Conway, who is an integral part of the Griselda Records roster, is also known as “the machine”. He has possibly acquired this nickname because of his uncanny ability to destroy beats in a methodical, automatic, almost effortless way with his killer flow and unique vocal tone. The Machine seems to have finally decided to secure his place among the greatest MC’s of all time alongside legendary acts such as Rakim, B.I.G and Method Man (who drops one of his best verses of the past 10 years on Conway’s new album). This ambitious objective has, in truth, always been within arms reach for the Buffalo rapper. He has fought his way to the top, overcoming obstacles and performing epic feats in order to attain the status of microphone deity. His life story really seems to have a mythological feel to it: from being shot in the neck and finding himself in a hospital bed with facial paralysis to being one of the most important figures in the Hip Hop world. His evolution in the game was by no means forgone. He has earned his respect the hard way. He started from the bottom with his brother Westside Gunn and a handful of others from his tight circle of friends and family. Among these early collaborators was the Griselda official Dj Shay (R.I.P), who was an extremely important figure in the Buffalo scene and recently passed away leaving a deep emotional scar in the whole Griselda camp. This painful loss has been described very well in the track “Forever Droppin Tears”. From a musical standpoint we all know that Conway usually gives his best performances over dark and rough sounding samples, as you can instantly hear from his latest efforts “Lulu” and “No One Mourns The Wicked” (just to mention 2 of his projects released the 1st quarter of 2020). On this latest release, “From A King To A God”, there is a definite change in sound. The Machine proves to be effective over a wider range of production styles. This album definitely has a more “personal” feel to it and will act as a bridge for his fans toward his Shady Records debut: “God Don’t Make Mistakes”
Leave Action Bronson the fuck alone! He is currently fully immersed in a psychedelic voyage (just refer to the track which bears DMT’s chemical formula as a title). In this particular mental state one may feel in tune only with certain peculiar types of beings, who are able to perceive frequencies and waves on a higher plain of existence, for example… dolphins! With Only For Dolphins the Queens born MC with Kosovarian origins shows us all that he is able to take things outlandishly to another level while always maintaining a positive vibe. It feels like he is working on an abstract painting that can be understood only by those who are on the same wavelength. His bars are always ironic and full of flair and the beats are simply amazing, ranging from Brazilian Funk to Balcanic Jazz samples, expertly tailored by choice producers such as The Alchemist, Daringer, Harry Fraud, DJ Muggs e Budgie Beats. Action Bronson has been independent for awhile now and seems to have decided to make albums however the fuck he wants, he only answers to dolphins who are just about the only ones as wavy as he is.
Among the most creative and original MCs to come out of this new underground wave in the U.S is certainly Crimeapple. After releasing “Jaguar On Palisade” at the start of the year, the New Jersey rapper with Colombian roots returns with “ If I Don’t See You In Paradise”. After a first listen this album already feels like an exceptionally tasteful project: from the artwork curated by illustrator Bernard Rollins (@bnardartwork) to the beats put together by
Michelangelo, Buck Dudley and RLX among others. Meanwhile, the Hackensack native MC busts out a smooth bilingual flow that fits perfectly with the musical backdrop provided.
If you are looking for Hip Hop music with a brutal and dark atmosphere and you still enjoy authentic street rap you need to be looking towards Rochester, NY. This is the home turf of the crew DaCloth ( as well as 38 Spesh, ETO, Pounds etc.). This super group, formed by the rappers MAV, Rigz, Rob Gates, Mooch, Illanoise, Times Change and Symph, is without a doubt one of the most hardcore and underrated acts in the American Hip Hop panorama. You can forget about club bangers, autotune hooks or any such gimmicks, this crew doesn’t beat around the bush. Their latest effort, Da Fixtape, is testament to their realness. The collective reunited for this joint after a year of excellent solo projects. Da Cloth brings rap back to its purest form, in some way reminiscent of Queensbridge classic acts from the 90’s such as Mobb Deep.
Get your pen and notebook out and open your ears because you are about to hear some real shit. Todays lecture is by a true professor of the Hip Hop culture who, since the end of the 80’s, together with his group Compton Most Wanted, has been narrating the ghettos of Los Angeles with a gangsta rap twist. He is also an authentic O.G (Original Gangster), an American term that defines the status of ex gang members with a lengthy experience in the field. Thanks to the positive influence of Hip Hop, Mc Eight has managed to leave his turbulent past behind him. He still remains a veteran who can adequately call himself a legend of the West Coast gangsta rap scene and, therefore, when his turn to speak finally arrives, those who are thirsty for street knowledge should sit back and listen carefully to what he has to say. At 49 years of age, this experienced artist still proves that he has great taste in music and has given us another excellent album in which the heart of West Coast gangsta rap can still be heard beating vigorously without seeming played out and dated.
Once upon a time the Cosa Nostra families in the Upstate New York area, between Rochester and Buffalo, close to the canadian border, were among the richest and most feared in the whole United States. Their legacy was shattered by the R.I.C.O law and they went underground in order to avert all suspicion, contaminating the legit economy and financial world. Here as in Sicily the mafia families decided that the least they were spoken of the better it was. Pounds is an American-Italian rapper from Rochester who undoubtedly has understood mafioso culture and the code of silence. The road to riches is paved in silence, far away from the limelight. A style much removed from John Gotti’s glamorous figure in the 90’s. In a nutshell this is the concept that Pounds presents us with this latest endeavor: There Is No Mafia. It is easy to tell that this artist has been a part of the criminal underworld that he describes so vividly in this album, without ever giving out too much info about the “onorata società”.
In our humble opinion the Hip Hop underground scene has been going through an incredibly historical phase, while the surface value of the mainstream seems to be getting more and more boring. A glitch was found in the algorithm and since then, great talent has been emerging consistently from the undergrowth. Most of the talented MC’s to emerge from this wave have always remained hidden from the mainstream’s attention like, for example, the Brooklyn native with Comorian roots Napoleon Da Legend. NDL is fluent in both English and French, collects manga comics and is an amazing lyricist with an effortless flow, who likes to rap in a sincere and honest way, without any of your typical gangsta rap stereotypes. His catalogue is extremely vast due to his uncanny work ethic and the cultural melting pot he grew up in. Just this year he has already released five or six projects. On this latest release, titled “Stuff of Legend” he raps over Ro Data’s vibing instrumentals and together they have managed to cook up a joint that only seems to confirm this Mc’s pedigree.
Poppa Gee is the most mysterious and enigmatic figure in the Italian Hip Hop panorama at the moment. Few have heard about him, even fewer know about his true identity and nobody has probably seen him in flesh and blood before. However this rapper from Milano is clearly no rookie. Poppa Gee’s self reliance and experience on the mic give us the impression of a well versed, veteran Mc with a chip on his shoulder who candidly reveals all about the rotten HH industry in Italy. He does so by spitting out poisonous bars directed at toys and fakes with a courageous demeanor that few others have shown before. This latest Ep by Poppa Gee titled Hiroo Onada is entirely produced by the legendary Roman beatmaker Mr.Phil who is also definitely no newbie. In truth, the mindstate of this misterious MC is parallel to that of Hiroo Onada, the veteran japanese soldier who remained stranded on a pacific island for 20 years and continued to fight his enemies as if the second world war had never actually come to an end. Poppa Gee doesn’t care about industry rules and markets himself as a true “templar” knight sworn to protect Italian Hip Hop at all costs. A testament to this are the continuous references to the underground world of graffiti writers, for example: “Beef in the train yards” or “A flashback like a wholecar rolling through Cadorna station).