By Grant Golden
June 9, 2020
If Erick Lottary’s catalogue is indicative of anything, it’s that he’s an artist with clear vision and immeasurable ambition. Last year’s 5-track EP Summer On Central was paired with a ten-minute documentary outlining his creative process behind the release, but even after such a lofty project he’s continued grinding, making moves to push him towards the top of the crowded North Carolina hip-hop scene. In February he released the sultry, hook-heavy collaboration with Cyanca, “Replay” and in May his 2018 track “Ball is Life” was added to the NBA 2K20 soundtrack. Lottary’s latest release, the powerhouse single “Give & Go,” continues this upward trajectory, alongside NC hip-hop stalwarts Well$ and Deniro Farrar.
“Give & Go” highlights the strongest suits of each artist, anchored with one of Lottary’s trademark earworm choruses, Lottary, Well$, and Farrar trade verses full of braggadocio, grit and finesse. Produced by smwhereat4am, the “Give & Go,” beat glides with a breezy, melodic guitar, but cuts deep with blown out bass lines and drum beats.
Lottary kicks off the track with a clawing verse, bobbing and weaving through the staccato guitar lines of the beat like a shooting guard breaking through defenders on route to dunk on his competition. Well$ shines in his own right with a tactical flow filled with rich wordplay and vivid lyricism, painting a picture of the struggle of “cutting dog food with some panko.” Even within his lone verse he switches up his cadence halfway through, displaying an inventiveness and tenacity that makes Well$ one of our state’s standout artists.
Deniro Farrar closes out the track with the same unique blend of gritty realism and illuminative introspection that made his most recent release, Sole Food, such a tour de force. Farrar intersperses his chest-beating ferocity with hard-hitting lines of reflection, like dropping out of school because he “can’t see how getting a GED will put food in the crib or get my momma off of welfare.” Farrar’s flow is as biting as it is inviting, and serves as an ideal final verse to this track that never lets its foot off the gas.
In closing, Lottary’s hook on “Give & Go” couldn’t be more apropos. “I’m hitting all of the quotas, I’m always running the risk,” and frankly, it can be risky to stand alongside the spectacularly talented artists that Lottary collaborates with on the regular. But this risk pays off, and “Give & Go” helps to establish Erick Lottary’s place as one of the state’s premier emcees.