If there’s someone who can truly define himself as a complete 360° artist among the Hip-Hop scene nowadays that is Al Divino. The rapper / producer / artist from Massachusetts is one of a kind in the entire Hip-Hop panorama. It does not move according to common tastes or standards. What elevates him and transports him to another dimension compared to his peers are mainly his originality and his visionary, uncategorizable art. They distinguish the way he approaches and shapes his music and artistic production: from his album artworks, to his painted canvases, the music video he directs or the clothings that he creates and the bold marketing moves he makes. It is no coincidence that many of the colleagues with whom he has crossed paths are admired by him and in some cases some consider him as an oracle ahead of his time. Surely there aren’t many other artists with a 360° peripheral vision like his. Self Phone is Al Divino‘s latest musical project he made public on streaming platforms if you would get a taste of his genius. But if you want to better touch his infinite musical dimensions and you’re not afraid to invest in his art and music, we refer you to his bandcamp.
As Rome was not built in a day, also the now rapidly growing career of Brooklyn (New York) rapper Rome Streetz needed time and a lot of patience for this gifted MC, before reaping the fruits of what was sown in years of hard work, placing brick on brick. Not even now, however, Rome Streetz, under the aegis of Griselda Records, is certainly satisfied with the status achieved and has the appetite of those who want to slowly conquer the entire Big Apple scene. Allying with the producer Big Ghost Ltd. in “Wasn’t Built In A Day” adds another fundamental piece to his plan of conquest. The crowning glory of the courageous undertaking and the well thought-out Rome Streetz plan is certainly the collaboration with Method Man in this project. Sparring at the same level with one of the greatest ever represents a great victory and marks his entry into the NY Olympus.
In a historical moment in which we are perpetually saturated with new music, more or less good, and we have the technological capacity to listen to practically everything that is released, often, in the end, there is very little concrete valuables left to correctly digest. The threshold of attention to the album’s contents is inversely proportional to the quantity of music to which we are solicited. However, this is not the effect that the Detroit rapper, Payroll Giovanni, member of the iconic Rap group of the Michigan capitol The DoughBoyz, has on us tho. Through the stories he makes off his experience and his life in his records, as his latest Ghost Mode clearly demonstrates, he manages to transform his music into an instruction manual for how to become a hustler, transform ideas into money, invest it and make more money, thus magnetically attracting our attention thanks to the charisma and talent that distinguish him. All accompanied by a sound carpet, trademark of the Detroit Hip-Hop scene. Inspirational.
If the Rap game were a horse-race we would be proud to be able to say that the horses on which we usually bet, in the long run, prove to be purebred stallions, candidates to make a name for themselves on international circuits. Only thing is that, unlike horse racing, we don’t keep the winning horses to ourselves, but rather we are happy to contribute to their growth, spreading the right tips to those who follow us. For this reason, having interviewed Pro Dillinger of the Umbrella team in our magazine (read the interview here) is a reason of pride for us. With the album Dirt Didn’t Hurt, produced entirely by the Danish Machacha for Copenhagen Crates and now finally made available on digital platforms, the rapper from Rockland County (NY) confirms his potential in the underground circuits by collecting another victory and we are ready to bet, once again, that he will soon make his debut in the most prestigious races. The rapper’s voice and dirty and raw rhymes are evidence of how far he is coming, starting from the mud of the streets and earning, only thanks to his talent, every victory on the field.
DJ Drama is on fire. It seems to be in the mid-late 2000s when mixtapes flooded the market, DJ Drama was one of the undisputed masters in mixing tapes and his Gangsta Grillz series sometimes even outsold many artists official records. Today is another world. Streaming and copyrights have revolutionized the real concept of mixtape: that explosive mixture of unreleased songs, remixes and successful instrumentals recycled to new life no longer exists. The line between album and mixtape has blurred so much that it’s hard to tell what the difference is now, except maybe in their approach. Dj Drama in 2023 has the mission of wanting to refresh his Gangsta Grillz mixtape in a new contemporary version, curating and hosting, one after the other, many new projects by rappers who represent their city with their strong identity. This month the “mixtape king” took us to Detroit by the female rapper Kash Doll, bringing back the best version of the city’s reigning queen. The two packed a tape which, from the sounds to its attitude and guests, has the rusty taste of the “Motor City” and its current Rap scene.
The underground music scene always reserves new surprises. The last name to appear on our radar is that of the rapper from Connecticut, E-Murda, thanks to his latest project Loyalty Makes You Related. And it is factual. Loyalty is certainly an increasingly rare and undervalued quality, but in a world where everyone is ready to steal something of yours at the first opportunity, those who remain loyal can build bonds that go beyond pure interest. This is perhaps what allowed E-Murda, in addition to his raw, direct and credible street rap, to get in touch with some of the most solid street rap realities on the east coast, such as Benny The Butcher’s Black Soprano Family or Ot The Real. The rapper from Connecticut has thus managed to come up with a well made 100% street project and we are sure that we will soon hear more about him.
It may be that the guys from the Da Cloth crew from Rochester, in the northern area of the state of New York, are tempered by the freezing winter temperatures of those latitudes, but their music always transmits those glacial sensations that fit particularly to this season, where the hoodies are well lowered on the heads. In “Green Light” the particular ruvid nasal voice of Mooch and the notes of RDJR vividly depicts how raw and cold the streets of those places can be.
Cacahouete, a young Parisian rapper from the “Picasso” district on the 92nd arrondissement, that distinguishes itself by the particular towers designed by the architect Aillaud, which were supposed to symbolize the attempt to create an innovative and inclusive popular neighborhood and instead, then, ended up to transform itself into the usual “ghetto” abandoned by the institutions and left to decay, recently released a new project entitled Les Sales Gueules. Cacahouete best represents the generational bridge that connects the rough and tough Parisian rap of the late 90s-early 2000s (like the one of Tandem or Mafia K’1 Fry, just to cite two illustrious examples) which denounced the social unease of the banlieues, to the new French scene where new melodics and sounds are at the forefront. In fact, the rapper from the 92^ district combines raw rhymes and flows like the ones from the past with more contemporary attitude and melodies, representing the perfect trait d’union between the glorious tradition of the Parisian rap and today’s crackling scene, becoming, in our view, one of the most promising names.