03 Greedo drops a surprise mixtape, Giant Swan share a new EP, and Velvet Negroni releases a trippy debut
After four and a half years, Los Angeles rapper 03 Greedo has been released from Texas prison, where he was serving a 20-year sentence for non-violent gun and drug charges. Coinciding with his release, 03 Greedo has shared a surprise mixtape, Free 03, which includes guest appearances from the late Drakeo the Ruler and is produced entirely by Mike Free. His first full-length release since 2020’s Load It Up, Vol. 01, written in the frenzied months before he went to prison, Free 03 feels looser, with Greedo celebrating his newfound freedom across jubilant 15 tracks that dart between trap and LA street rap.
”It’s hard to survive out here/ We gotta watch everything,” Greedo talks through prison phone static in the opening track, before breaking into a relentless flow on “Took A Little Minute”, his voice heavy with unrestrained energy. Half-chanting, half-rapping, it’s clear that Greedo plans to make the most of his freedom – and it’s not long before he’s on his flex, declaring: “I’m the new Jay Z out the projects” on “I Don’t Mean”. On “Pourin”, he compares himself to “King Kong walkin’ in Veneta boots”, while on “I can’t control myself” he asserts: “No rap check, but I'm famous and I'm hood rich.” “To lose your n****s you made your first millions with before even coming home to enjoy it is mind-blowing,” Greedo wrote last year, remembering Drakeo after his death. But Free 03 marks a new chapter for the rapper – and, by the looks of it, he’s thriving.
Elsewhere, electronic duo Giant Swan share a new EP, Merca Bae releases Merca Zip/2022, a frenetic tribute to club culture everywhere, Velvet Negroni drops a trippy debut, and Viagra Boys unveil a deluxe edition of their stunning Cave World album.