“Give a fuck what you sayin’ about a n***a, I used to be homeless” asserts 03 Greedo on the outro of “Bet I Walk,” a brief moment of unexpected humility from a dude who once called Tupac “a bitch-ass.” For Greedo, making it doesn’t mean having an endless amount of cash or trying to outflex his haters (though, he does do plenty of both); making it means having a roof over your head, being able to feed your family, and living like a free man. Right when things were looking up for the Wolf of Grape Street in all of these respects, after a string of critically lauded mixtapes, he seemingly lost it all again once he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firearm possession. Now eight months after his sentencing, Greedo hasn’t lost his persistence to make something out of nothing — if anything, he’s now trying harder than ever to prove himself.
Still Summer in the Projects, his second release while behind bars, finds our incarcerated MC largely playing to his strengths: being the rap boogeyman who receives nothing but pure glee from everyday trapping, slurring his inebriated, auto-tuned vocals until they slowly develop to a ecstatically high-pitched cry. This approach takes on a startling amount of range, from the semi-romantic balladry on “In The Morning” or “Gettin’ Ready,” to sex-fueled bangers like the YG assisted “Wasted,” where the two leading figures in West Coast rap mumble through one of Mustard’s most aggressively funky productions. While the material on Still Summer in the Projects was all recorded months before its release, there is a moment where we hear Greedo in the present: from a voicemail he left while in prison. On album closer “Visions,” he joyfully claims that “when I get out I’ma be a millionaire, I came in here with nothin, feel me?” understanding fully that his current sentence isn’t the end of everything he’s built, but just another roadblock to the prosperity he dreams of.
Published as part of What Would Meek Do? | Issue 8