Pitchfork writer Alphonse Pierre’s rap column covers songs, mixtapes, albums, Instagram freestyles, memes, weird tweets, fashion trends—and anything else that catches his attention.

Trippie Redd’s “Miss the Rage” is supposed to be the song that you wild out to this summer. The song that soundtracks every questionable decision. The song that invites destructive fans to bash heads and bleed in the middle of festival mosh pits. But the “Miss the Rage” video is just the latest case of corporate-approved rap rage—a subdued form of anger that feels like the result of a monthslong vetting process by a label’s HR department. In the clip, which looks like it was shot on a Hollywood set, Trippie sets a single car on fire, destroys a few home goods with a golf club, and shakes his dreads. Featured guest Playboi Carti is there too, but aside from throwing what looks to be a molotov cocktail he mostly just flails around. The whole thing is about as crazy as the scene in Office Space where they smash the printer into pieces.

Nobody is asking Trippie to put himself in serious danger or inflict physical harm upon another human being, but shit, at least do something beyond mean mugging and causing the type of half-assed destruction that’ll only get you a ticket and a fine! This sanitized “rage” shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how the word has lost its power in rap since it was adopted by Travis Scott, whose definition involves jumping up and down a lot and getting buzzed off hard seltzer. (It’s about as out-of-control as he can get, while keeping all of his sponsors happy.)

Travis picked the word up from one of his signature influences, Kid Cudi. Initially Cudi had a somewhat interesting take on the emotion: His 2010 track “Mr. Rager” is about an inner battle, trying to find an escape from the heavy drug use that had him living in a near fantasy world. As Cudi got older though, rage just became a part of his brand. He even made a song called “The Rage” for The Rock’s dumb giant gorilla movie Rampage, where the turmoil that was felt on “Mr. Rager” was replaced with a heavy-handed Smashing Pumpkins sample and hollow, giant gorilla-themed lyrics: “Hands up, we back in, born in the rage/Untamed, break free, beast out of the cage.”

Just like Cudi interpolating the Smashing Pumpkins, popular rappers often communicate rage through the sounds, images, and personalities of alternative rock and punk music. So many rappers have tried to make us believe that they’re influenced by punk madman GG Allin or Marilyn Manson (most notably Lil Uzi Vert) because it’s the easiest way to be perceived as a “rager” without having to actually do anything that requires rage. That’s the activating idea of Playboi Carti albums like Die Lit and Whole Lotta Red, where he’s supposed to be a modern day rock star, though I think that’s the least interesting part of his music. Rage doesn’t have to be so straightforward or rely on decades-old rock tropes; it can be subtle and ambiguous, or just appear in vocal bursts like it has in rap for generations.

Right now, you have to look beyond rap’s superstars to find any sort of rage communicated without special effects, whether it be Michigan stalwarts Rio Da Yung OG and YN Jay’s frustrated screams, or the anger behind so much regional street and drill rap, or tons of music on SoundCloud that sounds like the world caving in. These rappers don’t have to say the actual word or set a prop car ablaze to convey the feeling. Then there’s rappers who do it vocally, whether it be Hook, who sounds like she’s throwing a tantrum over West Coast house party beats, or JPEGMAFIA, who howls like he’s being separated from his own body. And, of course, Rico Nasty embodies the term every time she scream-raps like she’s being exorcised. All of these artists understand what Trippie and his ilk do not: Rage is more than a word you can just throw around—if you say it you have to make us feel it.

Who will give us this year’s song of the summer? Will Drake descend from the rafters with a massive hit like usual? Will the joint album between Lil Baby and Lil Durk, arguably the two hottest rappers on Earth, birth the hook you can’t escape? Or is it something that’s already in front of us, like one of the Doja Cat or Saweetie singles? Well, listen up. I have a contender you might be overlooking. It’s Young M.A’s “Hello Baby.”

In New York City, once a Young M.A single begins to trickle onto the radio airwaves, you know summer is on the horizon. It’s happened before with “OOOUUU,” “Eat,” and “Big,” and now “Hello Baby” is ready to pick up that mantle. There’s something about the Brooklyn rapper that just makes her music click once the weather gets warmer. Maybe it’s because almost all of her songs have the same basic plotline: She shows up to a crowded club, gets crossfaded off too many sips of Henny and hits of expensive weed, throws game at a dude’s girlfriend, and either gets in a fight over it or ends up having sex with the girl in the back of a Uber.

