After dropping The World is Piff 2 in July, Jamal Gasol teams up with beatmaker NES for the tight, 7-track EP Ronwaldo Reyes. Named after the famed Filipino action star, the EP’s production plays out like a crime saga with some tense moments and plenty of uptempo loops. The Diadora Don comes through on this one with his boastful rhymes and clever punchlines, always sounding like he rhymes with a satisfied grin. In the past he’s played the role of varying characters; from the savvy hustler, the straightforward street pusher, to the eloquent and heartfelt poet describing (fittingly) both joy and pain. Locking in with a single producer on Ronwaldo Reyes, the Niagara Falls emcee shows more of an intensity here, adding another facet to his rhyme personae.
A highlight off the jump, “Outside,” is full of tense loops as Jamal unleashes a fierce verse. Gasol spits lines like: “runnin through the tabloids, never met Diddy, but the bitches call me ‘Bad Boy.’ Need work, I employ. Countin money, I enjoy. Rhymes gettin nasty as an Almond Joy.”
“Scalebreakers” is the Kansas City Smack man at his peak hustle. On “Gun Man” Jamal brings in frequent collaborator Sauce Heist as both spit sharp verses over a sparse, yet stirring loop. “Pastillas” is Mr.31 reminding his detractors how he operates over a pulsating sample. The prolific Estee Nack fills in the only other guest spot on the EP on “Smokin’ Facers” with his mind-blowing rhyme schemes over booming chopped loops. Ronwaldo Reyes is a tight project showcasing the talent of the Chief piffer and NES’ vibrant beats.
Cop Ronwaldo Reyes, a Bandcamp exclusive project, with limited vinyl and physicals available with the Exclusive Heist life Ty Da Dale x Baby Maine Heist track “Marble Floor” available only on vinyl.
Bay Shore, Long Island rapper Spoda, aka Mr Dopeflow releases his latest EP, Quick Fix, solely produced by Portuguese producer Martello. Quick Fix is exactly that; a six-joint EP with no filler and plenty of Spoda’s brash talk over straightforward beats.
Not one to bring overly complex lyricism, Spo instead brings his own intensity and energy to each bar, bombing the mic with enthusiasm. Joints like “Chauffeur You Thru My Life” show Spo narrating his journey to this point, detailing some of his life in prison. A Highlight is “No Hook” as it brings a somber mood with melancholy piano notes and poignant feel while Spoda brings in a personal touch. “Pain” is Spo spitting his shit over a funky groove with 80’s sax and effects. Spoda continues to show his brand of energetic bars over solid beats on Quick Fix.
Bub Rock returns with his latest LP, A Peace of Mine, 14 tracks of thought-provoking and personal content for the 31 year old emcee. The Long Island emcee provides his depth of lyricism and well-rounded beat selection with his 2nd LP of 2020.
Riding off his critically-acclaimed The Rock Period LP of July 2020, Bub Rock brings a focus and intent on this album that most artists are afraid to address. Tackling issues of depression and anxiety, mortality and the deaths of close friends, Bub finds a space to release his thoughts, allowing fans and listeners to hear a unique vulnerability and a singular talent the likes of which we are lucky to see once a generation.
The album features production from Foulmouth, Trox, Big Daddy Chop, The Standouts, AP, Don Carrera, Wavy Da Ghawd, JOD, and Backpack Beatz. In addition is executive produced by Alex “P80” Parks of Deeply Rooted Hiphop. Bub finds the nostalgia amidst many of the 80’s R&B vibes, evident in all his releases, with this being no exception.
The title track shows Bub Rock unleashing his overwhelmed mind over a vibrant and pulsating Trox beat. To stay focused on all the issues at hand, Bub intentionally limited the features on A Peace of Mine, which showcases frequent guest-stars Rim and Ty Farris and also a dope nostalgic verse from Bang Belushi. Bub Rock unleashes a piece of himself for his fans and for his own “Peace of Mine.”
