A lot of ink has already been spilled over this barely over a minute and a half long video by this teenage Texas rapper Tay K so I’m not going to go too far into the backstory. ‘The Race’ has already racked up over 12 million views in a mere 3 weeks since being posted on Youtube and is currently the #2 song on all of Soundcloud (behind only the seemingly insurmountable ‘Bodak Yellow’), thanks to the infectiousness of the song combined with the dark back story surrounding it. Tay K is almost like a rap game Icarus, with a meteoric rise to fame quickly followed by a shockingly fast fall from grace. (I’m aware that he had somewhat of a following before ‘The Race’ but let’s be honest this song took his fame to a whole different level and put him into the mainstream consciousness). At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to make some kind of bold statement, the whole thing kind of reminds me of an XXXtentacion, in that they’re both rappers who were finding some baseline of fanbase via their output but then whose notoriety from their criminal exploits propelled them to previously unforeseen levels of infamy.
The beat makes me think of a Yoshi running away from a bad guy or out of a haunted castle or something, and Tay-K’s frantic, spastic movements and flow certainly fit that image, which makes sense given the subject matter of the song, which is basically Tay K summarizes his time going on the lam; cutting off his court-monitored ankle bracelet and seeking to escape from U.S. Marshals in a nationwide manhunt. If this whole thing had went on for a bit longer, I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been made into an episode of ‘The Hunt with John Walsh’.Apparently Tay-K was captured in Elizabeth, New Jersey, shortly after the song came out. As someone who has spent a lot of time in NJ, I can confirm, Elizabeth would be VERY low on my list of priorities of places I’d want to spend potentially my last days as a free man in before going to prison.
I guess my main thought here is has anyone else noticed that we seem to have seen a big surge of rappers rapping about robbing (and robbing drug dealers specifically) instead of about dealing drugs? It seems like a bit of a sea change to me, especially with younger rappers, and I guess you could say that this is literally the pinnacle of that shift. Whether it’s YG or Kodak Black, there seems to be a ton of songs that mention robbing dealers now whereas when I was growing up most rappers extolled the virtues of the neighborhood dealer. Somebody needs to commission a Pew Research study or something.
P.S. – Lastly, you don’t need me to tell you that this song is already huge, but with a slew of freestyles/remixes already out from Lud Foe, Rico Recklezz, Bambino, and his fellow Texans like Trap Boy Freddy and Trill Sammy already out, and plenty more sure to be in the works, this beat is going to literally be everywhere. Is it just me or does this seem like other rappers started making their own freestyles/remixes over this beat in record time? The song has only been out for a couple of weeks before everyone jumped on it.
P.P.S. – I’m also really hoping to get a Montana of 300 version of this