Young Scooter is an interesting act to follow. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place in a lot of ways: He’s not nearly weird enough to join the ranks of top-tier ATL up-and-comers like Future, Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan, and still too unpolished of an MC to be counted realistically among peach state trap titans like Jeezy and Gucci Mane. There are times on Street Lottery 2 where he shows flashes of both skill sets, though these moments are almost all immediately followed by a lyrical lapse that overshadows the moments that came before.
First, the positives. Street Lottery 2 is a sonically focused mixtape. With Atlanta rap changing so rapidly, the temptation to pick beats that too blatantly attempt to cater to all of the sounds coming from the city could be difficult to resist, but Scooter manages to keep beats that suit him while sounding not too far off from any of the ATL-bred tracks that may have popped up on your iTunes. Scooter has a voice that commands attention, it’s drawl is just enough to give away the place he calls home and to make for some entertaining rhymes that may have fallen flat without it.
And there are a few standout tracks: “Street Lottery” is armed with an infectious chorus and his most focused writing. “Over Wit” with Cam’ron was a beat Scooter may have taken off the cutting-room floor from one of Cam’s records in the early 2000s, and Cam doesn’t flex too much muscle while still managing to entertain. “My Boys” with Young Thug has a higher heart rate than the rest of the tracks on the project, and Thugga brings the trademark slightly unhinged silliness responsible for his recent rise. Finally, “Essay” is a decent song, but the laugh factor of the song’s subject matter in the face of its title’s spelling is undeniable.
The biggest hinderance to this tape is Gucci Mane’s silent influence. Guwop doesn’t feature, but Scooter’s flow is lifted directly from Gucci’s output post-2010. He does make up for his lyrical deficiencies in comparison to Gucci with his superior enunciation, but it is clear that writing skills are still very much a work in progress. There are moments on numerous tracks where lyrics neither rhyme nor near-rhyme, nor do they advance any discernable plot within the song. The features, such as the ones discussed above and “Nuthin About It” with Future, are great listens in spite of Scooter: his more accomplished, more refined peers only remind the listener of the long way Scooter has to go.
The subject matter is exactly what you have come to expect from an Atlanta-based 1017 affiliate, so to hear another rapper stumble over ground traveled with far more finesse by some of his peers is jarring at points. Fun and cartoonishly materialistic as it may be, Street Lottery 2 could have yielded a better lyrical windfall.—Jordan Lebeau