Connect with John on Twitter and Instagram.

Shrimp at Phillipes – [ElCamino] ft. [Benny the Butcher]

By John Matraia // 17 Nov 2019

I know, another Griselda write-up. At this point, it’s probably best to accept that if the crew keeps pumping out quality tracks like these, I’ll never stop covering them. This time, it’s the collective’s newest member, ElCamino, with a new track featuring Benny the Butcher, titled “Shrimp at Phillipes”. These two already lost it on the recent clipping. album. Both of these guys were featured on the same track, titled La Mala Ordina, and I’ve been obsessed with it since release. They both dropped great verses on unlikely production, and proved they could hold their own no matter the backdrop. ElCamino’s verse specifically stuck with me, with some hard-nosed and memorable lines that had me wanting more from the youngest Griselda shooter. I loved his cadence as well, it’s a nice contrast to the other members and allows everyone to shine in their own respective manner when on a track together. This new track featuring Benny is a must-listen, with a beautiful sample loop that complements the buttery smooth flows both emcees bring to the track. You know only to expect greatness from Griselda at this point, check out this track for yourself on all streaming services now and pre-order ElCamnino’s …

Uncommon Nasa: The Backbone of The Underground

By John Matraia // 13 Nov 2019

Uncommon Nasa is authenticity at its finest. He’s comfortable in his own skin, and he’s been operating on his own terms for years now. His unapologetic commitment to himself and his art for over a decade is what has solidified him as an impactful legend in the New York Indie scene. Nasa’s music is deeply rooted in New York culture, which is to be expected, considering he’s been there his whole life. It’s his default, in a sense. All of his music references home, sometimes more than others, but it’s always there. Despite some of the topical similarity that echoes throughout his music though, he refuses to stick to one sound. The classic, New York boom-bap influence is there, but Nasa understands the importance of pushing the ball forward, and makes his art with the intent that it won’t grow stale. His style is hard to pin-point, as his delivery can almost be classified as slam poetry at times, with extremely tight rhyme schemes and lyricism that demands the listener’s attention. Incredible amounts of time and detail go into Nasa’s art. He takes his time to make sure that every aspect of a record makes for a cohesive and engaging …

Grim – [Wiki] ft. [Denzel Curry] [Lil Ugly Mane]

By John Matraia // 7 Nov 2019

Songs that act as reunions have a special place in my heart. When artists spend some time apart and then join back together to make something great, the result isn’t just a song. It’s a testament to growth. The new Wiki track, titled “Grim”, featuring Denzel Curry and Lil Ugly Mane, features a couple of reunions, and the result is a great new cut. The production here is a nice middle ground for all of the artists involved. Woozy background synths add to the ethereal mood that suits Ugly Mane’s reflective, self-doubting lyrics, and the head knocking bass complements Denzel’s flow. Wiki brings it all together, and proves the fact that these three only get better with time. All three bar out on this track, bringing a focused energy, and complementing each other perfectly. It’s exactly what you would expect from three artists with such great ability as rap artists. This one came together quite nicely, and is an indicator that Wiki’s new album, Oofie, dropping tomorrow, will be great. Get ready for the new album by checking out this new track for yourself on Spotify down below.  

Kool G – [Westside Gunn] ft. [Benny The Butcher] [Conway The Machine]

By John Matraia // 30 Oct 2019

Just when we need it, Westside Gunn is back to deliver fans a new project to carry out the rest of 2019, and cement this year as the year of Griselda. The crew makes it impossible to remain absent from the daily rotation of their fans, dropping high-quality music in a large abundance.  This new track “Kool G” features Benny and Conway once again, and continues to prove why Griselda is a force to be reckoned with. Like the trio’s last single, Dr. Bird’s, Gunn starts off this track and absolutely snaps with a buttery rhyme scheme and relentless delivery. He hands it over to Conway and then Benny, who finishes off the track on a high note, also teasing Tana Talk 4. None of the members rap for much more than thirty seconds on this one, and this all killer, no filler approach warrants repeated listens.  The beat on this one, done by Alchemist & Daringer, is sinister and atmospheric, fitting for the timing of the release of this upcoming project on Halloween.  Hitler Wears Hermes 7 is due out tomorrow, which is Gunn’s second project of the year, and if this one is anywhere near as good as …

Dr. Bird’s – [Griselda]

By John Matraia // 21 Oct 2019

“Tell Virgil write ‘brick’ on my brick” This is my personal favorite line from the newest track that the Griselda collective has to offer, titled “Dr. Birds.” Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher, and Conway are all together once again, in support of their upcoming group album titled What Would Chine Gun Do? Just last September, these three teamed up for Conway’s “Tito’s Back” and already proved that they can do no wrong. Benny and Conway traded back and forth a plethora of stank face-inducing bars, and Westside Gunn killed the trash-talk portion on the back end of the track. This time around, we get a real grimy beat, co-produced by Daringer and Beat Butcha, that has all members tearing it up one after the other, and with that resulting in another great track that displays top-tier chemistry and high lyrical ability. It’s safe to say that What Would Chine Gun Do? can’t come soon enough. Check out “Dr. Birds”, available on all streaming platforms now.

There Existed an Addiction to Blood – [clipping.]

By John Matraia // 21 Oct 2019

The new album There Existed an Addiction to Blood from clipping. is experimental rap, and more specifically, horrorcore, at its finest. It might be the group’s best project to date, and for those who have heard their back catalog, you’ll know that that’s saying quite a bit. But this is truly that good. The group’s 2019 album sucks the listener in, and leaves no room for turning back. This project is bombastic at times, noisy at times, and genuinely terrifying throughout. Based on the first single, cover art, and the release date, fans knew at the very least that they can expect something spooky this time around. And boy, did the hip-hop outfit deliver on that. This album is full of breathtaking moments and boundary pushing production, and it’s thematically laser-focused, which are just some of the elements that make this a stand-out release.  Daveed Diggs blacks out on pretty much every track on the album, most notably losing it on tracks like “Nothing is Safe” and “Blood of the Fang”, where his breath control is on another level. Not to mention, his lyrics all over this project are scarily vivid and precise. He proves what makes him such a talented …

DHL – [Frank Ocean]

By John Matraia // 20 Oct 2019

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think I’d be writing about new Frank Ocean music any time soon. But here we are. And we’re in for quite the treat. Frank’s new track “DHL” is a woozy, atmospheric look into the world of Frank Ocean in 2019. It’s been over a year since fans have heard from him musically, and now we have a better idea of where he’s at artistically. In the context of his discography, “DHL” sounds closest to something that could have landed on Endless, but for the most part, is unlike anything Frank has made up until this point. Reverb and other effects grace Frank’s voice as he raps and riffs vocally for much of the track. The first part of the song creates an otherworldly atmosphere, featuring slicing synth leads that are toned down in the second half, making room for a more pronounced bass line in the instrumental. The last twenty seconds ditch the vocal effects and find Frank dropping some braggadocious bars to end the song on a high note. The big takeaway from this track is the fact that Frank can reinvent himself with ease. Of course he reinvented himself with Blonde and …

Love, Of Money – [Mavi]

By John Matraia // 19 Oct 2019

Mavi’s new album Let The Sun Talk proves that the twenty-year old Charolette-native has the world at his fingertips. Mavi raps through experience and nothing but experience, and not one bar is wasted throughout the entirety of his new project. He’s been through quite a bit, and has the self awareness to put his story into song in compelling fashion across a number of impressive tracks with what is undoubtedly one of the great albums of 2019. Mavi has a new set of visuals to accompany “Love, Of Money”, one of the many standouts from the project. It’s one of the dreamier tracks on the record, and Mavi displays his versatility as he floats over this hypnotizing instrumental, keeping a tight rhyme scheme despite his complacent cadence, which complements not only the production (done by Nate & Nova Blu), but also the sentiment of the track. The visuals here are comprised of just two shots, the first of which is a one-minute tracking shot that follows Mavi for the entirety of “Love, Of Money”. Mavi’s delivery is one of his strengths: his ability to convey emotion though his vocals is what makes him the real deal, and the visuals for this first part …