New York has had its ups and downs throughout the years attempting to maintain a superstar or simply find one. Young MA fell off, Dave East was never it, Bobby Shmurda, unfortunately, ended up incarcerated, and god bless the soul of Pop Smoke. The “King of New York” has had a vacant throne that has left “The Big Apple” often forgotten and over shined by east coast talent hotbed, Atlanta. But starting around 2017 and gaining rapid momentum in 2019, the familiar unforgiving and relentless tones of drill had returned to the forefront of rap subgenres but in a different area code. Brooklyn’s drill scene headed by gun-boasting, body-catching 20 somethings has yielded names like Sleepy Hollow, Fivio Foreign, and 22Gz among others that has brought the streets to life.
If there is a standout out of the standouts, it is Sheff G. Not only does Sheff G fit the image (360 waves, Puma jumpsuits, and repping Flatbush), he possesses the assets that separates him from his peers. Sheff G’s casual manner is integral to his effortless style that does not necessarily conform to the binds of drill. The 21-year-old’s sound is much less aggressive and blaring and instead carries a subtle tone with magnetic technicality in his delivery. He can go from UK-inspired flows on “Automatic” to his most common intricate flow that weaves throughout the soundscapes that frequent producer Great John lays for him like on “Flows”.
His debut project “The Unluccy Luccy Kid” broke into the Hot 100 when it was released in September 2019. Sheff G called it “practice” in an interview with Rap Radar since it was the first full-length project he had worked on and released. Before “The Unluccy Luccy Kid”, the turbulent “No Surbaban” had been the single that launched Sheff G high on the radar of Brooklyn drill two years prior. It might have been labeled as “practice”, but from the all-around quality and conceptual content of Sheff G’s rise to riches and dangerous street life, there is clear star power in his music.
Coming off the strength of “The Unluccy Luccy Kid”, Sheff G dropped “One and Only” in 2020. An introspective follow up that highlights the realities of increasing fame and paranoia. Sheff G’s sophomore effort polishes his sound while diversifying his content makeup into reflective and even sensitive bars as we get in “Note to Self”. Fearing for his life as a newfound celebrity and questioning the integrity of his friends out-ratio the drilling bars and hooks that we saw before on “The Unluccy Luccy Kid”. Not to mention, Sheff G dabbles more into melodic tones throughout the project.
Sheff G is a promising neighborhood hero setting the bar higher than his money stacks. He’s a true heavyweight in the Brooklyn drill game and it’s exciting to see what is to come from him.