Rap Song of the Week breaks down the new hip-hop tracks you need to hear every Friday. Check out the full playlist here. This week, Nigo reunites Tyler, the Creator and A$AP Rocky on “Lost & Found Freestyle 2019.”
Back in July 2018, longtime friends Tyler, the Creator and A$AP Rocky teased an impending project called WANG$AP in the video for their freestyle “Potato Salad.” Since the duo had name-dropped the collaboration twice before, fans were understandably excited to hear a full album from the sartorial rappers. However, Tyler immediately splashed cold water on the idea, tweeting he was going to “kill Rocky” for getting people’s hopes up. According to the LA native, all he wanted to do was rap over Monica’s 2003 classic, “Knock Knock.”
Since then, Tyler and Rocky have linked up on Lil Yachty’s 2020 track “T.D,” but it appears that like many joint projects teased by rappers, WANG$AP isn’t happening. However, there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of “Lost and Found Freestyle 2019,” the pair’s collaboration on fashion mogul Nigo’s new compilation, I Know NIGO! As Tyler himself confirmed, the track came out of one of their vaults, but it also opens the possibility of Tyler and Rocky recording more material in response to popular demand.
It’s always fun to hear rappers let loose on freestyles over other artists’ beats, and “Lost Freestyle” picks two great ones: Slim Thug’s mid-aughts classics “3 Kings” and “Like a Boss.” Rocky takes on the former, and despite the fact that the Harlem rapper didn’t confirm his relationship with Rihanna until last year, it sure sounds like he’s rapping about her: “My bitch used to model for the Vogue, but she older.” As of 2019, RiRi had appeared on the cover of Vogue a whopping 25 times. She’s also roughly eight months older than him.
In part two, Tyler talks his shit, rapping about everything he owns that you don’t — flashy jewelry, his own clothing brand, and luxury cars — with the same ferocity and hunger displayed on CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, the best album of 2021.
It’s worth noting Tyler (“Come On, Let’s Go”) and Rocky (“Arya”) also made solo contributions to I Know NIGO!, but neither track brings the same energy. The two rappers truly bring out each other’s best qualities.