Summer ’18 is shaping up to be one for the books. From G.O.O.D. Music’s 5 week assault to Drake’s Scorpion, Future’s Beast Mode 2, Freddie Gibbs’ Freddie and, more recently, Travis Scott’s Astroworld, Mac Miller’s Swimming, and YG’s Stay Dangerous, along with the fire Curren$y has been dropping from the clouds, this has been an extremely active summer for hip-hop. There is quite a feeling brewing when one only has a week, if that, to take in a new project before another Friday musical care package drops. While some may find it exhaustive, most love the variety and find it all inspiring in many ways.
Enter the Southern Super Friends. The Southern Super Friends (aka SSF), are a creative collective that includes somewhere around as many members as the Nation of Domination at this point. Some produce, some rap, some create apparel or play behind the scenes but they all share the same goals: spread positive energy and prosper as SSF. Though they are all artists on their own, when Kyoshi Ivory, Zypherman G, Boy WNDR, LB Swan, Smooth Jeff, DH, CayJ Tha Sage, RoLang, YungYogaFire, and TanPapiDoug link up for a project, “It’s a SSF thang.” The same is no different with their latest album Off The Top.
YungYogaFire and RoLang perform at the latest SSF show
As described by one of their own from their YouTube Post of the album: “This is that southern SUPER loud pack. No hooba dooba. DEM TEXXAS BARS. (13)track SSF Don’t be stingy with the gas!!! Pass it round with the homies.” Few could describe it better. Though it will be attempted.
Off The Top is a very robust project. The 13 track, one hour run through helms heat like “Monaco” and “64 Chevy” respectively. Both create an ambiance of a project that could have dropped in 80s/90s and still be in rotation in 2018. Their freestyles, “Water” and “New Clip” greatly highlight their eclectic deliveries. Additionally, “Flexi” is the type of fun Father, ILoveMakonnen, and Key captured with “Look at Wrist”. While “Coachella 3033” holds a gem of a verse from LB Swan which fosters warm memories of Kanye West’s “Livin’ a Movie”. Tracks like “Set Up”and “Grey Poupon” bring a level of reality and empathy between the group and its fans yet, still remains faithful to their concept. Arguably, the loudest of the pack,”Balenciaga SS/18″, features a fantastic choppedNScrewed version of a very familiar Meek Mill song. It’s definitely a track that sticks as the project goes on. SSF goes against the grain of mainstream artists and relies on the mastery of Texas Hip-Hop to bring a sound their audience will ultimately love.
Zypherman G dropping bars
SSF’s Off The Top is so well done, it’s not even allowed to be streamed in its entirety on platforms like Spotify. This is largely do to sampling clearance issues but YouTube as well as Soundcloud have the project in full. It’s not a complete loss for Spotify, some of the best tracks: “Dragon Ball”, “Coachella 3033”, “Balenciaga SS/18”, “New Clip Freestyle”, and “Temporary” are quintessential SSF vibes for those new the group and unsure if they should dig for more. Let me insist, you should. The entire discography is special and they are progressively improving together.
SSF is a tight knit group of rap styles that compliment one another, not clash. Their styles and delivery in addition to the creatively ambitious sound design make for a serious dark horse for an album of the year conversation. No hype included. Regardless of one’s preferred style of hip-hop, SSF’s Off The Top has something everyone will appreciate. Turn up, turn down, spark it, get on the sticks, whatever you’re into, SSF’s latest as well as their other works can compliment the event to perfection. Those looking for a different view of summer should look no further than the Southern Super Friends’ 2018 album, Off The Top. No hooba dooba.
listen to off the top here:
Full album version:
*Reminder – “Don’t be stingy with the gas. Pass it round to the homies.”*