Reviews I by I 31.03.15

Father suffers from success the Awful way on Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First?

Available on: Awful Records

One of the weird pleasures of adulthood is revisiting the artifacts of youth and uncovering some of the dark and twisted material you were subjected to — without question — as a child: nursery rhymes, lullabies and fairy tales about babies falling from trees, child cannibalism, self-mutilation and the Great Plague. That’s why it’s fitting that Father kicks off Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First? with a riff on ‘Hush Little Baby’: it’s an album that often shrouds the darker moments of young adulthood in a pleasant package, like weed laced with PCP.

In the wake of Young Hot Ebony and breakout single ‘Look At Wrist’, Father deals with everything that has happened in the last six months or so: the side effects of his first taste of fame; heavy doses of sex, drugs and assorted Awful-styled fuckshit; and, ultimately, the deep-seated psychological issues that persist despite all else. Compared to his peers who are suffering from success, Father is at once more delighted, more defiant and more disturbed than we’d expect.

While the title isn’t just a raunchy come-on (trying to get a “pearlescent white Lamb[orghini], without signing 360 deal to white man” requires navigation of music industry fuckery), there’s plenty of that, too. But despite being explicit in both detail and content, Father avoids the lazy misogyny that is part-and-parcel with most contemporary rap, putting a premium on female pleasure and keeping things sex positive. “It started off PG but now it’s BET Uncut / started you and me but now it’s you and me and her / so what? who cares if they think that you’re a slut,” he ponders on ‘BET Uncut’, using the network’s controversial, softcore video show to destigmatize sexual exploration. Elsewhere, there’s a focus on “hit[ting] her spot,” getting girls “wetter than the Keys in September,” and plenty of “come” double entendres.

This attitude towards sex has cropped up in Awful’s catalog previously: KeithCharles Spacebar proclaimed “we never slut shame, we ain’t never give a fuck” in ‘Drink My Spit’, a song Father calls back to — albeit with a depraved comeback — on ‘BET Uncut’. On the same song, RichPoSlim puts Super Mario and sex positions in the same couplet, “unlock[s] her coochie chakras,” and wonders why if “I say she’s sexually liberated, you call her ass a ho?”

It’s a moment where Father shares the spotlight with another Awful family member, but not the last: Stalin Majesty and Abra add a verse and harmonies to ‘Morena’, respectively, while Abra raps about girl hate on the Miami bass-influenced ‘Gurl’. Spacebar contributes to a handful of songs, flexing his ¾ muscles on ‘Slow Dance’. As Father reminds on ‘Back in the “A” Freestyle / On Me’, Awful rolls “fifteen deep;” “that’s 30 hands” in a fight or on a track.

When you get a few members of Awful together in a room, conversations and collaboration will happen — but so will (self-)destruction. In one of the most vivid lines on the album, Father raps: “N*ggas in the party, mixing Moët with the Brandy / Keith pop a xan / hit a n*gga where he stand / and I jumped in with the RKO before he land.” That type of jackassery is all fun and games until about ‘Spoil You Rotten’ (“drank too much rum and I died”), when the album quickly takes a sinister turn.

Father sounds like a Xan-addled goth over otherworldly groans and live drums on the Spacebar-assisted ‘Highway 101’, a mood countered by the bouncy ‘Everybody in the Club Gettin Shot’. A self-aware flip of street rap tropes (like Young Hot Ebony track ‘2 Dead, 6 Wounded’), the song turns “everybody in the club getting shot / everybody gonna twirl then drop” into a violent reworking of something like ‘Tipsy’.

The album ends with ‘Suicide Party’, a song that takes self destruction to its logical conclusion, with a slinky riff, sinister efforts from Slug Christ and Spacebar, and a sing-song hook: “It’s a suicide party / who’s trying to die first? / vodka and Bacardi / where’s our advisors? / oh I guess they’re tied up / well let’s get higher.”

The hook of ‘Suicide Party’ is another twisted lullaby from Father, and a reprise of the title track. He’s still “stressed and depressed,” but as always, he’s doing things on his own terms and with Awful by his side.

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