Viper and Cloud Rap | Teen Ink

Viper and Cloud Rap

March 20, 2023
By Anonymous

It’s a day like any other, you’ve settled down at home and are ready to watch some youtube. You scroll for a little bit, until something catches your eye: The thumbnail reads “Viper - You’ll Cowards Don’t Even Smoke Crack” with a grainy picture of a cross-eyed man in-between the words. The incredibly blunt title and absurd cover art practically force you to click. Immediately, your ears are bombarded with hissing sound, followed quickly by the words “Haha…. Here’s a little somethin’ for you bustlas..” as the song goes on, you hear “Viper” rap various rhymes (of varying cleverness) about smoking and selling crack-cocaine. The complete absurdity of this makes you question if this is a troll, and then you see that the video is an hour and a half long. So you go to learn more about this “Viper” person. You quickly find out that he has been releasing an album nearly every day since 2014. As you learn more about Viper and listen to more of his music, you start to gain somewhat of an un-ironic appreciation for his music. Songs like “You Wanna See Me Dead Cause Of My Hops'' and “Feel”, despite sounding amateur and very lo-fi, the music has an almost melancholic and nostalgic feel to it, and is very reminiscent of modern underground rap, eg, Cloud Rap, Pluggnb.

Many new underground young rappers such as Joeyy or RXK Nephew have cited viper as a influence, and you can definitely notice. Their music often includes melodic midi based production, reminiscent of something like runescape that inspires nostalgia. Another prominent feature of these artist’s music in common with Viper’s is slow, RnB inspired lyrics that include significant themes of gloating and bragging. This style of rapping along with the aforementioned slow, melodic production has become known as Pluggnb and has became significantly popular in the late 2010s and early 2020’s, with major artists such as Playboi Carti and Yeat rapping over beats that could be described as Pluggnb, including the aforementioned Playboi Carti’s song “Magnolia”, that currently has almost six-hundred and forty million streams on Spotify alone. His use of reversed samples and incredibly chilled out flow is something that is commonly present within the “Cloud Rap” genre, that encapsulates many popular artists such as Bladee, Ecco2k, and even A$AP Rocky. 

Vipers style is very eclectic, a result of his heavy drug usage as well as his hometown, Houston’s already very exaggerated style, with heavy emphasis on drugs, (especially lean) money, and flashy custom cars. His album covers are minimalist, usually just being a grainy picture of himself, with “Viper” as well as the album title laid over in plain text. Once Viper became more well known as a meme, he would recruit people to make covers for him, many of Viper’s most iconic covers come from this, such as “Kill Urself My Man”, or “Cops Can’t Read 7”. 

Viper is known for being a bit of a scumbag. If you try to buy one of his albums on vinyl or cd from him directly, he’ll usually not send it, and take your money. This has become well known among Viper’s community, and for the most part, adds to Vipers already weird character, those who want to purchase a viper album physically can do so through Discogs, or Viper’s Bandcamp. In an interview with Neemblog, One of Viper’s most prolific cover artists says “He tweeted he was looking for fans to help him with album art and offered financial compensation, in a rather Viper fashion. He promised to pay me in 2,000 shares in his real estate company, or something absurd like that.”

Viper has had a strong influence on modern rap, even if people do not want to admit such. His absurd aesthetic and hazy sound is seen in many artists, underground and mainstream alike. Despite his antics, he maintains a devoted fanbase that enjoys him both ironically and seriously, and he is still releasing music to this day.

The author's comments:

A tru viper fan and music lover. I go to school.

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