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:
Chicago’s ILL Gordon releases his latest video for “Blow My Mind” off his most recent project, BarzonDeck2. “Blow My Mind” shows a spirited Gordon spitting over loops to create an uptempo club joint courtesy of producer Deka Derse. The track features Ingineer sliding through for a verse as well. The animated video shows Gordon and Ingineer in the club enjoying the scene. The video was also directed and edited by Deka Derse. Check the video here:
The S. Carolina emcee is back with the latest off his recent album 84.3FM: Carolina Radio, fully produced by French beatmaker Keor Meteor. Keor laces the beat with lush piano and strings loops. In the video for “Some Highs, Some Lows,” the Carolina coast is prominent in the background, tying into the album’s theme as well. Check out “Some Highs, Some Lows” here:
Pro Dillinger comes out swinging on Megafoul, his EP exclusively produced by Megaladon. The Rockland County emcee spits with a tenacity and hunger that’s unmatched. With his genuine demeanor and no nonsense attitude Pro is poised for a long career in the game. Garnering attention from his singles and features and his Umbrella squad’s ever expanding team, Dillinger is set to put on for his family, his circle and his hometown.
Pro Dillinger: “I linked up with Mega over a year ago and we started cooking this.. I just took my time with it.”
Megaladon brings beats appropriately suited for Pro’s filthy imagery and his harsh, no-fucks given mentality. Dillinger kicks the door down on the intro “Round of applause” spitting pure savagery over a gorgeous violin loop. “Loyalty” displays Pro Dillinger’s gritty rhymes and street tales over uptempo piano loops and thumping drums. Check out “Loyalty” here:
“CovidOnenine” brings a somber tone while the uptempo “Everybody Eats” show a victorious Dillinger, focused, riding the beat. “Listen” feat. Jazzy Joyce and Royal Gunna shows a more mature Dillinger detailing his relationship with wifey and the daily challenges inherent in the lifestyle.
Megaladon creates a great beat selection for Pro to just unleash his lyrics over. Dillinger delivers with his pure honesty, drive and hustle. His lyrics never reach too far out of reality as Dillinger is as grounded as any humble man. Stay tuned as Pro Dillinger is next man up.
As arguably the hardest rap crew out currently, Rochester collective Da Cloth delivers Da Fixtape, brimming with hazy imagery and hype energy oozing from every drum snap and antagonizing lyric. Employing producers mainly from the Rochester area, with a couple exceptions, Da Fixtape puts Da Cloth squarely on the map, repping Rochester to the fullest.
With the most visibility of the squad, Rigz acts as the defacto general, with his smooth flow armed with a contemptuous attitude; MAV is the cool veteran with the OG wisdom and understated delivery; Mooch has the lively vocals, high register and unique cadence; Rob Gates brings a palpable energy, evoking visions of him wilding out in the booth, always on the brink of unloading a clip or ending in a scrap. While those main 4 compose the majority of the album, additional support is brought in from Da Cloth members Symph, Times Change and Illanoise.
Peep the video for “Last Dose”:
There are plenty of drug bars, though never done too forcefully or ignorant of taste. They give us glimpses of that lifestyle as “Back Door” is a hurried rush to move the custies out the back. But they avoid many of the cliches and pitfalls through clever lyrics and wordplay. It’s not that the content is unique, it’s that they spin it and weave in an overall mood to a satisfying result.
Rigz plainly illustrates things with lyrics like: ”people noddin on my songs. Why wouldn’t they?.. S’what dope do.”
Try to hold back the emotions as loop master Nicholas Craven brings the melancholy feel On “Ask me why” as they all see their pasts haunting them, still using it as motivation. Joints like “All about the money,” “Role Models” and “31 to 62” bring the smooth 80’s synth vibes, just cruising at night. That whole vibe finds Da Cloth in stride. A smart sequencing of that whole mood suits Da Cloth well.
Beats come courtesy of Speed, Thank5th, Sonny Carson, RDJR, Audio Narcotics, 322Major and Grimz. The album features additional production from esteemed producer VDon and a banger from local elite emcee and producer, Eto. Producer Chup contributes 3 beats to the project, adding his local talent into the fold. Da Cloth comes through with a well executed project with each member adding their own styles and unique flavor. Da Fixtape is a dope album that puts Rochester on the map from the rhymes down to production.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with the latest from Baltimore emcee Jamil Honesty and UK producer HobGoblin. They team up once again bring us Martyr Musik 2: The kingdom.
The lead single “The Fabric” sets the tone for the sequel to their 2018 release. “The Fabric” gives us an airy feel, reminiscent of stepping into a church and hearing the powerful choir, fortifying your soul with the essential elements at just the right time.
“Heavy is the head that wears the crown of thorns….. its a steady march soldier, not a marathon… trying make it to the kingdom that’s what’s paramount.”
More of a breath of fresh air, upon first listen MM2 seems very well crafted with a clear strong cohesiveness between the producer and emcee. The sharp delivery and in-depth wordplay from Jamil lends us his point of a view as we sit upon the shoulders of this evolving lyrical giant. That is something many rappers lack nowadays; being a true master of ceremony while providing a majestic tone. Features from Da Cloth emcee MAV, along with guest spots from other talented spitters like P.U.R.E., Josiah The Gift , Pgenz, Squeegie-O, Juga-Naut, and Ace Cannons all give this project a well-rounded appeal. Martyr Musik II is an impressive sequel, allowing to be more than merely a Hip-hop album
Expect more from Jamil Honesty and HobGoblin as a dope pairing but also as separate artists in their own right. With MM2 they prove that if you keep the same formula with the right talent, then great music will follow.