Chicago rapper ZMoney has been on Complex's artists-to-watch radar since he dropped Rich B4 Rap back in June of last year. With buzzing local singles like "Want My Money" and "Regular," a cosign from Chance The Rapper, and love from places like Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, and, of course, Complex, he's begun to gain a little steam in hip-hop, despite coming from outside hip-hop's twin club centers of Atlanta and Los Angeles. His stopgap release The Mobb Tape included a few joints, like the delirious "Rollin," but his latest track, "Dope Boy Magic," is his best single song since his debut.
Over a sparse beat crafted by frequent collaborator JNeal, ZMoney spits with a tightly-wound fluency; each syllable sticks to the next like velcro. This isn't the first time JNeal has been drawn to a minimal production style; ZMoney's "Ferragamo" made similar use of negative space. But "Dope Boy Magic" also sounds unique in the catalog, with no hi-hats—occasionally a subtle tapping noise will tick on for a brief pattern—letting ZMoney's flow fill in the eighth notes for us. By pulling back on production flourishes, ZMoney's vocals become as much a part of how the song sounds as its actual beat, wedding beat and rapping together. Bars aren't just content delivery; they're a part of the song's structure.
"Dope Boy Magic" is also the name of a West Side Chicago-based clothing line; ZMoney rocks a few of their shirts in this video. You might also recognize one of their hoodies from Chance The Rapper's "Juice" video.
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