Dorky comedic rap is a lucrative business these days; just ask Yung Gravy. The Minnesota rapper’s CV already boasts platinum-certified hits (2016’s ‘Mr Clean’), SoundCloud bangers (2017’s ‘1 Thot 2 Thot Red Thot Blue Thot’) and a TikTok smash in the shape of ‘Betty’, currently climbing the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. Gravy – real name Matthew Raymond Hauri – has positioned himself here for a good time, but he hopes, perhaps, a long time as well.
This sentiment is continued on his third solo album, ‘Marvelous’, which is, truthfully, anything but. Over inspired and innovative flips of aged soul and jazz-y samples, Yung Gravy is merely looking for tongue-in-cheek quips and comedic appeal similar to internet sensation Lil Dicky, creator of hit TV show Dave. Album’s opening tracks ‘Isn’t it Just Marvelous?’ and ‘Mozzarella’ exude trap staples – sharp 808s, lyrical clichés – but, even so, feel too gimmicky as the tracks lean too heavily on them to be fully enjoyable.
Dicky’s influence is felt in the comedic timings and cadence of Gravy’s flows throughout. On ’C’est La Vie’, starring Rich Brian and BBNO$, the quickened flow and crude lyrics on Gravy’s second verse (“Then I’ll need a ride to my cooking class / Gravy train, choo choo, on that ass”) are so synonymous with comedic rap, that it might earn a cheap puff of laughter, but there’s nothing original about it.
When he does circumvent the stereotypes, he’s adept at turning them into earworms with an overly-animated vocal delivery. ‘Smells Like Money’ samples the definition of a stonking multi-generational rap hit, Salt-N-Pepa’s ‘Push It’, and blends it with his internet trap sound for an innovative take on what trap could be. It boasts some of his funniest lines, too: “Making movements, had to go pay my recoupments / Raspberry whip with the blue tint, 50K just my accoutrements”.
But little on this record suggests much longevity or integrity in Yung Gravy’s career. He will proffer a few diamonds here and there, but you have to wade through simply too much rubble to catch a glimpse.
- Release date: October 28, 2022
- Record label: Republic Records