Last week Oak Cliff native Lil Twist released the long-delayed mixtape The Golden Child 2. If anyone, it made Twist really happy. For nearly a decade now the 23-year-old has been signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment record label but he has released very little music in that time. On numerous occasions Twist has publicly aired his frustrations with the management of his career on Twitter but it probably doesn’t help his case that he’s had trouble staying out of legal drama and away from TMZ headlines for the last few years. If his music doesn’t ring a bell, his antics probably do.
Somewhere along the way, Lil Twist and Justin Bieber became BFFs and it wasn’t a healthy relationship for either of them. For Beiber this was the beginning of his “bad boy” phase and Lil Twist was the bad influence. The laundry list of TMZ headlines for the pair included but were not limited to Lil Twist being arrested for a DUI after speeding in one of Bieber’s sports cars, later crashing the same vehicle and causing thousands of dollars' worth of damage, and hosting a raucous party at the singer’s mansion while he was out of town. Needless to say, the two aren’t in contact much these days. Twist was also charged with six felonies last year for allegedly orchestrating the assault and robbery of Disney star Chris Massey.
Twist has been focused on his music of late and that leads us to his new mixtape, which is just … OK. There was a time when Lil Twist was thought to be on a trajectory toward superstardom, considering he was signed to Young Money at the age of 13 and was a rap prodigy of sorts, but it just hasn’t panned out for the youngster. If the biggest critique of Lil Wayne these days is that he sounds much too sleepy in his raps, Twist’s style is basically Lil Wayne after he’s had a pot of coffee and some adderall. Beyond that, anything about Lil Twist’s music is forgettable and if it weren’t for his association with such high-profile folks he would’ve faded away long ago. Maybe the legal troubles were a great excuse for the label to hold off on releasing his below-average work.
The fact that Twist hasn’t faded away has coincidentally created an opportunity for Fooly Faime, a Dallas rapper who legitimately possesses a lot of promise and has the potential to break out in a bigger fashion than Twist ever could. For years now, Faime has been one half of Yung Nation, who were themselves once thought to be on the cusp of breaking out into the national limelight. The easiest comparison is to Rae Sremmurd before Rae Sremmurd existed. From 2010 to 2013 it seemed like the duo could do no wrong. Every single they released garnered a wealth of attention in high schools and on college campuses far and wide. It was commonplace for their music videos to reach hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
Yung Nation were a viral, underground sensation and seemingly on to bigger and better things thanks in large part to Faime’s unconventional rap stylings. He yells as he raps and laces each track he’s on with humorous, outlandish wordplay with an excited inflection. In recent years, though, the Yung Nation wave has stagnated and their latest mixtapes have largely gone unnoticed. The curious state of Yung Nation deserves an essay of its own but here we’ll just focus on Faime’s potential.
It started subtly, but more and more Faime seems to be presenting himself independent of the duo. If you check his Instagram you’ll see that he’s not only become close friends with Lil Twist but has done a pretty good job of embedding himself in the Young Money camp. So it’s not surprising that on The Golden Child 2 Fooly is featured on two tracks, “Broke” and “Fuck Em Up,” right alongside Lil Wayne, YG, August Alsina, Juicy J and Trae Tha Truth. With all those prominent names on the tape, we can only hope the mixtape garners a fair amount of traction and Faime is able to attract a new wave of ears, because he most definitely made the most of his opportunity on the two tracks.
Faime kicks off "Fuck Em Up" and easily outshines Twist with a natural charisma and authoritative tone that leaves Twist's verse all but forgotten. "Broke" features a rarely heard side of Faime. On the track (which, it should be noted, is over a year old), Faime brings the same excitable and infectious tone but uses his time to speak on some truths and flex his storytelling muscle. Here we see a little more versatility than is typical for him.
While we expect to hear some good news come out of this release for Fooly Faime, we hope the artists on it can avoid TMZ headlines, too.