On his promising debut mixtape “Ice Cold Perm,” 19-year-old Bay Area rapper 100s blends the melodic, cloudy sounds of contemporary alternative hip-hop with a classic West Coast player attitude. The cover art references Snoop Dogg’s 1996 album art for “Tha Doggfather,” an appropriate allusion for a charming, skinny kid playing the role of a cold-hearted pimp. Certainly 100s is not the only rapper attempting to mix Tumblr-era aesthetics with street rap traditions, yet “Ice Cold Perm” stands out because it achieves these goals so well. Joe Wax, who produced most of the mixtape, has developed a knack for creating memorable tunes out of hazy synth lines. He utilizes a wide variety of sounds from dreamy songs with Main Attrakionz (“Passion”) to the club-ready twerk music (“Push The Line”), but are unified by a distant, icy mood. Joe Wax is a good match for 100s, who has a melodic flow but a reserved, pimp-rap demeanor. 100s glides over the smooth instrumental on Bay Area tribute song “Land of the Laced.”
Stream: 100s – Land of the Laced (Dreamcollabo)
100s is equally capable of engaging party rap. On “1999” he utilizes Gen-Y nostalgia for flossy Clinton-era excess, comparing his life to the iconic “set of Big Pimpin’ in 2000.” His affection for late 90s rap doesn’t end at the referencing Jay and UGK’s yacht party, though. He shouts out Cash Money legend Juvenile on “Bout That Life” which features guest verses from J. Folks and previous Truancy Volume contributor Chippy Nonstop. The song exemplifies 100s ability to innovate and experiment with new sounds in genuinely entertaining way. His charm and sense of humor shine through the smooth pimp talk on lines like “never fuck with skinny hoes because our ribs with rub together.”
Stream: 100s – Bout That Life (Dreamcollabo)
“Ice Cold Perm” by 100s is available for download on Bandcamp.