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This or That? – Ca$h Out Vs. Doughboyz Cashout

This week we look at two artists that purists and backpackers are sure to turn their nose up at: Ca$h Out of ‘Cashin’ Out’ fame, and Doughboyz Cashout, the latest young artists that Jeezy and CTE have sunk their fangs into.

Ca$h Out is a fairly predictable case, what with his fun-loving hit single from 2012, but what’s strange about him is that he’s still waiting to drop his debut album. ‘Cashin’ Out’ came out on a mixtape called ‘It’s My Time,’ and it seems like two singles followed — the boring ‘Big Booty’ and the somewhat less-dull-but-still-bleh ‘Hold Up’ with Wale. He was quiet in 2013, save for a dope Future collaboration in 2013 called ‘Another Country,’ and he’s already dropped two new songs this year. One is the fairly bland ‘She Twerkin’ (that still boasts an impressive beat by Spinz and Dun Deal), but the other, ‘Mexico,’ is a strangely successful Young Thug impersonation, insofar as he nails that sound pretty well. It’s his best song in two years. That 2012 mixtape ‘It’s My Time’ had a couple standout songs like ‘You Know’ and ‘I Know You See,’ but most of the project blends together. The hooks are strong, but they often use the same cadence, and the rest of his repertoire lacks much flair.

Doughboyz Cashout, on the other hand, are a pleasant surprise. I’ll admit, before I started listening to them I thought it was just going to be more Southern trap shit, and I’m not even sure why I had that bias — probably because Jeezy has started sucking their blood. For a couple months, A$AP Yams could be seen playing their music heavily on Spotify, and that’s when I should have listened. Stevie knows his rap.

The 2012 ‘Free Roc’ mixtape from the Detroit, Mich. crew consisting of 4-1 Payroll, Kidd aka HBK, Brightmo Roc, Wee, Crispy Quis & Chaz Bling, is outstanding. It starts with a dude rapping over the phone from prison, which doesn’t hold much promise, but the first song, ‘Da Mob,’ quickly makes up for it. There’s a raw, almost elementary aspect to the song, but the charisma that these guys rap with is captivating. Ca$h Out sounds tired; Doughboyz Cashout sound hungry. “My role models was all street n–gas, my idols was all drug dealers,” goes the hook for ‘My Idols’ – this is straight out of the D. No studio magic.

Traces of Eazy-E and Suga Free are in the air at different points, but the best song is clearly ‘Low Number.’ The beat is a smoked out departure from the harder stuff across the project, and the chorus sounds straight out of Nate Dogg’s ghetto gospel book (see something similar on ‘Hustlin’). The tape is stacked with highlights – ‘Boss Yo Life Up’ is a catchy anthem, ‘I’d Rather Ball’ is a soundtrack to taking interstate chances, and ‘Get Money Stay Humble’ is a primer in street rules. The last song mentioned even finds a crew member referring to his necklace as “water ice,” easily the greatest jewelry metaphor I’ve ever heard. And if you still need a reason to check out their music, just consider that the last song samples ‘In The Air Tonight.’

It doesn’t really sound like these kids want a hit. The music has a cathartic quality, as if it’s the only other channel they can turn to to vent. “I made it, I think the trees and the smack did it,” they say at one point, and it’s like that scene when Scarface is burying his head in a mountain of coke, reveling in the product that made him rich. Their latest tape, ‘We Run The City Vol. 4,’ keeps up the energy, but the project they did with Young Jeezy, ‘Boss Yo Life Up Gang,’ doesn’t have the same staying power.

There is a snobbery that presides in some circles of rap conversation today, a snobbery that looks down upon pure street rap in favor of artists like who use big words like Kendrick Lamar and Lupe Fiasco. There’s something that their music is often missing, however, and that’s the desperation that young kids bring to the gift of making music. ‘Free Roc’ is a respite from more dangerous circumstances, and Ca$h Out finds an escape through pop ambitions, but they’re both enjoyable in their own lanes. Seriously, listen to ‘Free Roc’ though. There are few feelings better than having low expectations exceeded.

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