It has already been 4 years since “Daytona”, but the memory of that Pusha-T album is still vivid in the memory of many. This undoubtedly underlines the exceptional importance that the Virginia rapper and his records have for this musical genre and for this culture. Only those with such artistic status can afford to stretch out their music over the years and still remain, despite their age and a decade-long career, one of the most relevant names on the international scene, leaving their mark with every release. Sure, the Clipse rapper’s voice, style and characteristic “coke rap” are so unique and recognizable that it would be hard to question his qualities for a single moment, but as his new album “It’s Almost Dry” demonstrates, Pusha–T had the undoubted stroke of genius and luck to tie his career together with that of two of the most brilliant music producers of the last 20 years, Pharrell and Kanye West. A long-standing dual relationship that has allowed to create an immaculate artistic chemistry with both. So each song produced by either of these two geniuses enhances the characteristics of Pusha-T, making it an instant hit. Well, “It’s Almost Dry” is a clear proof of the genius and perfect synthesis of this chemical formula. The “braggadocio” rap and the eternal references to the coke-game of Pusha-T are crystallized over time by the brilliant beats of Pharrell and Ye, who share the production of this incredible new album by the Clipse rapper.
The New Jersey rapper, Ransom’s return to the scene, which took place a couple of years ago, is a blessing for all fans of this genre and one of the best things that have happened to this culture in recent times. The industry, major blogs and music platforms pretend not to see or hear, but Ransom is objectively proving to belong to the highest rankings of the best pound-for-pound MCs , in terms of quality and performance. The winning streak of projects he has published in the last couple of years is worth more than entire careers, but in a rotten environment where skills, solidity and content matter less and less, Ransom is still terribly underestimated by many insiders. This has apparently become a personal challenge for the New Jersey rapper, who haunts him as he would haunt a legitimate pretender to the throne who has been disinherited by succession. In fact, with each release, as demonstrated by “No Rest For The Wicked“, Ransom continues to raise the level and intensity of his performances, leaving his listeners amazed by the incredible lyrical skills and his capability to preach facts and jewels of wisdom through his rhymes.
Before we’ll write about Dark-Lo‘s latest mini-album with Don Gunna, titled “The Graveyard“, we need to mention the controversial story of the Philadelphia rapper and former OBH lieutenant. In recent years, the leaders of this infamous crew of the Pennsylvania town , in fact, have been beheaded one after the other by the hard fist of the federal government, starting from its general AR-AB, as a result of accusations and testimonies of a rat. Dark-Lo also ended up in the F.B.I. ‘s snare and persecuted because of the alleged threats addressed to the aforementioned informer, through their correspondence in prison and now, he too, is locked up in a Pennsylvania prison. Today Dark-Lo, despite being in precarious health conditions and struggling to prove his innocence, can still count on the support of many fans, family members, rappers and producers, who continue to release the music they recorded together with the rapper of the OBH when he was free. Among these Don Gunna, rapper from Allentown (Pennsylvania) recently released “The Graveyard“, a short collaborative project together with Dark Lo and entirely produced by No Face, which reminds us why the raw and grimey rap of the Philadelphia MC will miss so much in his fans and the Philly Rap scene. Hoping for his early release.
The rapper of Latin origin from Corpus Christi (Texas), Vino La Mano is one of the affiliates of the Black $oprano Family, a collective from Buffalo (NY) founded and led by Benny The Butcher. Despite the several hundred kilometers that separate this town in Texas from the crew headquarter in the north, musically, both in terms of sound, contents and attitude, Vino is much more close to the typical east coast gangsta rap that has marked the rise of the Buffalo rapper and of other B$F associates, such as Rick Hyde or Heem. From the arid Texan lands, Vino, in fact, continues to push his street rhymes with no pause and without cut and compromises, revealing himself to be another precious component for the Black $oprano Family squad. In Kleptopia, his latest project, he demonstrates the path of the constant growth he has undertaken for some years now, immortalizing in the 7 tracks of this album some vivid images of his past with the authenticity of old polaroids.
Divided into two parts (side A and Side B), “Mightier Than The Sword” gives proof of the interesting potential and stubborn dedication of Josiah The Gift, yet another revelation of the rich Hip-Hop underground scene in the U.S.A. Emerging in a context so densely populated by talented MC’s doesn’t have to be easy at all. First of all, you need to have great determination, passion and, above all, a very clear idea of the artistic direction you want to undertake. Elements that this rapper originally from New Jersey (not by chance affiliated with one of the most interesting underground collectives of the moment: the Umbrella Collective) seems to have a very clear plan on which he seems to be extremely focused. Josiah, in fact, manages to give artistic coherence to the overall 23 tracks of the album (divided into two chapters), thanks to a careful selection of excellent beats, on which to demonstrate his lyrical skills, touching on different topics and atmospheres.
Caribbean-born MC from Canada, Asun Eastwood and the Brooklyn (NYC) resident producer Wavy Da Ghawd join forces for a new album entitled The Complex, with which they showcase an exceptional alchemy. Wavy Da Ghawd‘s beats, in fact, create the perfect atmosphere for the Toronto rapper, who, as always, combines great charisma, wisdom and credibility in his rhymes. The real and mature rap of Asun Eastwood, in fact, entertains and makes you think at the same time. The Canadian underground Hip-Hop scene is increasingly becoming a reference point for this genre and the alliance with the cross-border scene in the state of New York continues to bear delicious fruits.
MxRxGxA began this 2022 with a bang. The movement started up by Gionni Gioielli has become, moreover, one of the most reliable realities for the Italian underground: despite the different styles and matters, treated by the different rappers and producers in every new project, the artistic vision and the aesthetics remain aligned with the artistic “manifesto” of Gioielli and the collective he founded. And this, in our opinion, is their main strength. Take for example the latest record, labeled MxRxGxA, by the Milanese rapper BLO / B and the producers duo The Departed Beats, where cultural and musical references and samples of the productions draw heavily on the psychedelic Rock subculture of the 70s-80s, adapting them to the underground rap stylistic features that has always inspired MxRxGxA. If you are looking for something fresh with sharp bars, references to underground cultures and some irony, “Woodstock“, it will probably be for you.
Representing is one of the most important concepts of Hip-Hop culture. A burden rather than an honor, which not everyone can afford to take on. When you represent a generation, a hood and its people, you have the responsibility to reflect reality, without stuffing it with lies or futilite stuff. If people reflect themselves in what you say, you become their voice and example. The Turin rapper Thai Smoke has the talent, consistency and the right attitude to represent with his rhymes the people of his city and beyond. With humility, perseverance and quality, as evident in his latest project “Buone Maniere“, step by step, we can bet, he will take the well-deserved space, because his music can be a serious voice for many kids who grew up in the streets of Italian cities.