Key Glockâ€™s breakout projectYellow Tape was a harsh trap record with little reprieve. Devoid of any potential radio hits, the featureless album entrenched listeners in the stifling world Key Glock grew up in. But Glock showcased a talent for writing lyrics sprinkled with earnest brevity, and in turn, Yellow Tape was a surprise hit that peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard 200 upon its release last year.
Glockâ€™s eye for these sober details was due to his tumultuous upbringing in South Memphis, which included an incarcerated mother, absent father and a brief jail stint. Raised by a supportive bevy of women â€“ his grandma, great grandma, and auntie specifically â€“ Glock connected with his cousin Young Dolph through them. It was through this supportive pack of women Glock learned the life lessons he has since peppered throughout his music. â€œMy granny told me whatâ€™s done in the dark must come to light,â€ Key Glock rapped on Yellow Tapeâ€™s â€œWhat Goes Around Comes Around.â€
On Yellow Tape 2, the sequel finds Glock at the most successful place in his career, flexing his financial independence with exuberance. But every blessing spoken is lightly coated in darkness. On â€œEveâ€ and â€œAmbition For Cash,â€ Glockâ€™s emphasis on self-sustainability is painted as an addiction. Heâ€™s been striving for financial wealth since he was â€œthirteen years old with a shoe box stash,â€ but that doesnâ€™t mean the grind is always healthy. â€œWhen you really gettinâ€™ money, itâ€™s some pros and itâ€™s some cons,â€ he raps over the smooth and brawny drum kicks of â€œQuarterback.â€
While the albumâ€™s flexes are fun and sometimes funny (â€œI walked in my garage and scratched my head cause I canâ€™t choose)â€ such as on â€œThe 1,â€ Glock intersperses these braggadocio remarks with candid honesty, adding moments of emotional breadth.
â€œMy auntie died in her sleep, yeah that shit fucked me up,â€ Glock raps on â€œ!!! (Donâ€™t Know Who To Trust),â€ before diving into a verse about how Instagram females DM him every day begging for dates.
Glock has mastered a stream of consciousness rhythm. While celebrating his diamonds and lavish cars, he canâ€™t help but get pulled back to the haunting experiences that shaped him. He intersperses rhymes about â€œjumpinâ€™ out the gym like Lebronâ€ on â€œU & I Knowâ€ with a hook about his struggle to quit Codeine despite pleas from a woman he cares about. â€œI told her I got problem sippinâ€™ raw since I was 14,â€ he raps.
Elsewhere, he touches on the unease and paranoia he feels as his career continues to grow. â€œIâ€™m on my road to riches and Iâ€™m prayinâ€™ I donâ€™t crash,â€ he raps on â€œUnderstood,â€ â€œThey like, â€˜Why donâ€™t you do features?â€™ â€˜Cause I donâ€™t like meetinâ€™ new n****s,â€™â€ he says on â€œEve.â€ But all of these moments are tied seamlessly together by Glockâ€™s silky flow and discernible swagger. He raps with unfettered confidence, toeing the line between impenetrable and brazen over twisting instrumentals that add extra nuances to traditional southern sounds. â€œCanâ€™t Switchâ€ lightly toys with a soft reggae bounce, while â€œLuv a Thugâ€ immerses Glock in a sultry, R&B self-assurance. â€œBangin; on that pussy, turn it purple like Grape Street,â€ he raps in all seriousness.
Itâ€™s in these ways that Glock and Yellow Tape 2 embody the Southern rap of past and present. Driving toward riches while demons sit comfortably in the backseat is the ethos of the genre that was carried by Three 6 Mafia and their affiliates, and Glock wears these influences proudly. â€œWhen you really gettinâ€™ money sometimes shit get dangerousâ€ he raps plainly on the Juicy J-produced closer â€œGangsta.â€
Glock sounds right at home rapping over a Hypnotize Minds-inspired barrage of piano and drum kicks, but itâ€™s Glockâ€™s knack for experimentation and transparency that makes his songs deceptively hard to figure out and impossible to ignore. The best part about Yellow Tape 2 is that itâ€™s clear from his eye for specific detail Glock isnâ€™t lying. Just ask his community about him.
@KeyGlock_ tape so damn slept on bruh! ðŸ”¥ðŸ¤§ THE REAL DEFINITION OF NO SKIPS! #YellowTape2 ðŸ”¥ðŸ›¸
â€” LÃˆEK LÃ‰EK ðŸ¤¬ðŸ¤¾ðŸ¾ (@007CHEK) November 28, 2021
#YellowTape2ðŸ”¥ Glizock snapped ðŸ˜ˆ
â€” á´›Êœá´€ É¢á´á´€á´›ðŸ ã³ (@YOUNGHONCHO) November 19, 2021
Ngl I gotta take this back @KeyGLOCK #YellowTape2 wasnâ€™t it brotha https://t.co/SORPNEkxeu
â€” Taj ðŸŒðŸ¾â€â™‚ï¸(13-7) (@bigfoefog) November 6, 2021