On Hubbs’s recent single, “Routes” (produced by Big Jerm), the rapper pays tribute to the bus lines and landmarks that have shaped his life.
Big Jerm’s lush boom-bap instrumental, filled with glistening strings and dramatic guitar stabs, provides ample space for Hubbs to spin the most internal-rhyme-heavy ode to the Pittsburgh Port Authority that you’ll ever hear. You’ve got references to the 77 from Penn Hills, the 75 Ellsworth (you’ll hear “the church bells yell/birds chirp”), the 44 Knoxville (it’s Hubbs’s “new route from South Hills”), the 10th and Penn bus stop, and Troy Hill (where “now they reminisce over me“). Hubbs’s dizzying flows make even the most mundane events seem magnificent; for example, a chance encounter is described with the line, “See the waterworks/Stopped and I flirted/Yellow shirt to match the umbrella/Held her purse, called me young fella.” In Hubbs’s hands, the everyday becomes the sublime. The track should resonate with anyone who’s walked Pittsburgh’s streets or spent time on its public transit system. Stay tuned for Hubbs’s upcoming album, Winston Zeddemoore, for more inspired lyricism.