Of all the microgenres that pop music has produced over the past few years, “cloud rap” is the one with the most evocative name, not to mention the most descriptive: It’s hip-hop that floats on hazy, vaporous beats with laid-back flows to match. It’s no surprise that some of the best stuff in the style comes from California, with its plentiful medical marijuana dispensaries.
Oakland duo Main Attrakionz is one of the leading cloud-rap groups, and their 808s & Dark Grapes II is one of the classics of the genre. Lately they’ve been collaborating with Sacramento rapper-producer Tynethys, and last fall they released a full-length eponymous mixtape together. The trio is back again with a new track, “Alphabet City,” which combines spaciness with swagger.