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The Ones: Lil Gray’s “Pest Control (Rat)”

Pitchfork logo Pitchfork 3/2/2021 Alphonse Pierre
a man holding a sign © Lil Gray

With artists releasing songs at a fast and furious pace, it’s difficult for the average hip-hop head to keep track of it all—no matter how tapped in they are. That’s why we created The Ones, a daily post to highlight the song you need to hear.

Lil Gray - “Pest Control (Rat)”

Sparkheem’s “Aye Terk” is one of the few producer tags that is guaranteed to catch my attention. The DMV area producer has worked closely with Spizzledoe and Mannyvelli, and the three are making some of the most versatile sampled and non-sampled instrumentals right now. Much of their best work goes to Lil Gray, a Landover, Maryland rapper who is merging the region’s popular aggressive rap style with something subtly melodic. Together, the rapper and producer connect on “Pest Control (Rat),” a standout from Gray’s new album 10B410. Sparkheem smoothly chops a R&B sample to the point where it’s nearly unrecognizable; Lil Gray lays his fiery flow over the beat with ease and delivers a bouncy anti-snitching hook. You won’t find a duo in the area with more chemistry.

Check out previous Ones, and listen to new rap from Lil Gray and more on our Spotify playlist.

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