Jewelry – [Your Old Droog]

Your Old Droog has seemingly done the impossible with his newest project Jewelry that features a host of features from many of rap’s most unreachable and unattainable, including three appearances from the elusive Mach-Hommy and a guest verse from the legendary MF DOOM. Droog has become somewhat of a lightning rod for controversy over the past several years, boasting a great number of twitter feuds with both journalists and casual fans alike, but while he has come off as slightly irrational, or at the very least intolerant (in the least chaotic sense imaginable) Jewelry is another well-manicured and precisely executed project from one of rap’s most pure.

Jewelry opens with a call in a foreign tongue from Mach-Hommy on “Shamash,” and this immediately sets a dramatic and unabashedly genuine tone. The following track “Jew Tang” (definitely watch this video) is a tribute to Droog’s ethnic makeup and it is honestly wonderful to see a depiction of Jewish practices and faith within a rap video that doesn’t minimize this group to strictly monetary comparisons, as many rappers have done for years now. “Jew Tang” finishes with an impassioned outro from Matisyahu who supplied a captivated singing stretch to bring the track to a close. Droog has no problem being himself and refuses to ever relent in his convictions and that is apparent from his actual lyrics to the manner in which he approaches his instrumentals.

The next track is the MF DOOM and Mach-Hommy featuring “BDE” that is set over a head-knocking instrumental that uses an acoustic guitar and flute to create a trancey melody over subdued percussion and all three verses have lavish subject matter and are delivered in a measured and precise manner. “Babushka II” has one of the more interesting beats on the project and the synths and vocal samples come together to set a spooky tone for the track and Droog is able to attack this track and leave it black and blue from his clever and unique punchlines.

The title track “Jewelry” is a triumphant proclamation from Droog, flexing his numerous accomplishments from the past year and it is set over an instrumental powered by a classical piano melody and high-pitched vocal sample. Jewelry comes to a close with a Matisyahu featuring reprise called “Jew Tang Forever” that opens up with a full-bodied verse from Matisyahu that bleeds into Droog’s lyrically dense verse before the project came to a close. Jewelry is a stellar addition to the already dense Your Old Droog catalog and was the perfect way for him to bring an already great year to a close.