Skunkz lets us in on a midnight smoke session in the visuals for 1911. The beat, provided by J-Es, sports contrasting piano loops and stuttering snares as Skunkz unleashes a fury of rhymes with no hook. The video, directed by Tucker Deslauriers shows Skunkz posted up in the dark, burning one as a flashlight shines around the room. Skunkz spits with ferocity and intent, never seeming to ease up on the gas. The Dorchester, Mass-bred, west coast dwelling emcee has recently shown that same laser focus on developing his craft. There’s a hunger in his voice and in his work ethic and it’s evident in his latest music, brimming with authenticity and sincerity. Although this is just a single, the self-produced Skunkz Ft Skunkz album is dropping the end of February so stay tuned for more heat from Skunkz.

Words by D.L. Chandler

The modern age of Hip-Hop, in short, doesn’t possess a so-called “traditional” sound any longer due to various sub-genres and sounds that hold weight today. Still, the style of old has reemerged in recent times and is exhibited well in the latest release from Brooklyn rapper Rim and his ALGORYTHYMS project.

Some might know Rim from his group Da Villins alongside Villin P, and for their collaborations and connections with the late, great Sean Price. The same street grittiness that Price was known for informs the music of Rim, and New Jersey’s ILL Tal, who offers Rim a varied platter of production for his menacing bars.

ALGORYTHYMS opens with “INTRO” and immediately, Rim launches into an intense bar assault atop ILL Tal‘s haunting track, serving as a perfect backdrop for the jux or the handoff. Rim’s bars go until the end of the beat, fading out, with Rim still spitting. Next up, “SMDH” brings his brother Villin P on the assist, and the pair sound not only in sync but at home with ILL Tal orchestrating the sonics.

Harkening back to the jazz-tinged production of the 1990s, “SPEAKER PLAY,” Rim proves that he has more in his rap arsenal than just hard bars. Rim’s flow and tone almost melt the mic behind the mix of the snap, crackle, and pop of the dusty loop ILL Tal utilizes. To this point, “SPEAKER PLAYemploys perhaps the album’s most memorable hook, ending with an interlude featuring a soundbyte explaining the concept of an algorithm.

CON JOB” is another shift in sound for ILL Tal and features the talented and slept-on Maffew Ragazino, who delivers a scene-stealing cameo on one of the standout tracks on ALGORYTHYMS, although Rim most certainly holds more than his own here, as well. There isn’t much of a concept present on the album, but that doesn’t mean that the bars are without their gems. Rim’s Brownsville, Brooklyn pride and unwavering confidence sell the project and ILL Tal ‘s versatility as a producer is beyond worthwhile.

In all, ALGORYTHYMS is a reminder that little is needed in Hip-Hop beyond strong beats, sharp rhymes, and a sincere delivery of that package. If Rim and ILL Tal decide to tap in once again, it would brighten the listening experience to learn more about them personally or perhaps to reveal a touch of vulnerability. As it stands, what needs to be known and understood is that this project is worth the spin.

The album is available to purchase here:

Or to stream here:

By Alex P80 Parks

From it’s Latin origin, Carpe Noctem translates to “Seize the Night”. Producer Big Ghost Ltd, known for his own mysterious ways, calls upon his fellow night riders and nocturnal deviants to form a super emcee team to maintain stronghold of the indie rap underworld.

Big Ghost:

“The project is called Carpe Noctem, as well as the unofficial group collective name. Originally it was The Big East.”

The Core Squad: undergound elites like Daniel Son, Ty Farris, Al Divino all check-in for a verse (Crimeapple has 2 guest spots) and definitely bring their A-game, but it’s the main group that Big Ghost uses in different formations throughout the album. The grizzled veteran, Estee Nack brings his multitude of rhyme schemes and crazy imagery, Rigz delivers his slick nasally drawl, Mooch weaves crack tales with his smoked out high register, Recognize Ali reigns down with his confident raspy flow, Rome Streetz provides the creative street wordplay, Rahiem Supreme brings his smooth flow, and Asun Eastwood comes with his brash, no nonsense attitude. Big Ghost has put together an all-star posse album, not just a compilation project.

Big Ghost:

“I actually really had a vision to bring all the nicest underground artists together on some supergroup shit. This roster changed a few times. Different circumstances forced me to stay on my toes. One straight up had no lost interest.. one made up wack ass excuses. I hold no ill will towards the first two.”

