by Alex P80 Parks
The New England spitter and producer link up for a memorable album full of nostalgia and fly rhymes on Auerbach’s Garden.
Lynn, Mass emcee, CodeNine has had a prolific 2018, releasing several quality projects with high praise from fans while garnering critical acclaim. This album features some of the game’s current top talents in SmooVth and Sully Nomad along with local homies and frequent collaborators SPNDA and the ever-grinding Estee Nack.
Grubby Pawz is multifaceted producer and studio engineer. Perhaps I may be biased though, having witnessed on different occasions not only watching him perform beat sets for audiences, but creating such strong soundscapes in his beats and also mixing and mastering his own work and tracks for his peers, friends and contemporaries.
On “Audemar Vision” doo wop vocal loops with subtle drums set the vintage tone here. This vocal sample has so much heart, it plays as a third artist on the track. Grubby always has the knack for digging for the poignant vocal samples full of emotion.
Code spits with the ill references:
“OG said I’m bringin back that essence, Pappy Mason fury.
Prolly shoulda just been a safety for the buckeyes.
Footwear had em bug-eyed, look like the plug died
Slug fly, how they grew wings.
Let the bud fry.
They thought CodeNine was a crew,
Found out be one guy.”
Grubby Pawz lays a funky bass loop and synth effects on “Plata” as Code slides smoothly through this track.
“Milk & Honey (Franklin Forts)” feat. SmooVth sports wind instruments, a vocal sample and a throwback feel while floating through the air. SmooVth stops by for his unmatched flow and cadence.
“KV62″ feat Estee Nack a repetitive piano/synth loop and bassline sets the tone here. Code’s tragic ally, Nack slides through here to drop a dope verse.
“Loomis Getaway” feat SullyNomad fluttering flutes create the high anxiety of the heist for Code and SullyNomad to glee the scene with. Code delivers his spittery while SullyNomad jumps in to lay his hazy flow full of unique references and wordplay.
“Tommy Jean Jacket” is certainly a standout track on this album. A psychedelic wavy atmosphere, a sultry female vocal sample and a bouncing beat create the perfect track for Code to just float on.
Check the visuals for this exceptional joint:
“St. Ides Ceremonies” mixes an orchestral sample with a funky groove on this laid-back beat. Code paints his regal rhymes all over this track with lines like:
“Tryna see how far this lobby go before I’m outta smoke.
Bayside varsity jacket party crashing,
Shorty passin out petty pussy like they was Arby’s rations
12 hour smokin session like beef brisket
Knock the jockey off ya polo horse;
Freedom for Seabiscuit.”
“Reggie Mural with Rose” feat. SPNDA Both emcees are in top form here. SPNDA delivers his lyrics deliberately and in typical commanding fashion. Grubby puts down bouncing choir-like vocal loops on this cut.
“The Larry O’Brien” The closer of the album is fittingly celebratory in tone. Grubby plucks a quirky synth guitar riff which tumbles across the track as Code bounces his flow over the beat.
This latest endeavor from CodeNine keeps him in the conversation as one of the elite emcees in this current renaissance. His creative references appeal to those looking for more substance than the typical superficial rap lines.
Grubby’s beats show a delicate balance of minimalist production while maintaining a polished, well-mixed sound, without the beats ever sounding too cluttered or over-produced. Grubby Pawz seems to be in peak form on this album, shelling out his finest loops, crafted and built around Code’s lavish and vivid imagery.
Auerbach’s Garden plays out well conceptually too, with the cover art, audio clips and titles all revolving around Boston Celtics’ legends. An excellent offering from 2 of the Bay State’s finest hip hop artists. Both Grubby Pawz and CodeNine serve heads a complete and well-crafted album.
Cop the album here:
Check the June 2018 review of CodeNine and Paranom’s MillionDollarMink here: