YouTube fame is supposed to be fleeting. The website has taken the once figurative ‘15 seconds of fame’ and made it into something far more literal. Almost all of those who grasp at the popularity and glory the website can provide either achieve it before being quickly washed out or never achieve at all. The few that excel, however, are special.
George Watsky is one of those few. His video “Pale Kid Raps Fast” amassed an incredible amount of hits, but it was no gimmick and no fluke. His first mixtape, “Guilty Pleasures,” was filled to the brim with rhymes spit so quickly it was hard to decipher his lyrics. That was a shame, because underneath his incredibly to ability to rap faster than the Flash can run, he is also an incredibly gifted wordsmith and nationally renowned slam poet.
His talents made for a deadly combination, but “Guilty Pleasures” left his potential unfortunately unrealized. He rapped too fast for his own good, and because of that his secondary, and arguably more important, ability to play with words as if they were Silly Putty, bending and breaking at his will, went to waste.
Enter “A New Kind of Sexy.” His second mixtape is far more reserved, much more concentrated and an immeasurable improvement. He slowed the car down and let his lyrics take the wheel, this fact apparent from the sub-minute intro until the final track, only titled “*," which features a recording of his poem “I Don’t Want To Brag, But…”
The album’s shining moments come in a one-two punch at the tail end of the album. A remix of Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” gives a very welcome punch of energy, allowing Watsky to effectively rap in double time, but the beauty in the track still lies in the lyrics. While they might take a couple of listens to get, it’s worth the effort.
The next track, “4AM Monday” (him rapping over “Coming Home” by Diddy Dirty Money) is almost terrifyingly reflective. He cleverly dishes his thoughts on the record industry and how he fits in, and the honesty is chilling.
This mixtape, more than his previous work, his YouTube fame, or even his stellar poetry, solidifies Watsky as a force that is not to be reckoned with. Regardless of his popularity, his talent is flatly undeniable. He might not be bringing a new kind of sexy, but his raps feel like a genre all their own.