Suga Free’s Kitchen Table Verse Shows He’s 1 Of The Best In The West (Video)
Pomona, California representative Suga Free is a cult-celebrated figure in Rap. The lyricist with the rant-rap delivery made a name for himself through a close association with DJ Quik. Like other, earlier affiliates such as AMG, Hi-C, 2nd II None, and the Penthouse Players Clique, Suga is a ruthlessly raunchy spitter. He was also the beneficiary of the Compton, California producer/MC/DJ’s dedicated oversight for his debut LP.
1997’s Street Gospel stood at the pulpit for a different kind of West Coast Rap. The artist born Dejuan Walker applied pimp culture to his verses and choruses in a way that took something initiated by Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Dru Down, 8Ball & MJG, and others to a highly focused, hustle-specific offering. The same way Young Jeezy built his introductory narrative around cocaine, or Devin The Dude’s music embraces “wine, women, and weed,” Suga Free lyrics rarely stray from selling sex.
The MC’s delivery, along with his fashion choices, are also rooted in the way pimps spoke in films, novels, and in documentaries surrounding events like The Players Ball. He vents on the mic and uses emphatic punchlines, often nearly running out of breath to get his point across. Since the beginning of his career, Suga applied way pimp-ish nasal-whine in 1970s films to his delivery, making for a unique listen for Rap fans. It is the reason that from Snoop Dogg to Xzibit, ScHoolboy Q to Mac Dre, Suga is a sought-after album guest. He is unmistakable. However, the “Why U Bullsh*ttin’?” creator is also no slouch on outright mic skills.
Early in his career, in 1995, Suga appeared alongside Royal Roc for an impromptu freestyle. Braided up and dressed in blues, the MC used a coin and a pen to create a beat and let loose with some cold lyrics. It is a long way from the Cadillac and the curb as this Rap pimp shows that he was a mack with the mic, first. Suga Free begins beating on the table and pays tribute to some Rolaids (“how do you spell relief?”) TV ads from the 1970s. The whole crew knows the lyrics as the Pomona pimp describes his car audio system, along with a multitude of non-politically-correct lyrics about women—not unlike those from Tha Dogg Pound, Mack 10, Uncle Luke at the time. For his city, Suga fit in with the narratives heard in music from Pomona neighbors, Above The Law and Kokane. Regardless of his message, Suga Free used this moment to show that he had the skills to pay the bills well ahead of his major label deal.
The footage was captured two years before Street Gospel, which featured Quik and his team behind every track. Besides David Blake, vocal guests are El Debarge, Hi-C, and P.P.C.’s Playa Hamm.
Earlier this year, Suga released single, “After The Drinks Are Gone.”
#BonusBeat: On Street Gospel, two songs built on this ability from Suga Free. While “Table Interlude” was a small offering, “I Wanna Go Home (The Jail Song)” recreates an L.A. County Jail routine from Suga’s early days. He explains beating on walls and bunk-beds to make a freestyle rap: