The 21-year-old Sacramento rapper ShooterGang Kony has been making music for a few years now. Last year, he broke out nationally with the extremely thorough Second Hand Smoke mixtape and with “Charlie,” a stupidly funky Bay Area anthem. But now that he’s earned some attention, ShooterGang Kony is going in a different direction, and we can hear that in Red Paint Reverend, the new album that he released today.
Kony is a classic Bay Area rapper — choppy, energetic, entirely comfortable over gut-churning digital basslines and drums that sound like slamming car doors. He can get plenty ignorant when he wants; he is, after all, named after an African warlord. But he’s lately been getting insightful, rapping heavy and heartbroken street-life blues. That’s what he’s brought to the recent singles “A Sinner’s Story” and “Dearly Departed.”
Red Paint Reverend does a good job combining those two sides. On first listen, it’s a great example of a few different Bay Area rap styles at once — post-hyphy dumb-outs fused with Jacka-style seen-it-all crime narratives. Kony is talented enough to pull the combination off, and I feel like I’m going to be listening to this one for a while. Fellow Bay artists like Mozzy, OMB Peezy, and Nef The Pharaoh make appearances. This is a good one, and you can stream it below.
Red Paint Reverend is out now on EMPIRE.