“I’ll lose all I got before I lose myself. Talk is cheap so give me that real and keep that path… I pray to God if I fall I land on love and wealth. Oh well, I wish them well.” At this point I think it’s clear that I have a penchant for the theatrical and Zoocci Coke Dope is an artist that knows how to sonically deliver that at scale. Our selection is the closing number that climaxes ANXIETY+ with a gladiator’s spirit, iLL Prelude. iLL Prelude is a combative cry for holding one’s sense of authenticity to a high standard whilst decrying adversaries who have none and seek to strip you of your code. The track is introduced by an excerpt about making timeless music from Nipsey Hustle’s DJ Vlad interview as Zooccii launches into a verse that brings us into what feels like his general psyche working as an accomplished musician, whilst taking aim at a deceitful peer who he believes is inauthentic and deceitful. Tellaman runs away with a chorus that describes all that he’s willing to lose to keep his sense of self and it’s honestly one of my favourite hooks of the year. The production does a fantastic job of making the chorus feel like the grand declaration it is as Tellaman meets the moment with rousing conviction. Stogie T then delivers an incredibly braggadocious verse that shows how settled, content and extravagant his life is in comparison to that of his haters. iLL Prelude is climactic music that feels primed for stadiums. As a lover of hip-hop and theatricality, iLL Prelude is the exact kind of hip-hop excess I’m drawn to. It’s music you use to pump yourself up for life’s battles or when you just want to immerse yourself in grand soundscapes.
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