When it comes to introductions, a new artist could do a lot worse than launching the rhetorical question, “Why you hating like a jive sucka?” Those are the first words that tumble out of Teezo Touchdown‘s mouth in the video for “SUCKA!” Decked in a white tank top, dramatically sagged jeans, an assortment of chains from the local Hot Topic, and an army bandana tied around his head, the Beaumont, Texas, rapper looks like Juvenile’s wayward son. From there, Teezo’s arms and mannerisms contort into an approximation of a 1970s blaxploitation protagonist as he raps lines like, “I’m a real bad man, sucka.”
An entire generation has been reared on this type of ludicrous juxtaposition. It’s why a Nicki Minaj stan can make a country song about horses one minute, then upend the entire music industry the next. In music, especially in hip-hop, we’re living in a post-meme reality. Rap’s primary audience is so used to deconstructing the art for social media glory that it’s become as mundane as debating lyrics or checking who produced what part of the beat. We can easily recognize, say, Roddy Ricch’s squeaking adlib on “The Box” as a potential meme, even if we don’t regard the song as one.
“SUCKA!” is funny and primed for TikTok virality, but it’s also full of deliberate choices that make it more than a tossed-off joke, from the low-fi beat to Teezo’s staccato delivery. Part of Teezo’s charm is that it’s hard to tell where the song ends and the performance art begins. “SUCKA!” is just one part of a suite of music videos he’s released in July that all feature similar conceits. In each of them, Teezo stands in front of the same graffiti-covered garage doors, wearing a similar extreme outfit, and adds one small detail that draws the audience in. For “Strong Friend,” that detail is Teezo singing a beach-y rock song into a bouquet of roses. In contrast, “Careful” is effectively a nursery rhyme about a “hoe” being, well, careful; Teezo opts to go shirtless in this video, letting silver chains envelop his torso.
All three videos feature Teezo from the same side profile, as if he’s decided that’s his best angle. It’s a small but significant choice: Teezo Touchdown is of a moment when life is all about curating the finest details of how we’re seen. Whether he’s playing a Cash Money soldier who talks like Dolemite or an emo Beach Boy, it doesn’t matter. It’s all Teezo.
Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.
From Rolling Stone US