19 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lil Keke has always been one of the least known but most respected rappers from the Houston hip-hop scene. Released after almost 20 years in the game, Money Don’t Sleep feels at once timeless and current. “Hit Da Club,” “We Getting’ Money,” and “Work” exemplify the Houston style, which transforms simple ideas into complete and colossal anthems. Given the range of material offered by Keke, Money Don’t Sleep maintains an impressively high standard. Even when the beats are familiar they're always clever, and the list of guests reflects a focused taste in authentic street rap rather than an arbitrary mishmash of stars du jour. With its unexpectedly swift beat, “By Myself” is one of the album’s sleeper hits. By pairing a veteran like 8Ball with a newcomer like Kevin Gates, Keke affirms a continuity that persists through multiple generations of Southern rappers. Toughness and star power count for a lot, but even more important is the willingness to bear one's soul—which Keke does with fierceness and eloquence on “It Didn’t Matter.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lil Keke has always been one of the least known but most respected rappers from the Houston hip-hop scene. Released after almost 20 years in the game, Money Don’t Sleep feels at once timeless and current. “Hit Da Club,” “We Getting’ Money,” and “Work” exemplify the Houston style, which transforms simple ideas into complete and colossal anthems. Given the range of material offered by Keke, Money Don’t Sleep maintains an impressively high standard. Even when the beats are familiar they're always clever, and the list of guests reflects a focused taste in authentic street rap rather than an arbitrary mishmash of stars du jour. With its unexpectedly swift beat, “By Myself” is one of the album’s sleeper hits. By pairing a veteran like 8Ball with a newcomer like Kevin Gates, Keke affirms a continuity that persists through multiple generations of Southern rappers. Toughness and star power count for a lot, but even more important is the willingness to bear one's soul—which Keke does with fierceness and eloquence on “It Didn’t Matter.”

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