With the first video off his latest project Voodoo Kit, the prolific Nebraska emcee takes us on a captivating visual journey. 1000bottles/ Zombie Dustcombines 2 of the joints from his latest EP, a collaborative effort with producer Killer Kane. In the video, Sleep pays homage to Omaha youth James Scurlock, a young man slain by a racist bar owner during the George Floyd protests in Omaha this past spring.
Peep the video for 1000bottles/ Zombie Dust here :
The stunning cinematography was captured by visual guru Big Mike from the woods, holding it down for his fellow Nebraskan artist. The tracks sport Kane’s muffled percussion and dusty loops with slight melodies to pull it all together. The video shows Sleep and co. posted at the cigar bar, which transitions into juxtaposed imagery of industrial components against the warm colors of the autumnal leaves falling by the side.
Aesop Rock, one of underground hip-hop’s most enduring and illuminating talents, has just shared a second single leading into the release of his new album Spirit World Field Guide (set for release in November 13th via Rhymesayers). “Pizza Alley” picks up right where the previous track “The Gates” left off, pulling listeners deeper into a broadening narrative that is rife with increasingly unhinged and hallucinatory imagery and animations, an apt parallel to the song’s lyrically labyrinthian paean to the album’s titular world.
The visual was directed by Aesop’s longtime collaborator Rob Shaw, with illustractions by Justin “Coro” Kaufman, who also designed the album’s vivid artwork and packaging.
The collection, arguably the most expansive and ambitious work in the verbose MC/producer’s storied career, is a concept album of sorts; a guide to an upside-down world revealed across 21 insightful chapters of firsthand know-how of the terrain, wildlife, and social customs of our parallel universe. The world explored on the album bears a lot of similarities to our own, especially in its current state. The free-floating anxiety, the looming existential dread, the paranoia and suspicion that define our moment? It’s all familiar turf for Aesop.The path through the Spirit World is the path to freedom, and while Aesop will show you the way, he won’t hold your hand. He can’t. We all have to take this journey ourselves. There aren’t any shortcuts, but if you keep your ears open you will find the way. Spirit World Field Guide is out on 13th November- https://rse.lnk.to/SpiritWorldFieldGuide
Brooklyn’s own Rome Streetz has been steadily rising for the last several years, but the release of last year’s Noise Kandy 3 marked his official arrival. Then with his Joyeria LP he secured his first Daupe! Media drop and established himself with the new era’s elite. So, with Noise Kandy 4 this streetwise orator felt the need to cut back on the guests and really give fans a full dose of Rome. However, one of the only two cameos on the album is by Murda Mass ambassador, Estee Nack on a standout track titled “Higher Self,” which is also the final single and video off the project. The mellow anthem is produced by loop wiz Sebb Bash, while the video is directed by prolific lensman D. Gomez.
Teller: “This one kinda heavy; it’s not a very feel good album..”
With The Grotesque and The Beautiful, Teller gives fans his most personal project to date. Perhaps not as dark and ominous production-wise as most of his Blaq Knight collaborations were previously, but his lyrical content shows Teller battling his demons, struggling with the state of the world and trying to cement his place as an artist in an ever-expanded and crowded field.
The project is fully produced by Ed Glorious and features midwest poetic spitters Sleep Sinatra and Aakeem Eshu. Ed Glorious puts down an airy vibe on “Apex Predators” for Teller and Aakeem to just float on. Other highlights include “Paul Bearer,” showing an insightful and poignant Teller spitting over powerful, chopped vocal loops. Ed and Teller coalesce nicely on The Grotesque and The Beautiful, with more hopefully in store as a result of this collaborative effort.
Queens rapper Scott G and long time collaborator IaMuzik, from the NY producer duo IAmT2, connect for a piece of brilliant and grimy art on the emcee messiah’s debut album I Am Gesus. The long adored, but almost extinct, classic Queens sound is evident throughout the entire project. From the song titles (where more than a few tracks are a nod to fellow Queens GOAT Nasty Nas), as well as the gritty and raw sound, and lastly, heard through G’s cadence and wordplay.
