Are you aware that Kenny Beats, quite possibly the most exciting rap producer currently working, has a biweekly YouTube series called The Cave? I was not aware until this morning, and now the show is threatening to pull all of my productivity down into some eternal void. The concept of the show is simple enough: Kenny Beats spends 10 minutes making a beat, tailoring it to the exact specifications of that week’s guest. And then the guest — Rico Nasty, Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs, someone else on that level — goes in and does a quick freestyle. There are a lot of shows like this one, dedicated to rapper freestyles. But the magic of this one is the way Kenny and his guests relentlessly clown each other the entire time they’re working. It’s beautiful. The Zack Fox one just about killed me. The Cave thing might be my new favorite TV show, even though it’s not a TV show. This week’s picks are below.
Finally: An accurate, unflinching depiction of that Los Angeles pool-party life. When the bodybuilder guy started flexing to the beat, I lost it.
By this point, the rules should be well-established. If you put a rapper on a tank, your video makes it onto this list. It doesn’t matter if you also jam your video full of egregiously fake CGI blood-spurts and explosions, or if the attached song isn’t really any good. You’ve still got a rapper on a tank.
Please respect the overwhelming, humbling confidence of anyone willing to dance this goofily and this proudly in a music video.
What a gift, to be able to dance this smoothly and effortlessly in a music video. It must feel like having a superpower.
To complete the dance-based triumvirate atop this week’s list: This lady has the ability to transform into a damn Toxic Avenger and a Terminator, using only her own physical expressiveness. It’s almost a disappointment when the special effects start up near the video’s end. She was doing just fine on her own.