London O’Connor, “Guts”

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London Oconnor

Man, songs that say, in the meanest way imaginable, a handful of the things that you’ve wanted to say in the meanest way imaginable are cool. This is nothing but the case with the song “Guts” by London O’Connor. The New York rapper has been making waves with a handful of tracks bracing the world for his first full length titled, O∆, set to come out June 23.

One of this things that’s inescapable about O’Connor’s music is its overtly personal nature. On “Guts”, a tirade about the things he can’t stand, he goes as far as to specifically put a dude named Steve on blast saying “and all this nonsense, of this mother fucking continent / Fuck the nigga Steve.” But that frustration channeled as hate is only one side of the coin. In the description for the music video for his single “Love Song,” the 24-year-old puts out the fact that he didn’t lose his virginity till he was 21 and cites his mother being cheated on as the inspiration for the song.

Putting himself out there as a character in a way that’s so unabashed makes the fact that a full length is coming more exciting. O’Connor even went as far as to say “If when you hear it, you feel like it’s talking about where you live, then I want you to leave.”

“Guts” lyrically wastes no time verbally dismantling the antagonist as O’Connor sings “I hate your stupid lookin’, two-bit, crooked, cheap ass ornaments / I hate your guts” softly underneath a thick leddy syth. By the time the chorus comes the noodly synth lines and simple melody are reminiscent of something you might hear on some kind of twee synth pop medley. This only makes it more exciting that he follows up the relatively bubbly refrain with a rap verse that comes of as cutting as the chorus does sweet.

As the song starts to play out the synths fill the air, sounding like an organ being played from the depths of the ocean. It highlights O’Connor’s keen melodic sensibility and the skill and courage it takes to genuinely move between genres like synth pop and hip-hop/r&b without sacrificing what’s at the core of either genre.