Mo. City rebrands himself “SistersWantVonzilla” on a freestyle over SWV’s classic “Can We” record.

The thing about Jay-Von’s Freestyle Friday series, is that you never know what direction the Mo. City rapper is going to come from. He’s tackled East Coast classics. He’s done work over memorable records from the Left Coast. But, as versatile as Vonzilla is, it’s always a surprise when he freestyles over R&B records. He’s done it before, mind you, by way of Erykah Badu and En Vogue.

There’s something much more special about the “Can We Freestyle,” Jay-Von’s latest dip in ’90’s R&B. Under the watchful gaze of DJ MoSama, Timbaland’s timeless beat is recreated via production from Relli and George Young. Instead of utilizing his usual raw and vicious bars, Vonzilla becomes a lothario from the ’90s, spitting his game and peppering his verses with references from two decades ago.

That young lust where a girl’s figure takes your mind to other places (“Got me thinkin’ bout the jeans and the way that ass grip”). The days before RapGenius and OHHLA when people had to memorize their favorite songs on their own (“No matter we know the words, because we wrote them sh*ts down”). Classic references to how dial-up internet used to interrupt conversations and the original way of shooting your shot (“I sent her a letter with two boxes/ You wanna be my girl – you only got to two options”). The most focused listeners might even catch the nods to Chris Brown’s “Poppin'” and AstroWorld Season Passes. Jay-Von drops all this and a little more to bring the people back to the ’90s for three minutes.

In a nice touch, though, Vonzilla only raps for about a minute and a half. The second half of the song plays out a portion of the original “Can We,” with Von subtly sliding in his own vocals in the background. That simply adds to the nostalgia and calls to mind the rap-R&B remixes that were common in the era.

Take yourself back to a simpler time, if only for a little while, by listening to Jay-Von’s “Can We Freestyle” down below.

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