Some people eat a bunch of cake, take a bottle of Henny to the head, and post 10 minutes worth of Instagram stories for their birthdays. Ghanaian rapper and poet YAW chose to get in the booth and drop the soulful “11.04.1981” Freestyle this past weekend.
Set to Teyana Taylor‘s “Gonna Love Me” instrumental which samples The Delfonics, the NYC rapper reminisces on the good and the bad over the course of his 37 years, for those who might have been struggling with the math. “Sometimes we say things we don’t mean, sometimes we live life and don’t dream, sometimes I drink yak and smoke green, sometimes, most of the time.” He kicks the freestyle off with these honest, relatable bars before going into thanking God for what he’s done in his life, namely the sunny days and keeping disloyal people from around him.
He discusses his origins as an artist, right around the time his cousin died. He lets us in on his rap dreams, and the only label he’d want to sign to being Roc-A-Fella. Standout lines from the freestyle would have to be:
“I know I stay up on my mother’s mind, she praying for me and waiting on me to see the signs, hoping that it comes in time, before I’m under nine minus three feet, we front row, just made it down from the cheap seats.”
“12 years I been giving you verses over these Ye beats, but never catch me in any pair of them Ye sneaks, you know the ones that talk the loudest, they say least, that’s why I give ’em a dap and then I say peace.”
It’s no surprise to see this level of thought and discernment coming from a rapper with his background and maturity. His flow jogs along the smooth beat and silky Teyana vocals as he strings along line after line of creative storytelling. The 12 years he has put into his craft are evident, and it appears his abilities have only gotten better with time like the Cabernet Sauvignon he references in the freestyle.
This birthday track came just a few weeks after his release of “Lake Show Flow,” a tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers and their assumed return to the Showtime days with LeBron James now in the mix. Access Sportsnet actually featured the track in a Lakers montage video.
Who knows what this new year of life will bring for YAW musically? Time will tell, but for now, take a listen to the “11.04.1981” Freestyle.