On “Murder at The opera” Big Ghost lays an aptly-placed high octave vocal loop that flutters into the stratosphere as the low end rumbles throughout the track. Estee Nack opens it up with murderous lines while Crimeapple closes it out with his creatively humorous punchlines. On “Goon Ettiquette” the emcees spit fierce bars over Big Ghost’s subtle guitar loops and elegant percussion. The beat switches up to a murder mystery with resonating xylo notes as Rec Ali drops his focused verse. With a smooth bass groove, and delicate touches as a nod to those gone, Mooch sets it off on “The Elegy,” with Rahiem bringing the poignant hook. On “Fake my Death” Big Ghost provides a mix of swirling strings, a funky guitar riff and rolling drums. As Nack unloads a clip, the beat unfolds into “Paper Plane Lords” where we hear Nack resume, as the tracks blend flawlessly into one another.

Gladiator School.” Features Rigz and Mooch , Rome Streetz, Asun Eastwood, Rahiem Supreme, Recognize Ali, Estee Nack, Daniel Son, Ty Farris and Lukey Cage, this joint certainly showcases the individual talents and differing flows of each of these emcees. Big Ghost brings his large production consisting of eerie resonating synths organs, sliding guitar effects and plenty of booming drums throughout. Lukey Cage closes it out with his usual comedic insight, reminding heads that “Nobody ever wanted to be Pookie.”

Check out “Gladiator School” here:

Benghazi Emporium” features Al Divino, Estee Nack and Rahiem Supreme over scattering, sputtering flutes and a sawing guitar. Divino sets it off as he stutter steps with his slurry street slang. Nack delivers rapid fire bars as he tiptoes over the beat, while Rahiem comes through with the fly, luxurious imagery to close it out.

Check out the track on SoundCloud here:

“Clyde Frazier Minks,” features Crimeapple, Estee Nack, Recognize Ali, Rahiem Supreme, Asun Eastwood, Rome Streetz, Rigz and Mooch. Big Ghost brings the distorted instrumentals on this banger, with swirling synth effects, twisted guitar notes and tumbling drums. The beat switches a couple times throughout, using some subtle digi effects, while leaving plenty of space for the emcees to all do their own fly maneuvers on the beat.

Check out “Clyde Frazier Minks” here:

Mooch and Rigz keep it amongst Da Cloth on “Hate to Love” over high keyboard synth notes. With “Bricks in the Futon” Big Ghost lays down the dooming vocal choral loop, ominous bells ringing in the distance and a buzzing guitar note as Asun, Rec Ali, Mooch, Rigz and Rome all float on this drumless track.

DRHH: Do you find that you seek out some of these “underground” emcees as emerging artists gaining steam? Like, are you conscious of that and focus on that? I think of all the artists you’ve worked with: Hus, Vic, Ankh, Crime, obviously Griselda, now Rigz and Mooch, etc

Big Ghost:

“Yeaaaa.. I definitely try to catch em early before they got a lot of work out. I’m not really tryna help nobody drop album number 47… And it depends on the artist. But I also start a lot of the process outside of the public eye. I had hit a lot of those artists a year or two before we finished a project. For Carpe Noctem even.”

The album plays seamlessly from track to track even with the hilarious Lukey Cage skit god interludes thrown in. Cage closes out the album with his interpretation of the underground genre, claiming that the underground isn’t what it once was, but has transformed into an open-ended abyss.

DRHH: At the end of Carpe Noctem, on “The Abyss,” Lukey talks about the change and the evolution of the underground genre.. What are your thoughts on that?

Big Ghost:

“I think its like he said.. The underground…like the real bottomless underground.. not the struggling mfs who try to make palatable mainstream shit and happen to languish in the ocean of unlistenable mediocrity they deserve to remain in forever… the actual underground that drives this culture and compels moguls like Hov and Eminem to get they hands dirty and pay attention… For the first time since like 36 Chambers that real raw uncompromising hip hop is creating waves and getting respected by everybody. So now you can come straight from that and continue to do what you do how you been doing it.. except now you might have a machine behind you. Uncompromising shit. The only issue might be samples. But like Griselda proved…there can be ways around that too.”

