Close your eyes for a second and imagine what would happen if Jadakiss and 21 Savage had a love child. If you imagined Gusto Grove, you must be a realist.
Gusto’s delivery in “I Doubt It” is laid-back initially, similar to most modern rappers. When I first heard the generic trap, knock off Metro Boomin’, London on da Track beat match up with this flow, I expected to have the same reaction I have to many similar songs: a solid “eh.”
But Gusto’s voice is a perfect juxtaposition to his delivery.
Eight bars going for the buck, nifty,
I got that gas, come and fuck with me.
There’s a certain mysticism to hip hop, especially in its early days. It’s a dirty mysticism. “Enter The Wu-Tang,” for example, is an undeniable classic. A large part of its appeal is its griminess. It makes you want to clean your earwax.
I won’t lie. I have never seen cocaine be made, in any form. Not as coke, crack or peanut butter cups. I cannot personally verify whether or not the mason jar of white stuff Gusto holds over the stove in the video for “I Doubt It” is real or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
There is an unquestionable authenticity to this low-to-no budget song. Gusto spends the first verse combining a modern delivery technique and flow with an old school Harlem sounding voice and rhyme scheme.
He exhibits further lyrical prowess on the second, incorporating a Migos-esque flow with subject matter and punchlines that could be ripped straight from Styles P or Pusha T tracks.
One hitter quitter, nigga, put that ass in cardiac
Coming out of Zone 16 in Baltimore, Gusto is pushing less than 200 followers on SoundCloud. He’s underground, but that could change in the near future. If gangsta rap ever makes a return, it’ll sound a lot like Gusto Grove.