Pitchfork writer Alphonse Pierre’s rap column covers songs, mixtapes, albums, Instagram freestyles, memes, weird tweets, fashion trends—and anything else that catches his eye.
Is Teezo Touchdown Really That Weird?
Ugh, do we need another rapper who treats rap as a forgettable slide in their master plan for 100 point branding? Enter Beaumont, Texas’ Teezo Touchdown, who’s been positioned as the next “rap weirdo,” meaning, of course, he’s not that weird after all. He has been chosen as a haute couture muse because apparently he is very unique for people who have never scrolled through SoundCloud for five minutes. Empty phrases like ‘punk’, ‘rockstar’ and ‘indie’ are often associated with his music to soften the fact that there is nothing.
Just take a look at his thin catalogue. There’s a 2019 song called “100 Drums” where he unobtrusively raps about Panic! At the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” (When will rappers understand that it’s fun to like one of the hottest songs of the 2000s? different as they think?) Then in 2020 he went slightly viral with “SUCKA!” in which he raps as if taken out of a Blaxploitation movie: “Why you hatin’ like a jive sucka?” His warbles might be reminiscent of a more melodic ZelooperZ from Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade crew, except without the ear for production, nimble flow switch-ups or, well, talent. Nevertheless, Teezo failed, got co-signs from internet favorites like Kenny Beats and Lil Yachty, appeared on an Instagram photo with Madonna and landed an unmemorable feature on Tyler, the Creator’s Call me if you’re lost. Next up is the coveted opening spot on Tyler’s upcoming tour.
What does appeal to him are his music videos, which are usually filmed in a driveway with weeds growing out of the concrete, in front of the same graffiti-covered garage doors. Teezo, normally dressed as a demolition man extra and acting is when he doesn’t know the cameras are on him adds a new wrinkle to each camera to make them hypnotic at the first watch: whether it’s the spinning mascots in “Rooting for You”, or how he stands at a dining table in front of an indifferent Big Jade in “Technically.” But even with these crazy visuals, it’s hard to ignore how much of an afterthought the music itself is. On his new song “I’m Just a Fan” he applies this cheesy songwriting trick where he writes from the perspective of a literal house fan. The accompanying video shows him in a nail-studded puffy dress with his arms twisting like fan blades, and it mostly looks like an ad for designer Matthew Williams’ collaboration with Moncler.
It does make sense. Teezo has caused more social media chatter because of the six-inch spikes in his hair, or the black mesh tops and leather pants that make him look like he’s in a parody of an 80s hairmetal video, than for any number. This has given him the love that every fashion-obsessed rapper dreams of: shining profiles in publications like Dazed Digital, The face, and most recently GQ, who are notoriously selective about which rappers they cover; and close ties with popular fashion brands such as Telfar and Balenciaga.