It is not always assured that the clash between two heavyweights always leads to a great fight. For this reason a perfect match of different styles is needed and fortunately we can say that the two super rappers from Upstate New York, 38 Spesh (Trust Gang) & Conway The Machine (Griselda Records & Drumwork), certainly did not disappoint expectations. The two do not offer us a single subdued verse and at the same time they blend perfectly, thanks to their excellent flows and their charisma, also with their guests. In fact, high-level features contribute to raising the bar. And if Lloyd Banks, Benny The Butcher and Che Noir bring out very powerful verses; Emanny, El Camino and Pharoahe Monch (yes him) combine the right amount of melodies with the hooks. The productions edited by Spesh himself with the help of Jimmy Dukes make the album varied and homogeneous at the same time. Really difficult to find a weak point. Flawless!
Not even time to see him live in Italy, that we find ourselves reviewing the new project of one of our favorite artists, the rapper from Brooklyn, NY, member of the iconic Griselda Records, Rome Streetz. Noise Kandy 5 is the fifth chapter of a saga that has now become epic. Rome surrounds himself with important figures, both in terms of featuring, where Joey Badass and Rigz stand out; both for the productions, where Wavy Da Ghawd reigns supreme, but also the usual producers in the Griselda circle stand out, such as Conductor Williams and Danny LaFlare, as well as Sovren, Evidence and Saint James among others. An album that is at times thrilling, where not even a couple of subpar tracks manage to alter the perception of a very high quality product, also thanks to the great mixing work entrusted to the super-producer Futurewave. Rome Streetz never disappoints us!
The Boston area native, with Italian origins, Michaelangelo (read the interview here) confirms that he is one of the hottest producers among the American underground scene, managing to bring the rappers he works with to their maximum potential. Then when he meets a rapper ,like Shaykh Hanif, with an incredible potential, largely still unexpressed before, and that motivation dictated by the need to vent and tell a really interesting and particular story, Voila! We have a potential candidate for album of the year! The alternation of boom bap-imprinted but at the same time innovative beats by Michaelangelo, accompanied by the grimey tones and deep lyrics of the Boston rapper, Shaykh, become a perfect mix. The icing on the cake are the participation of Crimeapple, Primo Profit and BoriRock which enrich an album already full of interesting contents and sounds. The result makes it practically impossible to skip any track and very difficult to stop on the first listen. Hats off!
Vega7 The Ronin returns with a new project after enchanting us with the wonderful “Sleep is the cousin” with the super production of Superior. The rapper originally from Queens doesn’t seem to want to lower the bar, on the contrary his lyricism, already amazing in the past, seems to want to reach ever higher peaks each time, as the title and theme of the album suggests. His continuous references of all kinds, combined with impossible combinations of words, leave you speechless. It must be added that the guests also do not skimp on quality, including Ty Farris and J. Arrr. The production is taken over by Vega himself, with executive production by Lord Owen and post-production by Ayo Shamir. The mixing work of the Danish super-producer Machacha contributes to the perception of a product that aspires to obsessive attention to detail. The production, predominantly Drumless, perhaps does not reach the heights reached by Superior in the previous album, but with its dreamlike, almost magical features, it takes us on a simply magnificent journey.
Super producer The Alchemist himself once said that working with two different artists presents some more difficulties. It’s not that he hasn’t already succeeded, but the turning point of making a whole album, after having already made an EP with MIKE and Wiki, surprised us a little. Instead, MIKE’s calm and reassuring flow creates the perfect balance with Wiki’s heated monologues, making everything truly intriguing. The two are as if they were flying on the flying carpet woven by the expert hands of the master. Alchemist continues in the wake of some of his, so-called, drumless style repertoire, accompanied by the usual diggin’ to find incredible samples, in search of an utopian sonically perfection.
Those expecting the usual album from the veteran Detroit producer would have been disappointed. In fact, in Sardines, Apollo Brown gradually changed skin from his last projects and offered the public a production where renewed sounds and highly elaborate samples stand out. In Sardines the beats by Apollo Brown are enriched (as in the previous collaborative episode Anchovies) by the flow of the Bay Area MC, Planet Asia, who seems to use his fantastic voice as a musical instrument in order to accompany, without overpowering , the productions supplied to him. Planet Asia’s pen, once again, proves to be iron sharped. The contributions are of the highest level from Marv Won to Sick Jacken, to Detroit rapper Ty Farris, to Tri-State’s fantastic verse on the magnificent “Wizardry”. An album that managed to leave us speechless despite the fact that we were already fans of the two veterans, whose legacy is synonymous with continuous innovation and the search for perfection, despite the passing of the years.
The main merit that guaranteed an European success to the Afro-French rapper, with Italian mother, Freeze Corleone (born Issa Lorenzo Diakhaté) is that he created, together with his Ekip 667crew, an imaginary and a sonic identity without equal in the world panorama of Rap. The extreme, raw, arrogant and provocative language of Freeze Corleone, accompanied by an excellent technical background, perfectly matches the sound aesthetics that he has been able to carve out for himself over the years. The productions of this highly anticipated second official album, ADC, characterized by a dark, post-industrial sound, which draws from the rawest and most minimal elements of drill and trap sounds with, also, “boombap” elements, blended in a new key, they create a calculated claustrophobic and paranoid sensation, befitting the abandonment and degradation that reigns in the French banlieues. Freez Rael with his voice and sharp rhymes wallows in this sound imagery, as if he were the protagonist of a current revisiting of A Clockwork Orange.
This “neoclassical” Rap wave, made popular in the American Mecca of Rap by Griselda Records, where dirty and obsessive loops, with under 90 bpm, act as a carpet for the “bars” of MCs who show off their lyrical skills, it has become an unstoppable “return” tsunami that touches every nation and continent of the globe. Further proof of this is this project with the unequivocal title, “No Bars Off” where the Chilean rapper NUC meets the beats signed by Rod Roche, counting on the support of international rappers such as the American of Dominican origin Estee Nack, the Spanish SD KONG (read the interview here) or the Venezuelan Lil Supa a.k.a Lou Fresco. This neo-classical wave is a global phenomenon that seems to be back with a fresh and unstoppable new verve.