“Zaza baby! Is Young Wabo’s first foray into experimental rap


There has been a lot of debate about what constitutes the ethics of a really great rap song. Various schools of thought tout qualities such as lyric depth, pun, production, cadence, and delivery as the primary characteristics of an exemplary piece. Another quality particularly appreciated by rap fans is authenticity. When a song feels “real” or “human” it comes to life and creates an emotional connection even deeper than expected. While Richmond, Virginia, produces “Zaza Baby!” by Young Wabo. Lacking most of the resources that go into the big budget releases, Wabo still manages to check most of the aforementioned boxes and create a truly organic rap song.

The track is built around one of the most catchy samples I’ve heard in a long time, with a woman singing “Zaza Baby!” on the wavering and idiosyncratic flow of Wabo. Wabo’s voice is a breath of fresh air, and it’s impossible not to hear some Earl Sweatshirt. While his lyrics are decidedly less abstract than Earl’s, Wabo still shows his qualities as a quality lyricist with a clever pun, as he mixes allusions to burger restaurants with nods to John D. Rockefeller, Jay-Z and Tupac Shakur for the two minutes of the track. duration. Wabo also places the song’s lyrical and emotional depth in a more mundane setting, the movement of a joint around a group of friends. When he thinks, “I heard that life is a circle, let’s go around this zaza”, it’s impossible for another Internet age kid not to both laugh a little and enjoy the song for his own sake. authenticity. Wabo’s twisty two-step flow is a breath of fresh air in a rap environment that needs innovation from outsiders in the industry.

Daily Arts writer Ryan Brace can be reached at rcbrace@umich.edu.


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