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Austin's David Shabani Can Freestyle Better Than That Drake Track Y'all Keep Playing





Austin's David Shabani Can Freestyle Better Than That Drake Track Y'all Keep Playing

If you're into the non-radio-play hip hop scene even a bit, you know that the Drake "Back to Back" freestyle diss track that the sports-cursing Canadian dropped on SoundCloud a month ago has been just about the only off the cuff verses anyone has been hearing lately (63.9 million plays as of this posting), so much so that the thing must be paying all of Soundcloud's bills by its own damn self at this point. So, maybe now we think is a good time to be reminded that just 'cause one really famous rich dude made another sort-of famous rich dude look somewhat goofy in a fairly decent freestyle rap, Drake's verses weren't good enough to end all of freestyling forever. Hell some of them ain't even that good- there's def cats out there who hold down rapping's most difficult and impressive tradition with much more power and skill, and they're still droppin' bombs on SoundCloud even after the Destruction of Meek Mill at the Hands of the Canadian Aubrey Drake Graham.

To wit, give yer brain an ice-cold dose of Austin's David Shabani and his newest release, a freestyle good enough to be an album track called "YUL to DFW" that'll get you right cool for these last few mind boiling summer days. Shabani is, as the track's title might suggest to those who are hip to the locational acronym game, a Texan via French Canada who has been building a rep and a fan base here in Austin through a consistent, quality output of tracks (a ton of his stuff is free on SoundCloud) and some big damn shows like an appearance at the 2014 X Games out at that big fuckoff rich person racetrack thingy. "YUL to DFW" is catchy like some kinda head-noddin' virus and does everything a truly good freestyle does- it's fast, smart as hell, it sounds so clean and put together it's hard to believe it's all off the dome, and you wanna jam it again a few times just to catch everything.

Freestylin' should be part approachable shit, like references to pop culture and current events or common daily life shit, and part personal perspective and peaks into the rapper's life. Shabani knows this, flows this and nails this, dropping in everything from bits on Star Wars, Anita Baker, Montreal not having an NBA team and even looking for the remote in the couch while sticking in personal shit like a bit on his life story, such as in the hook (the part that'll definitely get stuck in your head) where he lays out he went from "Montreal to Hamilton/Hamilton to Dallas/Dallas down to Austin/Feelin' good, feelin' awesome." That call-out to these four heavily populated areas should make it instantly dig-able by anyone with the good fortune to live in any of em, and should especially hit with Austinites, this city being so full of transplants and all (for better or worse, though in Shabani's case certainly for the better).

Let Shabani get up in your head and move that mildly great Drake piece right along into the museum of old freestyles where it belongs, and also get introduced to one of Austin's solid young rappers heading up the Most Likely to Succeed pack in this city's scene with this freestyle below, as well as his other tracks over at the internet's home for new hip-hop tracks before Meek Mill just loses it and tries to burn down their server warehouses.

Published: September 16, 2015 |

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