Likely-to-blow D.C. rapper and current Washington City Paper cover star Fat Trel has offered up the opening track from his anticipated new album, Nightmare on E Street. “Intro (By the Way)” is our first official taste from of record, which will finally be released next Monday. There are some pretty big hopes attached to this song, and the good news is that it delivers. With a rich-sounding beat by Florida producer Kane Beatz (of “Super Bass” fame), “Intro” finds Trel sacrificing little of his goon-rap appeal while adopting a cleaner, more radio-friendly sound. Over whining guitars and Miami Vice synths, he raps confidently, like he’s already got crossover money. “All I see is cake/Wake ‘n’ bake and make the re-up/I don’t know the score/all I know is we up”, goes one bar. The track is plenty street (“I’m totin’ fire today/With my nine by my side/smokin’ lime today” is part of the sing-song chorus) but is catchy and clearly designed to appeal to a wider fanbase. If Trel maintains this balancing act on Nightmare‘s remaining cuts, it’s hard to see the album not meeting expectations.

LISTEN: Fat Trel – “Intro (By the Way)”