Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and today, we’re going to be looking at a single that’s been climbing the charts by Chicago rapper Polo G.
Now, being born, raised, and still living in the Chicago-land area, it’s no surprise that I am well acquainted with the Chicago rap scene, and one of the things I know is that to make it as a Chicago rapper, you can’t be like the next guy. Kanye West and Chance The Rapper are both from Chicago and have varied styles that prove their worthiness in the mainstream scene. But, Polo G isn’t mainstream, so we’re not talking about mainstream artists today: we’re talking about the underground! But, the same rule applies–you can’t be like the next guy! Just look at some famous Chicago underground artists to see what I mean. Chief Keef crafted a dark but rambunctious style of rap known as “drill” that is influential to this day. Lil Durk took this drill subgenre and added some stylized autotune to make it more melodic. G Herbo utilizes aggressive and slightly offbeat flows to enunciate the rowdiness of this kind of music. And Vic Mensa has a versatile style that works to meld a lot of different genres without sacrificing rap skill. So, let’s see what Polo G (and the featured artist Lil Tjay) have to offer us on “Pop Out“, and see if they’re worthy to be key players in the underground scene.
“We pop out at your party, I’m with the gang
And it’s gon’ be a robbery, so tuck ya chain”
From the first couple of lines in the chorus, it’s easy to see that this song covers some of the basic, inner-city type rap topics: pulling up on gangs, shooting people, and acquiring riches and the benefits that come with it. These might be generic topics, but with the right lyrics, they can still be interesting, or at least make for a fun and catchy track, so I’m not going to criticize the song yet.
“I’m a killer, girl, I’m sorry, but I can’t change
We ain’t aimin’ for your body, shots hit your brain
We come from poverty, man, we ain’t have a thing
It’s a lot of animosity, but they won’t say my name
Them killers rock with me, lil’ n*gga, don’t get banged
’Cause they’ll do that job for me while I hop on a plane”
The rest of the chorus doesn’t really do much to make these themes seem interesting. No wordplay, no interesting vocal inflections, no twists on the topics that make it different from any other song about the same things. But, I haven’t given up hope yet. This is an underground Chicago rapper; I was expecting these topics to be prevalent points in the song. Let’s see what the verses do.
“She don’t like her body, left the doctor with a new shape”
Okay, so I can assume he’s talking about a girl he knows, maybe someone he used to be with. Is he going to comment on beauty standards or–
“Blowing up my phone ’cause she just see me with my new bae
Heartbreaker, ladies love me like I’m Cool J
She was tryna cling onto a n*gga, but it’s too late”
No, he’s just going to use it as a setup to say how he’s moved on to better things and how great he is with women? Fair enough.
“Booked a flight to Cali, racks and condoms in my suitcase
And every single dollar in these bands got a blue face”
You’re going away to another state and you’re not going to pack…i don’t know…maybe some clothes? Toiletries? Just money and condoms? At least you have your priorities straight.
“Diamonds in the Rollie, they in HD like it’s Blu-Ray
The way that I been ballin’ should make the cover of 2K”
These are a couple of the only clever lines in this song, so I decided to point them out.
“Show out for the summer I might pull up in a new Wraith
Dissin’ on the gang that’s gon’ only get your crew chased
And we hawk sh*t down, better tighten’ up yo’ shoe lace
Lil bro get up close let the Glock 22 spray”
And for the rest of his verse, he doesn’t say much that hasn’t already been said, so it’s time to move onto Lil Tjay. He might have a better verse.
“I call lil’ bro, he said he ready for the stain (Said he ready for the stain)
What you claim? You a lame, you ain’t never put in pain (Put in pain)”
Maybe I haven’t “put in pain”, but what’s paining me right now is the ungodly amount of autotune you’re using on your voice! You know you don’t have to turn it up to the max setting to make your voice sound good, right?
“Made some choices in my life I wish I never had to make (Wish I never had to make)
Lost my brother, seen him die and I just seen him graduate (I just seen him graduate)”
Hold on, he’s getting a little introspective here. Losing his brother like that had to have been hard, and I’m feeling a little emotion for him. Maybe he’s going to elaborate on it and giving a compelling story about it.
“Got that .40 on my side and I’m just rollin’ patty cakes (I’m just rollin’ past jakes)”
Nope, he’s just going to promote the same culture that probably had a good hand in his brother’s death. Great!
“Both my hands can do the job and I ain’t talkin’ masturbate”
And with that line, I’m done with this verse!
Overall, I…look, I’ve been ripping into this song a lot, and I want to make something clear. I don’t hate this song just because it covers generic rap topics! I like plenty of songs that do that. One of my favorite albums from 2017 is Lil Durk & Tee Grizzley’s “Bloodas”, and a majority of the 12 tracks on it talk about the same stuff that was addressed in this song. I mentioned Lil Durk earlier and how he’s influential to the Chicago scene, so now you might be thinking “Well, not every song has to be some groundbreaking, influential piece of work to be good”, and you’re right. It doesn’t. Again, there are plenty of songs that I would normally refer to as generic that I get a sense of guilty pleasure out of. Halsey’s “Without Me” and Post Malone & Swae Lee’s “Sunflower” are both generic, radio-ready love songs, but I gave both of those decent scores. The main reason I don’t like this song is because it makes me wonder: why am I listening to this? Even if we just focus on the Chicago scene, there are so many good, even great songs, that cover these topics with much better lyrics, flows, and depth. This song offers nothing that I can’t get from another song that is 10 times better. At least “Without Me” and “Sunflower” had intriguing production. This instrumental on here is so flat and basic. DaBaby’s “Suge” had a better, more catchy beat, and I slammed that beat in my review of the song for being basic. Polo G and Lil Tjay’s voices sound incredibly bored and (dare I say it again) generic. In fact, when I first heard Lil Tjay on this song, I was shocked at how much he sounded like Lil Durk. There are a couple of things I could compliment it on, like how consistent the rhyme schemes are, but I don’t understand why people would want to listen to this song over all of the other songs out there that do what this song does but better! With all of that said, I’d give this song a 1.5 out of 5. Do you agree?
Thank you for reading my “Pop Out” song review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.