“Hello Baby” is exactly that. “Sipping that yakkie, bitch in the pass seat/Got two more in the backseat,” she raps on the opening line. Later she says, “We in the spot, bottles and thots, took home somebody daughter” over drill drums and a mesmerizing vocal sample. She raps about the type of club nights people dream of having, when they get all dressed up and spend thousands without a care. If there’s anything wrong with the track it’s the Fivio Foreign guest verse—the dude has been on autopilot since Drake tried to crown him the flagbearer of New York drill. (He is not!) But it’s really all about Young M.A and her slickly delivered late-night adventures. This song is ready and willing to soundtrack a devious summer, we just have to open our arms and accept it.

Detroit producer Topside may be influenced by the classic sounds of New Orleans’ No Limit Records, but his beats do more than merely pay homage. Even though he’s served his funk to Los, DaeMoney, Babyface Ray, and more, I wonder why every rapper ready to talk shit isn’t spamming his DMs. On “Cup of Ice T,” Topside offers a perfect backdrop for Rochester, New York maniac RX Papi’s drug-heist fantasies. “Robbed a nigga when I met him, I been cool with since/He don’t know it’s me that robbed him that’s how I move I’m too legit/Addicted to this trap shit, nigga I can’t quit,” Papi raps, exposing his villainous ways (and also making it unclear why anybody would want to be his friend). But regardless of the rapper’s questionable ethics, these vignettes sound so alive over Topside’s thick basslines and hypnotic chimes. Luckily, there are three more new songs exactly like it.

In the couple of years before he was murdered in September 1996, Tupac was the most infamous rapper on the planet. He put out Me Against the World and All Eyez on Me, signed to Death Row Records after a highly publicized stint in jail for sexual abuse, and was in the midst of the bleakest rap beef ever. In his downtime he filmed a relatively small dark comedy by first-time director Vondie-Curtis Hall called Gridlock’d, which was released several months after his death. It’s about two drug addicts (Pac and Tim Roth) who witness their friend (played by Thandie Newton) overdose, and decide to kick their habit. They spend a hellish day trying to enter a rehab program but are thrown into maddening loops by government bureaucracy. Meanwhile, they’re also being chased by police and a local gang, and, oh yeah, they’re also in a spoken word jazz band where Pac plays bass. It’s so convoluted—and only memorable because of Pac.

Tupac probably could have been an action star. The best parts of Gridlock’d are watching him escape. He runs with the fluidness of Wesley Snipes, which makes it look real, and the animation of Tom Cruise, which makes it look hilariously intense. He could’ve been a Fast and Furious villain! But compared to his more iconic roles in Juice and Poetic Justice, there are hardly any explosive scenes that you would want to revisit on YouTube again and again. Pac’s role is subtle, and he does a lot of work with his eyes, which can convey desperation, anger, and frustration with a single look. He’s good at it, but I’d much rather see him show off the quick-tempered menace that made him such a force.

Tony Shhnow’s new track is a remix of Usher’s Neptunes-produced “U Don’t Have To Call,” and the video looks like it should air on a vintage episode of 106 & Park. It has all the nostalgic details down, from the font of the credits in the bottom left corner to the stylish video vixen to the basketball jersey to the fish-eye lens to the cream-colored furniture that looks like it belongs in a rom-com starring Gabrielle Union. Even though Tony is an independent artist, and this clip was likely made on a tight budget, it’s not half-assed. And as we delve further into this wave of 2000s nostalgia, someone with deeper pockets will definitely do this same thing, but we’ll know Tony did it first.

BBY GOYARD’s cartoonishly high-pitched vocals sound like he stepped into a studio and told the engineer, “Turn up every knob!” It’s all you’ll notice about the North Carolina rapper’s music at first. But other elements soon come to the forefront: lyrics that are often about love and drugs, snappy melodies, and beats that would start a mosh pit in a Zumiez. “Final Destination” has all of that. BBY GOYARD’s vocals sound sweet on this one, which isn’t explicitly about love, yet feels like it could be. But send it to the person you’re crushing on with caution—you may receive nothing more than a read receipt.

Of course, this was probably tweeted by James Caan’s assistant, but it’s fun to pretend that the 81-year-old Hollywood legend is somewhere bumping Beast Mode.

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