by Alex P80 Parks
Underground hip hop is flourishing worldwide. Collaborations from across the globe have become commonplace. To think that a producer from England would create beats for an American emcee isn’t strange or unlikely anymore. With Martyr Musik, Baltimore, Maryland’s Jamil Honesty and Birmingham, UK’s Hobgoblin provide another great example of these types of successful global collaborations.
Originally from Staten Island, NY, Jamil proudly represents Shaolin in spirit, and Baltimore in the physical state. His straightforward delivery and depth of lyricism is notable and on display for this project.
Deeply Rooted reached out to HobGoblin and Jamil about Martyr Musik and how they came to collaborate.
HobGoblin: “We first linked on SoundCloud through a group called CCP (Cloud City Project) and decided to work together. Then we put out that ‘Marines‘ joint, and it came out so dope that we kept working after that. Jamil came up with the idea of doing an EP.”
On the title track, “Martyr Musik” Jamil rhymes over a booming track with punchy snares and a chopped vocal sample. Appropriate that the title track is a standout banger on this project.
On the second verse Jamil spits:
“In all white, walking the streets of Egypt and Sodom,
teaching the sheep, seeking impeachment.
The presidents throne is just a replica of Rome.”
Jamil on the concept behind Martyr Musik:
“The artwork and title is inspired by my spiritual beliefs … Martyr Musik is kinda like the background music or theme music behind everything that is happening to the minorities in this country being martyred everyday; similar to how the prophets were killed. The self-titled track kind of touches on where I’m going with that.”
“Blockah” feat J Scienide The victorious horns are chopped for a triumphant mood where Jamil and J Scienide take turns laying down some serious bars.
Check the track here:
“Salvation” feat Ace Cannons. HobGoblin flips a series of guitar samples, with a tragic tone from Ace Cannons on the hook.
Check the track here:
“What U need” feat DJ Grazzhoppa Reminiscent of some pure break beats, this is a refreshing series of loops full of fuzzy guitars, horns and a funky vocal sample. The full sound and great tempo are plenty to carry the track without laying additional drums. This is a great example of well-placed chopped loops, layered precisely. Jamil rhymes with purpose:
“Ayo, I do this for the culture,
Mowing over theses vultures like I’m supposed to.
Go head get a close-up,
Post up, Mob style, la cosa nostra
Bow tie with the loafers
Gold fronts with the low cut
Type flow, son it’s ice cold..”
DJ Grazzhoppa provides some serious cuts as well on this track, making it even more of a standout heater.
“I Am” Over a soulful vocal sample and sustained strings, Jamil brings his trademark sincerity on this joint, revealing insight and personal traits that separate him from the next man.
“Scribez” feat Jay Royale showcases the Baltimore emcees spitting hard over crackling drums and poignant string loops.
Check the track here:
“Tapestry” feat Rome Streetz and CodeNine is easily another standout track, features Jamil holding his own with two of the elite lyricists in the game. HobGoblin delivers the dusty old Italian vocal sample to perfection, balanced with a delicate bassline. All 3 emcees bring well-crafted verses here.
The chemistry on this project is apparent. Hobgoblin and Jamil naturally blend as if they’re neighbors who build on the regular, creating these vintage sounding joints in their basements. It’s evident that the album shows a high degree of craftsmanship, with a level of quality in the rhymes, production and mixing.
HobGoblin on the process: “It took over 6 months to complete, a lot of beats and rhymes binned.. we wanted the bar to be high and to really solidify a name for ourselves with this project. We’ve been very meticulous, from the beats, to the rhymes, to the artwork and the promo.”
Jamil: “With Martyr Musik, it’s deep.. There are hints of my spiritual beliefs there, and with the whole biblical theme in some of the song titles… I was specific about the cover art as well. I didn’t want any words to obscure the classical artwork… Bringing the art of the Byzantine era with the raw hiphop, to me, it’s similar to how the Wu brought martial arts into hip hop.”
The overall sound of Martyr Musik fits very well in the landscape of this current revival in underground HipHop. The album puts the solid skills of HobGoblin and Jamil Honesty on display as they both bring their A-game on Martyr Musik.
cop the album on 12/4 available at jamilhonesty.com and here: