BigWalkDog – Trick City (Review)

As BigWalkDog’s own website states, “The Mississippi Delta harbors a long history of gutsy and gritty artistry, dating all the way back to Muddy Waters and B.B. King. Carrying this tradition into a new lane, BigWalkDog bites right through hip-hop with his own brand of Southern gusto”.

While the 1017 signee’s much hyped debut album fits the mold of the label’s sound – driven by a uniquely heavy uses of piano loops, as seen on albums like Big Grimm Reaper – WalkDog shines through with his own modern gothic attitude and steady flows. Trick City is yet another phenomenal album driving a trap renaissance, and a testament to the label’s talent acquisition.

I ain’t never had shit, not a motherfuckin dime
Wop got me out the trenches, had murder on my mind

Whether its Pooh Sheisty’s slurred, triplet drawl, Hotboy Wes’ Louisiana influence, or Big Scarr’s chains constantly ringing, everybody on the New 1017 brings surprisingly hungry and different flows. With not many rappers being from Mississippi, WalkDog’s unique accent is a small breath of fresh air for the scene. His flow is impressive in how steady and constant it is; Each syllable hits right in sync with the beats, and he drones on for bars upon bars, far longer than you would expect without a refrain. This gets him packing in far more lyricism than many other trap rappers and its a truly formidable mic presence.

BigWalkDog’s rapping might best be compared to a faster Big30; Every bar is a new anecdote of the street life in vivid detail, and combined with the way he dominates a track, you believe every cold word he spits. There are moments of reflection though, such as gratitude for his mentor Gucci Mane (who makes several feature appearances), losing a part of himself to the lifestyle on “Son of a Gun”, or the conflict between all this with family on “Uncle Tommy”.

BigWalkDog & Gucci Mane – “Poppin”

The production on Trick City is hardly anything new – a majority of the beats are that same style of piano driven trap so often used by 1017. Some tracks like the outro “Came From the Bottom” have a bit of an epic quality in the background that bring more emphasis to WalkDog’s mood. Its formulaic by the end of 20 tracks, but the always makes for a great pocket and match for him. There’s also the Detroit trap connection with several Helluva beats and WalkDog living there as a kid.

The hooks on here are frankly not the most memorable, often only distinguishable from the verses by virtue of being repeated. There are moments like “I Chose” where WalkDog actually gets a bit melodic, and its a welcome change after 50 minutes of bars. In the future, he could do something really special by expanding his toolbox like that or picking up some interesting features (Hotboy Wes could’ve shined on this album, for example). A standout record among the heavyweight young roster at 1017, Trick City shows what happens when an unstoppable force on the mic meets such steadfast production and promotion.

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