Scott G: “I was born in Trinidad but I was raised in Queens, I spent many years living in Lefrak City. So the Queens sound is something that was instilled in me since a kid. Growing up in Queens in the 90s was an experience I wouldn’t change for anything. Growing up, my favorite rappers were Biggie, Nas, Method Man, Mobb deep, CNN, Big Pun, 50 Cent, Alchemist, Havoc, Kanye West, 9th Wonder, Timbaland, Easy Mo Bee and DJ Premier. (They all) really set the tone for me as both a fan and an emcee.”
This writer had been a fan of Scott G’s music since 2018 when he dropped the raw EP God. Even back then he was already working on his debut album. But life literally was throwing him fireballs as he was shot numerous times back in February 2018. That wasn’t enough to hold the aspiring rapper down though. As soon as he was psychically able, he went straight to the studio and recorded the album Look At God. The 10 track joint was done in just 1 day. The cover, a picture of Scott hospitalized, as well as the content on it told the story of his shooting.
Scott G: “I felt like I needed to tell that story, so a week after being shot I got into the studio and recorded Look At God in one day. Getting shot in the face multiple times, my necc (sic) and my arm isn’t as glamorous as a lot of these rappers make it seem. And (I) most likely won’t rap about it again in my upcoming projects. I’m happy to be alive and I’m looking forward to moving on instead of looking at the past.”
The strong relationship between rapper and beatsmith goes all the way back to Scott G’s debut album, so it seemed like a no-brainer for Scott to call in help from IaMuzik and have him produce the entire debut album.
Scott G: “I knew IaMuzik for many years. We connected over our love for sneakers at first. But we really became close over our love of music. He produced a few songs on my very first project Yesterdaze Legend in 2011. In 2016 we spoke about doing a project together and one day it just came to me; I texted him “IAMT2 x Scott Gesus = I Am Gesus” at like 1am and it was on from there. This entire project has been a family affair, aside from rap thats my brother so we work really well together.
It’s clear from the jump that Scott G means business, and he wants the entire world to know about The Queens Gesus. The 2 artists, besides being long time friends, work very well together, with the dark Gotham-style boom bap fitting “hand in glove,” or more so, “gun in hand,” with Scott’s grimey street fables.
Scott G: “We made the entire project in the studio together, we cooked that project as a group. We really put our all into I Am Gesus. We wanted to make sure we could really get the world to listen with this album”
Both artists physically in studio cooking together is a rare thing in these file-sharing times. Other than the main two, the album features the overly popular Griselda crew members Conway who spits a sublime verse on the eerie “Shootouts On The Deegan” and Benny who ends up on an extremely entertaining track, the album closer “V2s & V12s“, a track that is also featured on the aforementioned I Am God. Fellow Queens spitter Flee Lord jumps on the hype track “Lord Gesus,” while Madhattan and Fast-life both drop by as well on “86 Mets” & “The World Is Ours” respectively.
All in all I Am Gesus upholds those same dark and eeire sounds that really got me hooked the first time I heard him on the before mentioned God EP, but this doesn’t mean that Scott G hasn’t evolved. On the contrary it’s quite evident that he has been working hard on honing his craft to give to us his own Illmatic.
Boston emcee XL The Beast lands a haymaker with his latest banger “Sucker Punch,” featuring Rockness Monsta, Reks, and Lord Vital. Cambridge producer The Arcitype delivers an uptempo burner full of eerie synths and organs as Rock provides his veteran baritone rumble and Reks brings his rapid fire flow to the track.
XL: “When Arcitype played the beat I instantly knew that it would be thorough and challenging. So I chose two of the deadliest spitters and we got down”
Artist manager and industry vet Coach Bombay releases his compilation album titled Running Plays that brings together the best names in the new era of underground Hip-Hop and up-and-comers about to make their mark. The first single “Score 50” features the prolific Rome Streetz snapping on a Work Scorsese beat. Check the track here: