What “Gleesh” means to DC, hip hop.

By Travis Poffenberger

Tune into Yung Gleesh’s “Cleanside’s Finest” to see into a crystal ball, the future of DC rap in a fog of thick smoke.  Yung Gleesh is a rapper from Northeast, 18th and Monroe, District of Columbia. The style he embraces may very well be the future of his craft. If you don’t buy that I can at least guarantee it’s enough to keep DC on the map after Fat Trel blazed a recent trail. Gleesh delivers west coast Lil B style surrealism, and Dirty South trap-talk packed up in a box that reeks of DC. It’s a train ride of deep emotion, self introspection, and humor paired with trunk bumping tunes about selling “work”.  The album is action packed, drug fueled, and Glock shenanigans galore, but not lacking on unexpected tenderness. Cleanside’s Finest is stuffed with regional slang. It has a timestamp, and a return address, it has all the qualities of a quality album. If you don’t like it, you know where you can find Gleesh.


Few current rappers embrace the range that Gleesh does. From such differing lines like, “I’m drugged up, fucked up, lucked up, plugged up. Snub nose snugged up gon’ get your block slugged up.”  on “Dope Money” to “I’m just a young boy, and I gotta tote guns around my little city because I don’t feel safe… … I’m sorry that I gotta take, not sorry that I did take.” on “City Full of Dust”. The combined notions of being violent, and afraid, the aggressor and the hunted, remorseful that he’s in a situation that forces him to rob, all in the same album is as rare as a Charizard. This is a new model of hip hop, quasi-trap. The equally addressed, but totally opposing perspectives on his nagging girlfriend, and selling dope makes for a bizarre, but striking combination. 


Perhaps the most unique aspect of Gleesh’s style is his own brand of slang. The album is made complete by his personally crafted words which influence his style and rhyme scheme. In fact, a Youtube video “The Gleesh Chronicles Episode 1” features some explanations of what words and phrases like, “gleesh“, “know my ew“, “work wit da work“, “boof” and “fanaego” mean. He is an originator of terms, crafter of words; Shakespeare on Molly.


Even though Yung Gleesh is affiliated with Fat Trel and the Slutty Boyz, his style is majorly different. Nothing is vacant or simple about it; though he often sticks to the over harvested staples of modern trap music, women, drugs, guns, robberies, etc. he crafts the same old clay into something distinct. He raps about having children about early in life, and the problems ensuing (My Sanctuary). He expresses the ups and downs of the drug game, and wonders if he needs to make a change, his grandma likes his watch, but not his lifestyle (Change My Life). The blend of straight up glorification of his lifestyle, along with the closer examination of his choices is unique. A paradox disguised as a CD.


Gleesh is up and coming. Check out his mix-tapes and educate yourself, before you get rolled over.


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