If the public’s expectations increase project after project, the pressure also increases and it is not always easy to maintain high standards. In fact, when one of the best rappers around at the moment decides to follow up, with the fourth chapter, to an already successful series, surrounding himself among other things with a good part of the best producers of the current scene, the expectations, in fact, are at the roof. But when the going gets tough the tough get going, so Mickey Diamond pulls out yet another champion performance, probably the best this year. An exciting album from the first to the last song, for the quality of the productions and the MC’s performance. The ace of the Umbrella crew, with the sole collaboration of Ty Farris, demonstrates the usual qualities that distinguish the Detroit rapper, such as the unique tone of voice, the natural charisma and a lyrical mastery that establish his ever-increasing greatness all over the world, among the underground scene and beyond. Bangkok Dangerous 4 is a diamond in the rough and Mickey Diamond continues to prove that skill and originality can still take an independent artist far.
The producer Real Bad Man, increasingly known among underground enthusiasts, takes to the field for the third time in 2023, this time with Yungmorpheus and the result is once again perfect. The production is refined, varied and classy, winks at the same time to both the past and the future and as always enhances the artist of the moment. The pool of sounds from which R.B.M. draws it’s really broad, from futuristic sounds to more funk vibes, passing through oriental influenced sounds. The rapper originally from Florida proves to be eclectic and offers a performance of the highest level, with his unique voice that blends very well even with the smoothest bases. An album that seduces you at first meeting and listening after listening manages to make you fall in love.
In our opinion, Mondo Slade is without doubts among the hottest names in the New York underground right now. Actually, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he wandered around several cities including Atlanta, before settling in Brooklyn New York, where he familiarized with its environment very quickly, earning the respect of his peers. Mondo has, in fact, found home among knights without a king or lord, as he is, who roam free in the undergrowth of the New York streets, respecting unwritten codes and manifesting their philosophy of life through rhymes. Mondo Slade‘s Long Live The Slade sounds classically raw like a chrome graff throw up on a peeling wall of a Brooklyn alley…
J Arrr, one of the best lyricists around in the American underground scene, delights us with the third chapter of the basketball-inspired series, Hoop Dreams 3. The rapper based in North Carolina, invests us with his technically perfect lyrics, his persuasive voice and doesn’t give up until the last track. J Arrr, between one basketball metaphor and another, talks to us about life in a mature and engaging way. The collaborations are not many but of the highest level, we mention among all Ransom and Vega7 The Ronin. The production is entrusted to a handful of producers made up of Ayo Shamir, Bernard B. Woodside, Swagger God, Greenery, Clypto and Nytro. The album sounds classic and elegant with an excellent balance between boom Bap and drumless sounds. An album to listen to from start to finish, a product of the highest quality.
Nassau (Bahamas) native Obijuan and producer Wino Willy burst onto our list with this short but incredibly solid collaborative album. The sound created by Wino Willy, originally from Philadelphia but raised in New Orleans, combines classic drums with industrial lo-fi elements, Jazz samples and Caribbean influences that creates an original and innovative sound framework, with a grimey imprint that enthralls listeners in the dark and mysterious folds of Caribbean Santeria. The short interludes completely break the mold with more cheerful Caribbean sounds, in total contrast with the atmosphere of the album, but contributing to the originality of the product. Obijuan for his part expresses the roughness of his voice and his themes with a unique flow and twisted lyrics that are technically different from many. This album will make you hold your breath, despite its short length.
Lately, sneaking into the tunnels of the American underground often leads to sudden and unexpected discoveries, like the one we recently made with this rapper from Rochester (NY) FlightGawdLuxxi. Apart from the city of origin (the same as that of incredible lyricists like Eto or 38 Spesh) we can’t tell you much more about this rapper, given the lack of news around, but we were fascinated by the impressive delivery, by the braggadocio and fly shit and stories told among his latest project Kodak Baby: Portra 400. All accompanied also, and above all, by the excellent ear for the beats, mainly drumless. This definitely made us want to dig more and keep our radar on FlightGawdLuxxi.
The Bodybags, in this case fortunately filled only metaphorically with the bodies of impostors and fakes fallen to the murderous lyrics and grimey beats created by this “criminal” connection, which departs from the pissed staircases of Harlem projects, represented by rapper Josiah Hotwire and reaches the streets of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, thanks to the productions of IllInformed and the rhymes of Wish Master. Bodybag Season Lp is a raw album, which gets straight to the point like a jab to the nose.
The Spanish underground scene is also in excellent health and this is demonstrated by the new project signed by the duo GULLY DUNZ, formed by the Madrid rapper SD Kong and Lev. The elegant atmosphere created by the drumless productions of this album immediately transports us along the tree-lined and elegant avenues of the Spanish capital, between neoclassical architecture and old decadent buildings, while the cheeky and ironic rhymes of the two rappers bring to mind the sarcastic and ironic tone, with which artists such as Dalì and Picasso described the contradictions of the world around them.
In Italy, we often don’t give enough credit and trust to the new generations; sometimes the refusal of young people to study and respect the past creates a generational short circuit. However, one thing is certain: the talent of RollzRois, a young Milanese rapper from the SantaSede collective, can only make everyone agree. Undoubtedly inspired by the lyricism of the scene relaunched overseas by Griselda and by the Milanese old school, RollzRois fits auto celebrative bars with the characteristic bravado of his young age, enriched by a knowledge of the subject and a passionate study of the Hip-Hop culture, uncommon among the kids of his generation, so much so as he contributed personally to the amazing beats production of this To Cry In A Rolls Royce, in which Carlo Ragazzo (take note of this name!) also participated to a large extent and for a Sine song.