Southern Rap Icon Sauce Walka Expands His Musical Horizons on “Dangerous Daringer”


Written by Eli Gillespie

Houston rapper Sauce Walka and Buffalo-bred producer Daringer don’t seem like a musical match made in heaven at first glance. Still, the unlikely duo recently came together to release the soulful single “Dangerous Daringer”.

The 33-year-old Walka, whose real name is Albert Walker Mondane, burst onto the scene in the late 2000s by rapping over bouncy trap/southern rap beats in keeping with his Houston lineage, earning him collaborations with other southern rap icons like Travis Scott, Migos, Bun B and Megan Thee Stallion. One such example of Sauce’s typical sound is the 2018 single “Ghetto Gospel” in which Walka flows over an 808-fueled trap beat complimented by spacey synths. Unlike many other current trap rappers, Sauce refrains from singing or melodically manipulating his vocals, instead focusing purely on rapping and lyricism.

In recent years, Walka has begun to showcase his lyrical prowess over east-coast-inspired instrumentals, one example is his feature on Westside Gunn’s song “Westheimer,” featuring Walka, Boldy James, and Stove God Cooks. “Westheimer,” produced by Denny LeFlare, is sonically opposite from “Ghetto Gospel” as the song has no drums and heavily features a sample from Argentine jazz pianist Alberto Favero’s “Quinteto.” Walka’s verse on “Westheimer” was exceptionally well received due to the unexpected harmony between the song’s smooth, jazzy ambiance and Walka’s energetic, gritty vocal performance.

Westside Gunn, who is partially responsible for the resurgence of 1990s-inspired boom-bap hip hop, said that he thinks east coast boom-bap is Sauce’s “favorite style” of rap in an interview with Complex. The interview also revealed that Walka has a series of unreleased freestyles over Westside’s old beats, which left fans wanting more of Sauce’s experimental music.

As a result, fans were incredibly excited when Walka teased “Dangerous Daringer” on Youtube in April 2022, as it represented a further departure from the Houston native’s typical sound. The song's title is an homage to its producer Daringer, who has made a living producing soul sample-laden boom-bap instrumentals for Westside Gunn and other members of his rap collective Griselda.

Fans had to wait over a year for “Dangerous Daringer” to hit streaming services, as the song was officially released on June 30, 2023, featuring a previously unreleased feature from Griselda’s Conway the Machine. 

Daringer lives up to his reputation on Walka’s single, as he delivers a beat anchored by a sample of the Ponderosa Twins' iconic song “Bound,” which has also been sampled by Kanye West, Tyler the Creator, and countless others. Daringer incorporates “Bound” while preserving the soulfulness of the original song but also introducing a new life and energy into the beat. 

In “Dangerous Daringer,” Walka’s unhinged and chaotic vocal delivery perfectly compliments his lyrics about his childhood dysfunction and the obstacles he overcame to succeed. Sauce’s lyrics and vocal performance delightfully juxtapose against the beat’s smooth bassline and vocal sample.

Walka’s Houston drawl is also perfectly complemented by Conway’s signature New York sound, as the Buffalo native seamlessly floats over Daringer’s instrumental while bragging about his accomplishments and friendship with Diddy. 

For Walka, “Dangerous Daringer” indicates what we can expect from the Texas native on his next project New Sauce City 2. Sauce implied that Daringer will produce close to the entirety of New Sauce City 2 in an interview with Stereogum. While the exact release date of the upcoming project is not known, it is apparent that Sauce Walka’s new sound has the potential to elevate the Houston native to new heights.

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