Outsider Rapper Deals Audacious Rhymes in Latest Single of Ongoing Hype Streak
What is Oklahoma rap and hip-hop in 2021? According to most local sources, it’s a predominantly urban field with big names like Fire in Little Africa and Jabee taking the pie. Despite impressive names coming out of Ardmore (Blake Fades), Ada (Levi Hinson), and Lawton (Jacobi Ryan), folks tend to regard smaller towns as purely country and rock music territory. In fact, in that last example, if one were to take cues from local rag mag The Lost Ogle, the only notable rap name out of Lawton would be campy hick-hop spectacle Knuckles.
This is where the Internet truly levels the playing field, and it’s where perpetually online creators in rural areas net their piece of the pie.
Take Sideshow the King, a mischief-loving rapper currently based in Alva, OK, who is making sounds and flows that rival most anything coming out of OKC and Tulsa. Alongside creative collaborators like Hive Supremo and Supervylandylan, his clever and crass corner of the rap universe has been one to watch in recent years. 2019’s anything-goes album Super Dark Times mixed forward-thinking production with fireworks verses, yet didn’t take itself so seriously that it couldn’t take 7 minutes out in the middle to joke around an acoustic guitar, recounting a “true story” about running from a smelly, warty swamp demon. (Editor’s Note: We’re confident Hoony could’ve whooped its ass)
Now, hot off of a new collection of tracks with 2021’s Bleh, Sideshow the King is still in hustle mode with a new one-off called “Glue Cookies”, and you can stream it now in this Make Oklahoma Weirder track premiere. (Editor’s Note: Please be aware that there is an ableist slur in the last line that we do not endorse)
“Glue Cookies” continues Sideshow the King’s hot streak of lyrical acrobatics against ice-cold beats. Though his braggadocious claims to women are nothing new here, the way he manipulates words and concepts to invigorate the stale cliche keeps the track on its toes. A bulk of the first verse dives into a whole bit about STDs, for instance, and at a later point he even whispers the line, “At the hideaway house with your grandma, she a gummer.”
Surrealism, humor, and questionable taste are all part of Sideshow the King’s brand of bad-boy hijinks. Like the Adult Swim show he references in “Glue Cookies”, it’s definitely not for everyone, and it’s not supposed to be. To take loud offense to places where he crosses the line would likely only fuel the fire.
As his moniker implies, Sideshow the King is flagrant in his theatrics. He’s a character worn by an IRL counterpart that–spoilers–probably does not have to fend off the “bitches,” cougars, and grandmothers of Alva, OK. Probably.
Still, if it’s his avenue to making some of the most hype music in Oklahoma rap today, it’s worthy of being a part of the conversation. “Glue Cookies” is just one of many examples where Sideshow the King is killing the game. February’s “When in Rome” music video with Hive Supremo would have gotten thousands of flame emoji reactions if it were released by, say, Josh Sallee.
Speaking of music videos, there’s a new one for “Glue Cookies” as well. While comparably minimalist, it features the same resourcefulness as “When in Rome” by working in glitches, edits, and effects to fire up the visuals. If digital grain is the new wood grain, then one doesn’t need the backyard of a sprawling cityscape to impress, and if Oklahoma music is a race to the next big break, then rural Oklahoma rap is the dark horse you won’t see coming.
aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.