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Los: Louis Vuitton Gift Pack

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Louis Vuitton Gift Pack

After Platinum

Imagine if at the very bottom of the Hoover Dam, there was a spigot—like a bathroom faucet. You can open it just a little bit, and you’ll get a slow, easy trickle. But you can feel what’s behind it, the weight of a kajillion tons of water—enough for nearly half of the Southwest United States—and you know what happens if you open that spigot all the way and all of that water is trying to push itself out of that little opening. That’s about what it feels like to listen to Los rap—all that pressure and energy and weight, and just one dude’s mouth. It’s kinda scary.

But the awesomeness of Los has so much to do with how all of that is coming out from behind the dam, wordplay and linguistic mathematics that are like doing language computations at the quantum level while the rest of the rap world is still doing its equations on paper by hand. This fact is never more apparent than on his freestyles, which make up the bulk of last month’s Louis Vuitton Gift Pack mixtape. It might be something quick and playful like “A box of Tampons couldn’t stop me, period”—on the breathless, machine-gun freestyle over Nicki Minaj’s “Roman’s Revenge”—or taking a word, any word, and dissecting it and punning the fuck out of it in every way superhumanly possible. And not just punning, playing the word itself, but gaming the concept behind the word at the same time.

“I take my middle finger, flick it to the wicked media/ critics be on my dick, clickin’ a nigga’s Wikipedia/ flow more intricate than the period of pyramids/ whack rappers lack what the Pythagorean theorem is,” Los raps on “Dark Fantasy.” And it’s one of not too many rhyme-rhymes—more often, he’s working outside of and beyond conventional rhyme and working metaphors around and back again, and crazy meta wordplay—“no pun intended, just punishment”—in so many ways that you lose track of where Los even started with it.

“Audio killer, I’m in the assassin role/ y’all niggas is DeGrassi, I’m more like the grassy knoll,” he raps on the mixtape’s opening freestyle over Lil Wayne’s “Six Foot Seven Foot” hit and absolutely destroys it. Like any of the other kajillion boasts on the mixtape, Los backs it up, but there’s more than that: He makes shit-talking transcend. Language has rarely been treated so well by music.

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