Alpha – [Guapdad 4000]

Guapdad 4000 has been making incredible music for years, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I actually tuned in. I guess I had just assumed that he was a bit of a meme rapper due to his name and some of the things I’d seem him post on social media, but I can’t believe I let myself miss out on his music for so long. Although he can include some comical, interesting lyricism throughout his offerings, I have quickly learned that he’s one of the most versatile artists in the entire industry, and I don’t think there’s been a single song by him that I don’t thoroughly enjoy.

It’s because of this that I make sure to peep every single new release from the Oakland native, and although I’m a few days late to his most recent offering “Alpha”, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share it with you all. James Delgado handles the production on this song which includes some verse intense, momentous piano chords that give it a sort of quality that seems to be alluding to some major breakthrough or moment for Guapdad.

As soon as he comes in to spit, though, consistent hats and claps are joined by a groovy, extremely deep, and almost wobbly bassline that adds some rhythm and swiftness to the offering. Guap’s disposition is as calm as ever as he simply states his lines in the most matter of fact way possible. He never really changes his level of enthusiasm much throughout the entire track other than for brief moments, but this even-keeled charisma complements the sonic elements of the instrumental perfectly.

The harmonious qualities within his voice still shine through despite his lack of zeal, but this just seems to be commonplace for his individualistic delivery that has captured the ears and hearts of fans all over the world. He just bounces along on the instrumental effortlessly, never needing to quicken or slow his cadence to remain on beat but rather comes off as if he can recite his lyrics in his sleep just as fluently. Other than this, His lyricism is at an all-time high, referencing very relevant issues like the George Floyd case, police brutality, and Covid, while also including some more lighthearted things like his silk durags, Zoboomafoo, and Samurai Jack.

As for the Chris Simmons-directed music video, he takes us to a moment in time that is somewhat dark and intense while also showing off some more lighthearted themes throughout. As it opens, the camera pans down from the ceiling, overlooking the dark silhouette of a woman peering down from a second-story window at Guap, who is sitting on the ground next to a luxurious car in a garage that’s illuminated by a couple of neon, fluorescent lights. Later on, a few shots show him cruising around in a The Fast and the Furious-like car, drifting around corners at high speeds as the wheels can be heard skirting against the ground.

Another scene shows him in the original room that the woman was standing in as he sits in a chair with a pink pillow in his arms while alarming lights rotate and flash around him. Other than this, there is a differentiating shot that shows him in front of a greenscreen as cartoonish, anime-inspired characters make emoji-like faces behind him. Beyond these repeating clips, he can also be observed in front of a garage door shown with night vision effects as well as other shots that portray him as if he’s shrunk down to the size of Matchbox cars, dancing around them as if they’re life-sized vehicles in his own garage.

I’ve heard Guapdad on upbeat, cheery records, intense, ruthless tracks, and everything in between. Although it’s impossible to box him into one category or subgenre of Hip-Hop, it’s clear that he absolutely kills each and every song he plays a part in, and it’s because of this that he has rapidly become one of my favorite artists currently out. He just seems to play by his own rules and doesn’t try to conform to any preconceived notions or expectations that people have about him which keeps you on your toes with every new release he gifts listeners. “Alpha” is an absolute can’t-miss song that you need to check out as soon as possible if you haven’t already, so take a break from whatever you’re doing and check out the visual below.