Josiah The Gift “Iron Mic”

By P80 Parks

Josiah brings his emotive and passionate delivery on his latest LP, Iron Mic. The Gift brings an intensity on the mic showing his immense hunger to succeed. And on Iron Mic he really serves up a full plate to satisfy his needs.

Josiah: “I came in with the intention to get on everybody radar with this one. Felt like I’ve been one of the underrated ones for a while.”

Josiah comes out the gate swinging with the triumphant horns on the intro, courtesy of King David Beats. “Conquerer,” “Meet Satan” and “Exodus” all deliver with plenty of head-nodding appeal. Josiah really shines on the standout “This is Proof,” the doo wop sample-laden joint produced by Nautilus. Siah follows this with introspective bars over soulful and heartfelt vocal loops from producer The Roses on “Smell The Roses.” The nostalgia is heavy with “Sci Fi Channel,” bringing us back to Josiah’s youth, spitting on the hook:

“This before they had internet and wi fi. Dealers jumpin in the game headfirst, they sky dive. Ricky had the RK’s on Roger Zapp, time flies. Watching Kung fu movies and anime on Sci Fi.”

Photo by Jahmel Reynolds

Deeply Rooted Hiphop talked with Josiah The Gift about the inspiration behind his big, new album brimming with appeal.

Josiah:”I actually got inspiration to make this a theme from Ficlopsis. A few songs going in were hard, but I didn’t know what to call what I was creating until I seen the cover. I was asking god for a sign at like 3-4 in the morning, and decided to look for some inspiration. First thing I seen when I went on IG was the cover for it, and the shit hit me. As far as the concept, and how it was put together, I tried to piece it up in a way where Mike’s voice was a representation of my mic. Almost like this is what my mic would say from the beginning of when I started using it, to present day. Also Mike Tyson has always been a inspiration for me since childhood. I’ve actually seen him when I was in Brooklyn around the time he had a charge in New York. Shit was crazy. Right on Nevins. Nigga shut the whole area down. His presence spreaded like wildfire. Somebody said “yo that’s Mike Tyson!” And the whole fucking block turned their heads to get a glimpse. All those memories..”

DRHH: I felt a heavy influence of Ghostface across the whole project, in the arrangements, and beat choice, and that was even before I heard “Starks.” Is the whole project an ode or homage to Ghostface?

Josiah: As soon as I heard the Starks beat, I had Supreme Clientele thoughts in my brain. I always admired how ghost flowed and delivered his lyrics, so I felt this was a perfect joint to pay homage, and see if I can make the slang as sharp as his. I think I did a good job. Not as well as him, but pretty good. “Starks” is one of the songs I can speak about because it came together crazy. I actually been sitting on the verse and the beat for a minute. I got it from Freemind a while back, but he also gave it to my man Jamil honesty first, and forgot, so I had to fall back on it for like a good year. Had my verse ready and everything, so that was the one time I was deeply hurt that I couldn’t use a beat. Fast forward a year or so later, and the beat pops up on my shit as I’m driving. As I’m listening I’m like naaa yo. I gotta hit these niggaz up, and see what’s going on with this joint. So I Hit Free and he like “See what ‘Mil doing with it,” so I hit Mil up praying he would let me get it. Him being the real nigga he is, he said “I ain’t even start moving on it yet. Eat!” And the rest is history. Shout out the bro Jamil honesty for that one man. That’s my nigga.”

Starks” is producer FreeMind’s flip of Ghostface’s classic “Child’s Play” with cuts by DJ Jon Doe . Jamil Honesty makes an appearance on Iron Mic on the uptempo soulful joint “4 Walls” produced by Rob Deniro. On “3 Blows,” with cuts from Chuck Chan, produced by Pad Scientist, Josiah dissects his opponents with nods to Kung flicks yet again sprinkled throughout the track. This spills perfectly into the RZA-esque “Obese” produced by Frank Grimes. On “Dime,” Josiah puts his Umbrella crew on over futuristic rock synths and drum fills courtesy of Farmabeats. Snotty, Pro Dillinger and Mickey Diamond each lace the sinister beat stamping Umbrella on the track.

DRHH: talk about putting on for umbrella.

Josiah: Yea. Umbrella is the squad, and I’m trying to help create a lane for me and my brothers. We on the path to doing something crazy. As far as the spitters, Snotty been bombing, Pro (Dillinger) been eating since the year begun, Creasy been bombing, Mickey been bombing on the bars and production along with the other producers in the camp. Rob killin shit, Bishop about to kill shit even more, Mos making crazy shit at a young age, and will only get crazier, 80zz out here making his mark, Paddy out here being innovative, Mallory is a fucking beast, prxspect rippin shit up, and we got the artists ficlopsis who did the cover & my man fruitless making some of the flyest shit right now. We all making the best music & art to make the movement something to stand the test of time in hip hop.”

Photo by Ghaze

Josiah The Gift rounds out the album with the dragging drums and angelic loops of “Retain Ownership,” Courtesy of Hobgoblin, the smooth bass groove of “If You Only Knew,” (produced by Freemind) and the cinematic strings of “Cus D’Mato” from The Prxspect.

Josiah: In terms of favorite tracks, ima be honest, it switches up from day to day; one day it’s This is Proof, the next it’s Exodus, the following day it’s Flair, on Monday’s it’s Conquerer or the intro, & on sundays it’s Starks. I listen to it in its entirety to be honest. For me it’s best digested altogether.

Josiah prides himself on his patience and vision for putting together a quality project that can stand against other hip hop albums out. Iron Mic displays Josiah’s talents on a full spectrum of beats and topics. Just like the heavyweight Iron Mike, Iron Mic stamps Josiah as a legit belt contender.

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