Cordae Freestyles Over Biggie’s Beat & Blacks Out

As 2022 gets underway, Cordae has delivered the freestyle to beat. Approaching his star-studded sophomore album, From A Bird’s Eye View, releasing tomorrow (January 14), Cordae swung by the L.A. Leakers to demonstrate his skills. From the top, he warns that there should be a two-month waiting period before another MC hits Justin Credible and DJ Sour Milk’s microphone. Cordae kicked rhymes over instrumentals by Biggie Smalls, Jadakiss, and Kodak Black. Some of those bars are clearly off the dome.

Cordae brands his new company, High Level, throughout the appearance. Attacking the DJ Premier-produced “Kick In The Door,” the MC drops gems. “I made my first million by age 20 / With slave money / When I signed my first deal, I was hungry / And played dummy / Til I started High Level / And signed fly rebels / Who buy bezels / The truth is, they want you to die ghetto,” begins the 24-year-old. “But f*ck it, prevail / Never tuck in your tail / ‘Member last summer? Them crackers had me stuck in the jail / Up in Louisville, ni**a, but I’m stuntin’ for real.” In 2020, Cordae was among the 87 arrested for trespassing outside the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron while protesting the murder of Breonna Taylor. While mentioning his frustrations with racist institutions, Cordae takes listeners on a tour of his wealth, home, investment portfolio, fine dining, and exotic car-filled driveway. He then kicks, “Your favorite rapper I will slaughter him / I’m talking about all of them!

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In the next stanza, Cordae speaks about his motivation in a blistering set of lyrics: “I promise you the pressure is nothing / It made me a savage / Young ni**a chasin’ the cabbage / Promise that I’m never lackin’ until I’m stadium status / I don’t even want the fans; I want the crazy fanatics / I know my music may be sporadic / But it may be a classic / That’s comin’ / I’m gunnin’ / For anybody, ever, who want it / Or fronted / But I still gotta wish ’em wealth and abundance / I woke up with this feeling that I felt in my stomach / It’s time to f*ckin’ kill these ni**as, man, my album is comin’!

Cordae insists he is playing chess—not checkers. The beat switches to Jada’s “Put Your Hands Up,” but Cordae stays on his square: “I came in the game and didn’t take an advance / Nah, I lied, I took a couple M’s and acres of land / Watch them same ni**gas shakin’ ya hand / That end up snakin’ ya man / Sh*t, I wonder how this fake sh*t began / Made something outta nothing, I’m creating the chance / Never let good p*ssy in the way of your plans.” He then alludes to returning a Ferrari after sensing he was becoming consumed by it. “F*ck the fame, dog, we after the loot / And I was born with all that sh*t that y’all lack in the booth / You got no confidence / I rose to prominence / Straight dominance / I ain’t with that fake kick it sh*t, let’s keep it ominous.” Cordae then kicks things tailor-made to the beat, suggesting a true off-the-dome freestyle: “I done killed the game / Put your f*ckin’ hands up if you feel the same / Like Jada and Styles P, I got the key to the locks / Still thinkin’ about that cash, knee-deep in the box / We gettin’ real money, ni**a, ain’t no reason to stop / I got them crackers in first class f*ckin’ peepin’ my watch.” He then pivots to remind Heads that his spirit is superior to his lyricism. He also compares himself to a young Malcolm X “with a touch of Barack.” He closes the section with another kicker: “I’m not to this, I’m true to this / Shout out to Ludacris / My first words were ‘move b*tch’ when I came out the uterus.

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Cordae closes out the set by tackling Kodak Black’s “Super Gremlin.” From A Bird’s Eye View will feature Eminem, Nas, Stevie Wonder, Freddie Gibbs, Lil Wayne, Gunna, and more.

#BonusBeat: AFH‘s What’s The Headline podcast examines the biggest stories and best Hip-Hop albums of 2021: