Give Me The Ball & I’ll Do The Rest
Basketball metaphors have seemingly always been woven into the fabric of hip hop, for better or worse. Given the competitive nature of the genre, it’s easy to make this connection, maybe too easy as it’s become almost commonplace with modern emcees. Over the years, rappers have repeatedly gone to the well, but not all have had the ability to make their roundball references coincide with deep, interpersonal trauma. We’ve all heard coaches regurgitate the “you’ve got to win the game of life”speech, and we’ve heard that pitch from plenty of rappers, too. But I’m not sure we’ve heard a musical connection to the game quite like this.
On his latest EP, Peter Wesley vehemently pulls the curtain back to open up about several personal issues including being excluded, depression, and most traumatically, being embarrassed over getting shot and robbed a few years ago. That’s some heavy shit, man. Yeah, he lightens things up with all sorts of basketball references, but the mood never really sways from the seriousness of the subject matter he’s referring to.
Produced by DJ Shaheed, this deeply introspective release features atmospheric beats with a simplistic approach, allowing each ethereal swelling of synthesizer to hit the mark. I’m not sure the personal lyrical content would hit the same way if these beats weren’t just as they are. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a beat from Shaheed that didn’t resonate with me personally, and his output here is no different.
One song that I especially like is “Pep Talk” which I feel surmises the purpose of this effort with deeply personal lyrics served over a solemn, airy rhythm section. Another standout is the closing track “Streamers” where the EP switches gears a bit with a banger that serves as Wesley’s own personal victory lap. This might be my favorite track on the record — I’ve added it to several Spotify playlists in case you were wondering.
As he works some personal shit out on the mic, Peter Wesley simultaneously declares that he’s tired of waiting for his turn to shine as an artist — his time is now — and I gotta say, with his latest batch of rhymes, he’s pretty damned convincing.
Listen to Give Me The Ball & I’ll Do The Rest in it’s entirety below: