Chronicles: ZMoney – Rich B4 Rap & Heroin Musik

Promising young Westside rapper ZMoney belongs to a generation of Chicagoans, raised on dudes like Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, who have mutated swagged-out ATL hip-hop into their own uniquely midwestern strain with its unique marble-mouth flows and roughly pretty autotune hooks. Although his music might sound at home alongside Southside drill rappers, ZMoney is more insolent than misanthropic, more of a rude hornball than a gritty trap rapper. His massive ego and juvenile sense of humor command attention and set him apart from his peers.

Ferragamo by ZMoney

ZMoney dropped his first two mixtapes, Heroin Musik and Rich B4 Rap, on the same day earlier this summer. Both tapes are hosted by DJ Hustlenomics and feature a variety of local producers serving up skittery beats that leave plenty of space for the rapper’s big personality. Raised in the wealthy suburb of Olympia Fields, ZMoney came up in North Austin, where he dropped out of high school after his dad was locked up. “My old man was rich as shit,” he brags on “Born In This Shit“, and across both mixtapes, ZMoney presents himself as a someone who grew up around luxury and expects to maintain that lifestyle into adulthood. Getting paid isn’t his goal, it’s his reality. “Don’t you wish you could just wake up and buy everything?” he listlessly drawls on his strongest single “Everything,” as if nothing less could satisfy him. It’s the kind of question only an ambitious rich kid would pose. Materialism is his most consistent theme; most of ZMoney’s songs are about how no one has as much money as he does.

Everything by ZMoney

If ZMoney lacks the “hunger” often valued in young, unknown rappers, he also never sounds like he’s rapping because he needs to be, but because he wants to. He just seems to enjoy the activity of rapping, which might be why he sounds so effortless when he delivers puerile zings like “no love for thots, they smell like cocks.” His raps are genuinely fun to listen to, jam-packed with funny hooks that beg to be blasted out of car windows and memed to death on twitter. His weirdo delivery style alternates between mush-mouthed incoherence and nasty, biting punchlines. At times he is deadpan, but often he veers into the hyperemotional whining tones, like a more immature Rich Homie Quan. He manages to find seemingly endless ways to rap about getting paper. He names it (“Ben Franklin”), brags about it (“Flexin”), humble brags about it (“Problem,” “Want My Money”), and makes fun of you for not having it (“Lacking,” “Regular”).

Regular by ZMoney

It was a risky move for ZMoney to release his first two mixtapes on the same day. Both tapes are relatively long, creating a relatively inaccessible body of work for new listeners to contend with. Fortunately for ZMoney, his music is so immediate, so hooky and fun, and his mixtapes have far more hits than misses. The large volume of music feels like a gift, not like homework. It’s even more impressive given that ZMoney has only been rapping for a year. His rhyme skills might still improve, but he already has the raw talent and personality to become a breakout star. Afterall, it is ZMoney’s charisma and pop sensibilities that carry what could be a tedious amount of music. Instead, we get two hours of nasty jokes, catchphrase hooks, autotune weirdness and a whole lot of new ways to talk about money.

Download: Rich B4 Rap and Heroin Musik (via Datpiff)

Michelle Myers

yung remix, #based in Chicago