By his own admission in the intro to “Load It Up Vol. 01” 03 Greedo recorded music around the clock from the time he was out on bail to the time he was sentenced to 20 years in jail (with the possibility of parole in five). In fact on the intro to the album he brags that Ron-Ron was working so hard when they were in the studio that he’d be falling asleep in his chair. He’d be ready to go home and Greedo would “pay him extra blue faces out the pocket” just to keep him there for a little while longer.
One thing I don’t doubt about 03 Greedo is his commitment. Even while on lockdown he managed to release an album with Kenny Beats, one of the hottest producers going today. I’m not the least bit surprised he recorded a Shakurian amount of unreleased material that’s going to steadily drip out until if/when he gets paroled. He’s even found ways to keep dropping videos without being able to star in them, although it’s perhaps more accurate that he calls the clip for “Drip Keep Going” with Key Glock a “visualizer.”
The trippy “visual” looks like what would happen if the California Raisins had never shriveled up and just stayed grapes forever. Even the songs that don’t have a video of any kind still have an animated presentation. “Bands In Da Basement” featuring Chief Keef looks like a panel from a comic strip, only the letters of the panel and the panel itself keep bouncing to the beat.
What intrigues me in both cases is that the featured artists working with 03 Greedo on these songs aren’t on lockdown, so the option exists to film their appearances for a video IRL, though the COVID-19 pandemic may beg to differ. Even if you have no sympathy for Greedo getting a 20 year bid on drug trafficking and firearms related charges, you should feel some kind of way about the fact he didn’t expect to serve a death sentence. COVID-19 is absolutely out of control in the prison population, making it a fact that if you go to jail it’s not a matter of IF you’ll contract the disease but WHEN.
Guest appearances continue even on the non-animated or “visualized” tracks, such as “Across the Map” featuring Sada Baby. It occurs to me that this is another way Greedo planned to stretch his work without baking soda — if you record enough material in advance, you can have other rap stars record cameos at any time and use a producer like Ron-Ron to stitch it all together in post. As a result “Load It Up Vol. 01” is as “loaded up” as Greedo brags about on the day phone. Clocking in at a hefty 64 minutes long, the number of features pads out the length and gives it the feel of a project recorded right now instead of many months ago. Runway Richy and Rob Vicious are on “Call In”, Shordie Shordie and Wallie the Sensei are on “Baccstage”, and Weezy Huncho is on “Never Heard.” You “never heard” of any of them? It doesn’t matter.
I respect the hustle and the fact 03 Greedo doesn’t plan to let the fan base he built up slip away just because he had to go away for a bit. Respecting the hustle should not be confused for being an unabashed fan of the work. I respect Cardi B’s hustle too even if I don’t agree with her musical choices or the banality of her lyrics. I respect anybody who pursues a career in sports or entertainment because it’s the hardest, most competitive, most cutthroat shit you can possibly do. For all we know somebody jealous of 03 snitched on him to get him sent up just hoping to take his spot. Whether or not that’s the case I do know an hour+ of Greedo is just too much for me no matter how much I respect the work.