, there are six Lil Child tracks on the Scorching 100 proper now. Two of them function 42 Dugg.

42 Dugg is somebody you’re going to want to know. Dion Marquise Hayes comes from Detroit, and he’s 25 years previous. Like Lil Child earlier than him, Dugg solely began rapping after serving out a jail sentence that he was given as a youngster. (Child did two years for marijuana possession. Dugg did six years for carjacking and gun possession.) Dugg began taking rap severely whereas in solitary confinement, and he kicked off his profession after ending his jail stint in 2017. “Dugg” is his childhood nickname. “42” is a Hitchhiker’s Information To The Galaxy reference.

Dugg launched his first mixtape and scored a few regional underground viral hits in 2018. He linked with Lil Child after taking pictures cube with him, and he’s been signed to Child’s 4PF label and to Collective Music Group, the label run by Memphis rap godfather and former Yung Joc collaborator Yo Gotti, since final 12 months. Dugg, like Child, does loads of sing-rapping and makes use of loads of Auto-Tune. However in loads of methods, Dugg is a pure product of the Detroit underground — a yammering wiseass who excels over low-cost, tinny digital basslines. On Younger & Turnt, Vol. 2, the mixtape that he launched again in March, Dugg collaborates with Detroit underground fixtures like Babyface Ray and Bandgang Masoe, and many of the songs hover across the two-minute mark. Dugg’s additionally acquired an incredible little sonic signature: He whistles on his monitor intros. Dugg sounds completely comfy rapping with Lil Child, however he’s managed to strategy crossover stardom with out sacrificing his elementary Detroit-ness. That’s thrilling.

In loads of methods, 42 Dugg’s success is a testomony to what Lil Child has managed to perform. Child has now crossed the essential threshold the place he can assist elevate new stars himself. Lil Child is 25 years previous, and he’s barely three years into his rap profession. He’s an unlikely famous person — quiet, pensive, clearly uncomfortable when he will get an excessive amount of consideration. Child hardly ever does interviews. Even when he flexes, his verses are typically heavy on narrative and feeling.

Child connects arduous on songs like “The Greater Image” and “Emotionally Scarred,” tracks about inner struggles. However he’s additionally able to speaking fly shit. On “We Paid,” he and 42 Dugg discuss fly shit fantastically. “We Paid” is a gimmick-free underground rap throwdown from one newly minted star and one man who might change into one. Its success — successful achieved with out memes or chart-hustling tips or big-name remixes — is encouraging. If “We Paid” retains rising, if it actually turns into a dominant hit, all of us might be higher off — even Yung Joc.


1. Guapdad 4000 – “Lil Scammer That Might” (Feat. Denzel Curry)
Earlier than “Lil Scammer,” I had Guapdad 4000 pegged as a reasonably entertaining gimmicky court-jester sort. The primary time I hit play on “Lil Scammer,” I used to be jerking my shoulders and wrinkling my complete face up by the 30-second mark. Denzel Curry, the most effective we’ve acquired, barely retains up with Guapdad on this factor. The child has one thing.

2. Jack Harlow – “Whats Poppin (Remix)” (Feat. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, & Lil Wayne)
Jack Harlow dealt with this complete unexpected-hit factor with panache. In its unique type, “Whats Poppin” is fairly first rate swag-rap with a robust hook and a tricky, playful beat. In its remix, it’s a monster. Harlow places in a brand new verse and raps his ass off, and all of the company completely go in. DaBaby is the champion right here, however Wayne finds an incredible groove, and Tory Lanez brings a shocking depth. Everybody overperforms, and I’m left considering that, what the hell, possibly I like Jack Harlow.

3. Steelz & AD – “Slang D”
That beat is simply offensive. My sensibilities are harm. What did I ever do to that bassline? Or these drums? Or that piano on the hook?

4. GlockBoyz TeeJaee & OnFully – “Wack Jumper” (Feat. The Godfather & Bandgang Lonnie Bands)
The playful little string loop. The propulsive glide of the drums. The feeling of an entire lot of rappers I’ve by no means even heard of speaking shit over one another, everybody fluidly buying and selling off verses with ease. This factor was nice even earlier than Bandgang Lonnie Bands confirmed up on the finish, bringing elite-level wrestling and basketball references.

5. Germ – “Walked In”
This have to be a tricky summer time to be a rapper named Germ. Germ is making do.


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