California Rapper Hook’s Music Is Only Getting More Deranged—and That’s a Good Thing

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Plus more highs and lows from the world of rap this week, including a promising new single from Denzel Curry and baseless speculation about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new Little Mermaid songs.

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Graphic by Callum Abbott, Hook photo by @16to27

Pitchfork writer Alphonse Pierre’s rap column covers songs, mixtapes, albums, Instagram freestyles, memes, weird tweets, fashion trendsand anything else that catches his attention.

Celebrating Hook’s many chaotic moods

Every time Hook uploads new music she reinvents herself in some way, and not just for the sake of it. On 2019’s Bully, the Riverside, California firecracker introduced herself to the internet with bratty bars and breathy West Coast flows over bass-drunk beats that could make your subwoofer self-destruct. 2020’s Crashed My Car builds on that Cali style, with Hook sounding like she wants to do the Jerk atop the carcasses of every sorry-ass dude begging for a chance with her. “Your nigga can’t talk to me, don’t got game/I’m so hard, make a fly bitch lame,” she raps on the title track in a raspy, disgusted delivery. She then offered a break from the house party anthems on I Love You 2, Hook, which is instead driven by lush melodies and run-on-sentence flows that feel like eavesdropping on frantic conversations inside her head.

This week’s From, Hook doubles down on the schizophrenic delirium. Just listen to the first few seconds of “Punisher,” where she maniacally laughs like a B-action movie villain, screams, sighs, and furiously rambles at some unknown person she used to mess with. It’s uncomfortable and kind of funny, and sounds less like a rap song cut in a studio and more like a vérité recording of Hook threatening a person to do house chores while they cry and beg in the background. It’s real “Sharon Stone with the ice pick in Basic Instinct” energy.

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Nearly every song on the tape offers a rollercoaster of emotions. Here are some of my favorite Hooks on display:

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