If “Rap Trappin” is your first exposure to No Plug then I’ve got some bad news. Mendez Owens b/k/a No Plug was childhood friends with Trentavious White b/k/a Bankroll Fresh growing up in Atlanta. Far too often in the rap game those friendships are strained when one person achieves some degree of mainstream recognition while the other is still hustling for every dollar. I can’t tell for you for certain the first moment it turned sour, but to hazard a guess it would be when White was still known as Yung Fresh. He started blowing up in Atlanta with a little help from Gucci Mane, and before long he was doing songs with Metro Boomin and Mike Will Made It. Maybe No Plug thought his friend would do for him what Radric Davis had done to launch Fresh. Maybe Fresh thought he was asking too much.

As Plug put it in on Vlad TV, “Our friendship always been good until like a certain level of his career came about.” I’m going to fast forward to the key point — the shit got so ugly between the two of them that a shootout happened at Street Execs Studio in Atlanta. Depending on who you ask you’ll get a different version of who started it, but the ultimate result was over 50 shots fired and Fresh dying at the hospital on March 4th, 2016. The police investigated No Plug’s role in the exchange for a long time and ultimately came to the conclusion that the Fresh camp opened fire and the Plug camp responded in self-defense, which resulted in his name being cleared in 2018 with no charges ever being filed.

“In the hood I’m the trap king.”

You might think that would’ve been a huge positive for Plug’s career, but if you compare his metrics to Fresh’s it went the opposite way. Take YouTube for example. Fresh has 130,000 subscribers while the currently active Plug has only 10% of that amount as of this review. Rap is a strange business where being shot at and surviving can raise your profile. In Plug’s case though the biggest he got WAS the Vlad TV interview about the shooting, and his biggest song “1st Day Out” did half as many views. I think this is where Jadakiss has some wisdom for all of us though — you know dead rappers get better promotion.” That’s why posthumous appearances by Bankroll Fresh can do over a hundred million views while No Plug is still on the same grind he was a decade ago.

“What happened to that boy?”

In my humble opinion there are no winners here. Two friends had a falling out. One died and didn’t get to enjoy the fruits of his labor to become a star. One lived and makes short songs like “Bye Bye” with eyebrow raising punchlines: “I’m like OJ Simpson, I got a thing for the white.” I wouldn’t have said it. I’m not mad at him for saying it, but it didn’t work, nor did “You can put this shit in a bowl or in your nose.” He’s trying so hard to live up to the title of “Rap Trappin” but the truth is there are hundreds if not thousands of Atlanta rappers saying the same things about their hustle. Expand that shit nationally and the competition is even fiercer. If you want to flex as a street chemist with big stacks and hella bands you’ve got two choices — be way better than everybody else or have way better marketing.

I can see hints of No Plug’s potential on songs like “Shottas.” The vocal pitch and breathless delivery combined with a menacing beat works here. Far too often though Plug is let down by tracks that are at best average, and they inspire him to write lyrics that are also at best average. He can’t market “Rap Trappin” or anything he does at Bankroll Fresh’s post mortem level and I’m not convinced he’ll ever get there. I hate telling people to give up on their dreams. This dream was already a nightmare though. Two friends started out together, one made it and died, one lived and still struggles to make it in rap. Maybe he can follow a different path and educate young Atlanta rappers about making the right choices. The last thing we need is more dead rappers getting better promotion.

No Plug :: Rap Trappin
5Overall Score