Kevin Abstract Proves More Rap Songs Should Be One Verse Long - Rolling Stone
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Kevin Abstract Proves That More Rap Songs Can Be One Verse Long

The Brockhampton frontman’s “The 1-9-9-9 Is Coming” is a single verse, delivered in less than a minute. It makes for a more powerful statement

Kevin Abstract‘s “The 1-9-9-9 Is Coming” isn’t long. The song’s runtime is a little under two minutes and contains one verse — just 45 seconds of rapping. There’s no hook, no bridge, no climax. Nothing to cut the dour subject matter.

Nevertheless, in that short window Abstract illustrates a life of alienation and precarious financial success. His mom still works at Sonic, guilt is eating away at him and people from his hometown still think he’s queerbaiting. It’s claustrophobic, until he makes a sharp pivot. “Quit being a bitch and quit hating,” he raps. “Y’all pump faking, I’m a power bottom.” If the detractors aren’t silenced, they should at least be stunned by the stunt. Abstract breaks into a double-time flow before riding off into the sunset, as the beat descends into computer glitches and distorted jazz horns.

More rap songs should be this long; more stories would benefit from being this short.

Arizona Baby is coming soon.

In This Article: Hip-Hop, Kevin Abstract


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