I’m too east coast for my own good. It’s not that I don’t appreciate hip hop from every corner of our country, I just happen to gravitate towards the grittier, gray and blue sounds of the Northeast. Every once in a while I’ll let Dom Kennedy or Nipsey Hussle spin when it comes across the shuffle, but Cali rap has never been a huge priority of mine.
Men Of Many Crowns, the collaborative project between San Diego MC MoodSwingKing and producer/DJ W.Steele has me questioning that bias. Their self-titled release has been on steady rotation for the past two weeks, bridging the gap between traditional airy West Coast vibes and NY boom bap. The sample-heavy production is flawless, paired with King’s champion bars. Don’t believe me? Give “Scandalous Desires” a spin. Spend a few bucks on the record here. Heads will nod. Enjoy.
The audio for A$AP Twelvyy’s “Glock Rivers” dropped this summer. Today, we get the GOLDRUSH directed visuals. The clip takes us to Harlem via black and white slow-mo shots through the fog of a dry-ice invasion. It seems the A$AP Mob got tired of watching New York continue to bubble without them.
The last few weeks have seen big time drops from Rocky and Ferg. That’s all well and good, but “Glock Rivers” is my favorite blast from this camp in a minute. Admittedly, Rocky’s fashion shit is sometimes too much to stomach. Lucky for us Twelvyy is around to rough up the edges. Enjoy.
DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9″. Beats destined for classic status. Thorough, witty, bars. Samples pulled from Adrian Younge’s crates full of jazz, funk, and soul. It’s a recipe for one of the most luxurious records of 2014. Hip hop in its purest natural form.
High praises? Maybe. But who’s betting against it? The video for PRhyme’s self-titled cut was directed by GOLDRUSH. That link will transport you to a land of truly dope visuals. Dropping in December, PRhyme will be on repeat deep into 2015.
Ghostface is putting the finishing touches on 36 Seasons, his concept album about a Staten Island every day hero looking to free his community from the grips of evil. Sounds like the type of shit most MC’s should avoid at all costs. Not Tony Starks. Get ready for insane wordplay over cinematic landscapes; the kind of rambling reserved for the strongest of the Shaolin.
“The Battlefield” follows the smoothed out lamenting of “Love Don’t Live Here No More”, and showcases Ghost’s legendary bars next to the likes of AZ and Kool G Rap. Straight grimy…back after 36 seasons. Old heads stand up.
Grab the pre-order bundle from Get On Down here.
DC’s Kev Brown and Rochester based Hassaan Mackey’s That Grit is truly an underground affair. Kev’s production is raw and sprinkled with some of that Pete Rock magic dust, paired with hard nosed bars from Mackey who sounds like he’s been rapping for meals for the better part of a decade. It’s the perfect soundtrack for 40 ounces and hopped turnstiles; raw and uncut hip hop for seasoned listeners.
Kev and Hassaan share MC duties throughout the record, but it never feels scattered or pieced together. With a handful of crew features, and plenty of head nodding moments, That Grit is worthy of your spins. The download also includes a few instrumentals. Stream it below, then go pay for it.
Stalley should be commended for his willingness to stay patient and grind it out. It’s been years since it was announced he was joining Rozay’s MMG crew. Since then we’ve seen a few releases from Wale, Meek, and the boss himself. Maybach Music even dropped two crew records for fans to embrace. The machine churned on.
Stalley quietly piled up a few near-legendary tapes while the rest of MMG molded and carefully packaged their brands. The irony is in the fact that Stalley himself is far left of the Maybach dial. He’s a peoples rapper in every sense of the word. From the modest lyrics to the Blue Collar Gang emblem swinging from his chain, he seems to encapsulate the vibe of the everyday struggle.
Ohio is the Stalley record that fans anticipated. From the production to the content, it’s a debut worthy of the praise. There isn’t one moment of compromise. Check how the the NWA influenced “Jackin Chevy’s” shifts to the midwest boom of “Always Into Something”, showcasing Stalley harnessing the energy and IQ of his previous work while dialing up a new focus that drives these eleven tracks. Topped off with “Navajo Rugs” featuring De La Soul, Ohio is a record that stands up and shines as one of the most unique recordings of 2014.
Readers know that I’ve been rocking with Kavyy for a minute. Over the past few years I’ve watched this young Harlem MC take strong strides towards his massive potential. #KavyyGottaEat provides a solid glimpse into the life and times of an ambitious, hungry artist who isn’t satisfied with retweets and likes. Dude wants his paper, and he’s coming into his own. Can’t stop…won’t stop.
The project is fire from end to end, with no filler. “All The Way Real” is the sound of professional stunting, complete with glimpses of Harlem flashing past while Kavyy balances boasts with all-star cadence. The album kicks off with “Ruff Ryda”, a stream of consciousness rant focused on the growing pains associated with the come up.
#KavyyGottaEat flaunts a fluid dichotomy of blue collar grind and caviar dreams that never feels contrived. It’s simply the sound of ambition coming to life. Grab the tape here and be sure to follow the kid @paperkav on Twitter, and @kavyy on Instagram. Harlem on the rise.