Big Ghost Ltd pulls together a Big East, All-Conference team on Carpe Noctem, full of hard-hitting drums, resonating synths and sharp lyrics from some of the game’s top spitters. Creeping up from the dark abyss of the underground into the night, the Carpe Noctem collective shines brightly.

Check for the album out available here:

Words by Protocol Juxx

We all should have learned by now that when you notice pictures of a cocaine skull circulating that it’s time to recalibrate your scales and get your re-up money together. The effectiveness of the product Ty Farris delivered with his first batch in February of 2018 was enough to cause his name to ring heavy amongst avid hip hop fans. It was only right that Ty triple the potency for the third installment of No Co-sign Just Cocaine and erase any and all doubts (if there was any) about his abilities.

All drug references aside, you have to appreciate an emcee of Ty’s caliber. He’s not gonna bombard the audience with weird garments, outrageous haircuts or clout-chasing fuckery. You simply get the work; trusting that what he brings is gonna be of the highest quality possible. While he’s always been a highly technical lyricist, his understated aesthetic is in sharp contrast to how he totally blacks out in the booth. He maintains that duality with a Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde type of demeanor. Although he seems like the coolest nigga, I wouldn’t want to be in his way when he’s performing, as he brings it every time.

The “No Cosign” angle of this series was more applicable when he intially released the series back in February of 2018, as he had no features on it. With NCJC3, bosses from the “Loyalty or Death”, “New Crack Era,” and “Da Cloth” collectives all make an appearance, turning this project into a gladiator event rather than a series of studio sessions. Eddie Kaine, Eto, M.A.V. and Flee Lord provide razor sharp guest verses on NCJC3, taking only a small sliver of the spotlight away from Ty shining brightly on this album.

Ty returns with a similar production line-up that laced the previous two installments in Stu Bangas, Dirty Diggs, Trox, J Bansky, and Bozack Morris, adding The Standouts, Vinyl Villain, Sebb Bash, Mr. Authentic and Michaelangelo into the fold. These producers have shown and proven time and again that they certainly bring their best compositions to the set on this and every release. Stu Bangaz contributions certainly standout every time, with plenty of well placed drums and rumbling bass, providing a full spectrum of sound waves. And there’s no question that Ty devours a Bangas beat like no other.

Some rappers may get upset with the Detroit King for raising the bar just eight days into the new year but they may need to borrow a page from the Ty Farris playbook and take extra time to reevaluate their careers and proofread their shit a bit more. In a climate that calls for artists to drop every month to stay relevant, the Ty Farris approach to curating projects allows his work to feel more like an event the listener can anticipate and fully absorb rather than just another project that gets skimmed through, lost or plain overlooked. No Co-sign Just Cocaine 3 is the audio drugs that hip hop fiends need in their bloodstream.

The album is out tomorrow. Pre-order now here:

Follow Protocol Juxx on IG: @protocoljuxx

Big Ghost Ltd continues to build the anticipation for his upcoming full-length project Carpe Noctem, dropping Fri 1/10. With the third high-powered single off the album, “Benghazi Emporium” features Al Divino, Estee Nack and Rahiem Supreme over scattering, sputtering flutes and a sawing guitar. Divino sets it off as he stutter steps with his slurry street slang. Nack delivers rapid fire bars as he tiptoes over the beat, while Rahiem comes through with the fly, luxurious imagery to close it out.

Check out the track on SoundCloud here:

Carpe Noctem, the album, drops Friday 1/10, stay tuned…

Words by Ian Charles

Boston veteran emcee, Akrobatik may not frequently release music the way the current wave of artists has been, yet he always delivers. On December 27, 2019 A-to-the-K graced fans with his new project AKLX, fully produced by Helsinki, Finland’s LX-Beats (aka LX). The two have quite the bit of history and chemistry over the past few years. The album was originally slated for a 2016 release, yet both were continuing other projects, pushing aside this one for a further release date. Eventually all that began to come to fruition back in 2015 when the pair released “Migrate (included on the new album) featuring Boston, by-way-of Lynn/Revere, MA Emcee and EMS member, M-Dot. In 2015 the track “A.H.O.D. (All Hands On Deck)” featuring Redrama, Reks, Are and Chino XL again showcased the chemistry LX-Beats and Akrobatik possess. 

