If you’re into furry masks and aggressive lyrics about mild sauce, you’re going to enjoy this new track by Iman Shumpert.
The New York Knicks small forward released a track titled “Chiraq Freestyle” on Friday, showcasing his continued quest for rap relevance. Tom Ley of Deadspin spotted the video, which has Shumpert shellacked with face paint and “freestyling” over Lil Durk’s “Chiraq” beat.
Let it be known, it is not safe for work. Shumpert threads plenty of swearing, women in thongs and sexual innuendo into the video.
Warning: Video contains NSFW language and adult content.
Before we analyze the song, it should be noted that rap artists big and small need to stop calling written material “freestyles.” Maybe Shumpert can freestyle, but every fiber in my being says he didn’t rap this off the top of his dome.
I say that as a compliment, as Shumpert’s rhymes aren’t bad. The song is Yeezy-ian in intensity, and while its only recurring theme is Shumpert’s shoe game, he avoids sounding clumsy on the mic—a key difference between bad MCs and good MCs.
As for the video, Shumpert went flat top-first down the rabbit hole, giving us a creepy, American Horror Story tour of his duality. We see a bethonged chipmunk twerk as a person in a bear suit watches. Most affecting, however, is the clown.
God, I hate clowns, but I don’t hate Shumpert for using them. He’s going for edge here, and he’s achieving it. Shumpert ends the video by taking a cue from the Wu-Tang Clan and decapitating the clown with a sword.
Ley writes that he appreciates Shumpert taking the video to a strange place:
"Yeah, it's a weird video, but if history has taught us one thing, it's that athlete rap videos (and songs) are usually astoundingly boring," Ley writes. "At least Shumpert is expressing a bit of personality and creativity here."
This isn’t the first time Shumpert has stepped into the booth. In December he released the following track.
And that, sports fan, is how Iman Shumpert expresses himself off the basketball court.
We’ll be on the lookout for more videos this offseason. The 23-year-old seems determined to establish himself as the NBA’s only viable rap artist.
On the Twitters.