NoCap is a master of gloom. The Mobile, Alabama, rapper’s music mines a distinct sense of hopelessness; at points, his voice warbles with an unmistakable dread and then swells into a half-rapped, half-shrieked force.
“Count A Million,” his new song featuring Lil Uzi Vert, seems at first like it might be a song about the happiness that comes along with newly found wealth and security. Yet NoCap assures the listener “I ain’t flexin’, I ain’t braggin’,” despite devoting a considerable amount of time to doing that very thing. He might be relaxing in a five-star hotel after stepping off a jet, but his words still come with a sense of paranoia that’s understandable. For every one of his flexes, there are unforeseen consequences. That’s why he’ll boast, “I think that I could count a million with my eyes closed” on the chorus and move on to “Niggas I love wanna see me lose” by the verse. It’s all juxtaposed with Al’Geno and Yung Tago’s production, full of wistful keys and chaotic drums.
By the time Lil Uzi Vert — one of the architects of modern rap’s narcotized state — arrives on the song, he’s clearly at home. “Every time that I lose somebody, you know that it’s numb time,” he raps at the beginning of his verse. “I sit back, take a pill and think about all of ’em, good times.” There’s not much to celebrate on “Count A Million,” but then again, most people aren’t in the mood to rejoice right now.
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