A Very Necessary Recap of Law & Order: SVU’s Bizarre Brooklyn Drill Episode

Anyway, while they’re watching Gutta’s video, a new one drops where Gutta gives a play-by-play of the robbery and even flashes a stolen chain. “These kids are clout chasing,” Ice-T says. “The dummies wanna be famous so bad they’re doing our jobs for us.” Did Dick Wolf hire DJ Akademiks to ghostwrite this?

They eventually raid Gutta’s crib, arrest him, and find the guns used in the homicide. Gutta tries to place the blame on Tori, though that leads to the reveal that he has been sexually assaulting and physically abusing her since she was 15. By the end it’s clear that “Nightmares in Drill City” was pulled from the Tekashi 6ix9ine case, which is fine, though it feels like they’ve had it sitting on the shelf for a year or two.

But the biggest problem with the episode is that every lyric is immediately accepted as reality, especially since this is an ongoing issue in real life: Just this week in New York, small progress was made toward limiting rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. SVU’s negligence here is complicated. On one hand, yes, Ice-T explaining drill like he wants to write a guest blurb in this column is hilarious, but also, the episode bolsters the idea that rap lyrics should be justified as evidence in court. Even when this show tries to keep up with the times, it’s still a relic.

Young Dolph made straight Memphis street rap—just his voice, sounding like it was coming through a megaphone, over booming beats. It is brutal, dark, and introspective as much as it is optimistic and funny. One moment that instantly comes to mind is his verse on a Starlito and Don Trip track from 2014 called “Meanwhile,” where he goes from digging up childhood trauma to confessing the way to his heart: “If she roll the weed good, I’ll buy the bitch a pair of Uggs.” That was Dolph. There was never one mood that solely defined his music. He went through a whirlwind of emotions, like real humans do, and that resonated in his city and far beyond. I have a long list of Young Dolph favorites, but here are a few that come to mind.

“Real Life”

“Real Life” is a somber trap song from Dolph’s most consistent tape, 2016’s King of Memphis. The chorus is particularly great, where he barks, “I ain’t wanted nothin’ in my whole life but some fucking money,” sounding completely drained. It takes a lot out of him to even think about all the hurdles he had to leap to get to a point of being comfortable.

“Hold Up Hold Up Hold Up”

Young Dolph had a knack for making a few words endlessly loop in my head. Around the time Rich Slave came out last year, it was the words “hold up, hold up, hold up” from the intro track of the same name. The downbeat instrumental shapes the mood by making his flexes feel less like bragging and more a sigh of relief.

“If I Ever” [ft. Key Glock]

The relationship Dolph built with fellow Memphis rapper and younger cousin Key Glock on the Dum and Dummer series was a good one. They complemented each other well, and both volumes are bright spots in Dolph’s catalog. “If I Ever,” from the first tape, is the one I go back to the most. Dolph and Key are having so much fun just trying to get in the best lines they can over the hypnotic beat. Dolph wins out, though. “My watch beefin’ with my chain, and I’m the instigator,” he starts casually, as if what he just said wasn’t so damn cool. To Dolph it was just another line.

Bandmanrill: “Tonight’s Da Night Freestyle”

Newark, New Jersey is one of the pivotal music cities on the East Coast. It’s been a home to jazz for many years; it’s where Jersey club originated; it’s the city that New York rappers go to perform when they start to get big. Bandmanrill is trying to spearhead a new movement in Newark, and he’s got it popping with four consecutive singles where he lays drill flows over kinetic Jersey club beats (his latest one is a homage to his city).

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