It’s a blessing to see that AK has been doing well after the heart attack he suffered in 2011. Following a one-year hiatus, he proved nothing changed in his ability to rock the microphone while also delving into the personal experience and his health on the 2012 song “Alive”.  Many Akrobatik fans know he has frequently worked with producers Fakts One, Illmind, Therapy (aka Paten Locke)(R.I.P.) & Willie Evans Jr. on past albums and EPs  throughout his career. LX-Beats continues with a similar style of production that fans are accustomed to hearing Akrobatik over: Boom Bap! 

The first track “Poetic License” eerily creeps in as Akrobatik introduces himself before providing us with bars that speak on his never-diminishing skills. The sample gives off a horror theme feel, while LX laces the track with booming drums. As a Black man, we know through the disturbing trend of police confrontations and the negative nature of these situations. On “Here We Go Again” this type of encounter is descriptively presented in wordplay that allows the listener to fully comprehend such contexts. The MC Lyte scratch hook is precisely executed by Gent, Germany’s own, DJ Grazzhoppa, who has showcased his skills throughout the years, working with many talented emcees and producers in his career. Copayaddresses the topic of musicians’ lack of medical insurance based on their profession. Many artists/msuicians struggle to pay medical bills, maintain their health with big pharmaceutical‘s high prescription costs and are at odds in our society’s constant impositions. Akrobatik really delivers with the thought-provoking content here.

Migrate” has been receiving significant replay, numerous times since it’s release more than four years ago. M-Dot and Akrobatik exemplify rocking stages in multiple cities, states and of course other countries. Roxbury veteran, Edo G. and Boston’s Mr. Lif come through to lend their lyrical talents with solid content you expect from them as guests on Bend But Don’t Break”. These three on the same track is some legendary Boston/ Massachusetts rapping at its finest! DJ Grazzhoppa’s precision cuts are evident here as he closes out the track. The atmosphere created from the production on “Blackout In The Booth” gives off a hazy smoked out session feel while Akrobatik blazes the mic with a faster tempo. Ak reminds everyone he can’t be placed in one box with lines like,

“Once my ego popped out cause now I teach class at the school I dropped out.

Lucky I ain’t gotta grade you rappers sometimes I wonder who paid you actors.” 

Ak delivers another highly relatable concept joint on Scam Likely.” The description of the devious minds of the world trying to deceive the public, in person and on social media on this joint is accurate and real. As we come to the final track of AKLX, Akrobatik switches vibes to summertime storytelling with “Live At The BBQ ‘20.” With rhymes about card playing, reminiscing, generational family music disagreements, all tied with the highs and lows of when a family comes together. A settling fun song to bring closure to AKLX. LX-Beats provides laidback production that beefs up during the hook, using a nice transition.

Core Akrobatik fans will not be disappointed as his maturity shines as well as the importance of one’s health. Those who are unfamiliar with Ak’s work have come across the right album. Those looking for more boom bap with fitting lyrics will also find this a satisfying project. Ak’s lyrics show that he is able to tackle life’s moments as an adult while continuing to show that his skills have not diminished. Hard bars, along with relevant content presented through Akrobatik’s life and his community are relatable aspects relative to all emcees and are integral parts of AKLX. This album should intrigue listeners to seek out more of LX-Beats production. Technology once again has bridged the gap in the creative process for music from Beantown to Helsinki. 

The album is available here:

Follow Ian Charles on social media

twitter: @jubei208

IG: @jubei208

Big Ghost Ltd delivers the second monster posse cut off his upcoming Carpe Noctem project. With “Clyde Frazier Minks,” some of the usual suspects are back to body Big Ghost’s production yet again. This one features Crimeapple, Estee Nack, Recognize Ali, Rahiem Supreme, Asun Eastwood, Rome Streetz, Rigz and Mooch. Big Ghost brings the distorted instrumentals on this banger, with swirling synth effects, twisted guitar notes and tumbling drums. The beat switches a couple times throughout, using some subtle digi effects, while leaving plenty of space for the emcees to all do their own fly maneuvers on the beat.

Check out “Clyde Frazier Minks” here:

According to the elusive producer, Big Ghost:

“The project is called Carpe Noctem, as well as the unofficial group collective name. Originally it was The Big East.”

It appears that Big Ghost has put together an entire posse album, and not just a compilation project. If these 2 stacked cuts are any indication of the heat laid on the full album, then hip hop heads are gonna be in store for a real treat.

Carpe Noctem drops Fri 1/10, so stay tuned..