For those who have always loved American underground rap, the triad formed by Meyhem Lauren, on the microphone, with the support of Madlib and Dj Muggs on the machines, is something crazy, to rub your eyes and ears. Basically, the Queens MC, now an underground New York rap institution, knight and guardian of what are the codes that once were the basis of five boroughs’ raw and authentic rap, got another investiture from two of the greatest producers of all time, to which to pin the name “legend” on would be simplistic, given the improper and generous use that is often made of it lately. The result can only be a binge of bars and style, seasoned by the class of the two production geniuses. In practice, listening to Champagne For Breakfast, for us lovers of the genre, is like having breakfast with a rare steak and top quality champagne, drinking directly from the bottle: Does the comparison make sense?
The G-Unit certainly represented the Rap role model for all the generations who grew up at the turn of the 2000s. 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Young Buck with the album “Beg For Mercy” had brought the New York Gangsta Rap to the level next, dominating the music market for several years. Anyone who lived through that period knows well that Lloyd Banks has always been the G-Unit element with the deepest and most skilled pen… After Having sunk himself during the period in which the so-called trap stole the scene also in New York, now that somehow lyricism is back in vogue, Lloyd Banks has claimed back his top position in the gotha of New York lyricists, accompanied by an obviously greater maturity, experience and awareness than 20 years ago. COTI 3 is enhanced by the features of some of the greatest lyricists from different eras like Method Man, Cormega, 38 Spesh, Dave East, Vado and Tony Yayo.
Behind the scenes, the Rap industry, even in the underground panorama is unpleasantly made of envy, misconducts and many lies, of which listeners are often unaware or unconsciously buy into it. But if there still exist some authentic and real individuals, who, along the business side, have in their hearts values such as integrity, loyalty, gratitude and respect, one of those few is, without any doubts, Flee Lord. And we don’t just say that because we were lucky enough to interview him for our first physical issue, but it’s a matter of positive vibrations that we can feel on our skin. However, it would be enough to carefully listen to his latest project entitled, 2-3 Zone, an excellent produced by Crisis, to understand that the rapper from Far Rockaway, Queens New York, even on the microphone, is an example of integrity and honesty. In fact, in his last project, Flee Lord puts his heart on his sleeves revealing his own wins and losses with the honesty of someone who is always true to himself and the others. And the real always recognize real, so Flee Lord enjoys the respect, not only of us, but of some of Rap scene’s best, as demonstrated in this 2-3 Zone by the super verses of 38 Spesh, Conway, Bun B , Eto and Trae Da Truth.
One of the things that fascinates us most about this underground scene and its meanderings is that, punctually, we discover a new name, which was hidden under the surface and of which we were unaware. Actually, often, as in this occasion, for some time now this rapper has been loosening his rhymes, in the shade of street lamps with a balaclava pulled down on his head. Mondo Slade‘s Master Speech 2 hits our face like this, raw, dirty and underground as we like it. The explicit reference of the cover to Ghostface Killah’s Iron Man brings us back to that imaginary, while we are riddled with bars on loops with a classic flavor.
If Roc Marciano is to be considered the Don Vito Corleone of the dope American underground scene, then Knowledge The Pirate could be Luca Brasi, ruthless right hand of the Godfather. Pass us this, perhaps forced, cinematic comparison, but Knowledge The Pirate has always faithfully accompanied Roc Marci in his climb to the status he has reached today. Without elbowing, he carried out his missions in a targeted manner, however, always instilling in his colleagues the respect and devotion of those who still have a top position among the “family”. Over the extraordinary beats of E.L.E.M.E.N.T (except one prod. by Animoss), the charisma, the voice and the experience of Knowledge The Pirate speak for himself, revealing a veteran and cold microphone killer cloth.
Daniel Son and Falcon Outlaw team up to sell raw sound material and packs full of some ice atmospheres, straight from Toronto (Canada). With this new project, entitled The Tzu Keepers, the two Canadian emcees manage to suck their listeners into the cold streets of their city, thanks to a obscure product, excellently packaged and rapped.
Part Truceklan, a part Rome Zoo and, perhaps, also a little of A$AP Mob, the Lovegang126, i.e. Franco126, Pretty Solero, Asp126, Ugo Borghetti, Ketama, Nino Brown and Drone126 (correct us if our list doesn’t is correct), is perhaps the crew that best represents, today, the “damned youth” of Rome, narrowing the different souls, the problems, the disillusionments and the contradictions that animate that generation raised during the 2000s. All of them, with their different facets and approaches to life, united, despite everything, by a great love for the Eternal City. Underlined by the beautiful productions of Drone126, Nino Brown and Il Tre Beats and the featuring from Danno a Gel (TruceKlan) and SideBaby, passing through Gianni Bismark, Mystic One and Tiromancino confirm how much these guys can be transversal in representing with their Rap, not just one, but several Roman generations.
Those who follow this column of ThrowUp Magazine on the Rap albums that we suggest monthly have surely already read our words of admiration for this duo of Italian producers, known as The Departed Beats. If you listen to Modus Operandi the new project produced by this duo for the rapper from Casoria, Dome Flame (who for those who don’t know him was 1/2 of Kimicon Twinz together with Lele Blade) you will find confirmation of our words. The two producers, in fact, some fire raw beats, which have little to envy to their US underground scene counterparts, sewn to measure for the sharp and ‘ncazzus (mad) bars of the Campania rapper and his guests.