Downtown 81 – [Roc Marciano] x [Jake One]

New York hip-hop legend Roc Marciano recently released an iconic new Jason Goldwatch visual for his song “Downtown 81,” produced by Jake One. The music video is the first off Marciano’s new album Mt. Marci, which can currently exclusively be purchased through his website. Taking inspiration from Japanese culture, Goldwatch incorporates a 90’s esque video effect to reflect the year of 1981. The song title  mirrors the 2001 feature film “Downtown 81,” which starred the legendary late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat as he basked the lively downtown NY art and music scene of 1980-1981. Unsurprisingly, Roc Marciano weaves clever lyricism to emphasize the motif of the number eighty-one. For instance, Marciano references Kobe Bryant’s famous 81 point game against Toronto in 2006: “Made your ankle roll, did you dirty like Kobe did Jalen Rose.” Moreover, Roc flexes his Gucci frames and states that they were made in ’81, followed by a bonus acknowledgement that he’s driving 81 mph in a flashy Mercedes-Benz. Before this line, Marciano states that “the all white Alfa Romeo looks like yayo,” giving off his best Tony Montana impression. Although this fact wasn’t mentioned in the record, it is worth noting that the international dialing code of Japan …

Egregious – [Willie The Kid] x [Evidence]

Willie The Kid is one of my favorite rappers gravitating toward legendary status. I specifically became a fan of Willie in 2019 after hearing Pearls, which is a flawless twenty-track project containing his most prominent guest features to date. Like any other exceptional artist, the conclusion of Pearls prompted me to delve into Willie’s entire discography, which remains in daily rotation. The Grand Rapids, Michigan lyricist is also an entrepreneur with co-ownership in a clothing brand (GRUSA), a music discovery platform (radi8er), and a wine company (Motu Viget Spirits). He also impressively was an executive producer of a recent Langston Hughes documentary titled I Too Sing America: Langston Hughes Unfurled. Despite having worked with legends such as Nas, Lil Wayne, Alchemist, Roc Marciano, Royce Da 5’9, Ka, and more, Willie The Kid simply isn’t mentioned enough alongside his honored peers. However, Willie has never seemed concerned with his lack of praise, which could be a result of his larger ambition(s) in business. Nonetheless, it cannot be overstated that his rap ability is top tier, and deserves to be revered as such. Similar to the Nas’s and Roc Marciano’s, Willie The Kid exudes confidence with elements of signature slickness that cannot be replicated. Every …

Scarface – [Igory]

One page that I believe that you should all follow on Soundcloud is called ‘Mindsoup’, because not only do they produce dope content themselves, but they are always reposting some awesome young talents. That page is how I found this artist that goes by Igory, a newcomer on our pages who recently gave us a chill new record titled “Scarface”. This record was a flip from the OG Roc Marciano, and Igory held his own on this joint, as he delivered some impressive raps for three minutes straight. This was the first time I heard of Igory but I am going to keep in tune with him moving forward, so you might as well get familiar with him by pressing play below!

Pray For Paris – [Westside Gunn]

Griselda Records is taking no prisoners in 2020. From Conway The Machine’s recent collaborative Lulu EP with The Alchemist, to their latest signing Boldee Jame’s The Price of Tea in China album, (also with The Alchemist) it is frightening to think what the group has left in store. Exceptional projects serve as a thorough reminder that music is art and art is music. Westside Gunn has publicly shared via his instagram to never call him a rapper, since he is an artist; I have no objections to his request. Gunn’s latest, Pray For Paris album exemplifies just that, with the cover art responsibility handed to Off-White CEO Virgil Abloh. The cover is specifically an edit of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath painting, with Virgil adding two iced-out necklaces. One necklace is a Jesus Piece and emblem of Westside Gunn as a child; whereas, the other features his present self with a rightful crown on his head. The album’s run time is a balanced forty-one minutes and nineteen seconds, with twelve tracks total not counting the epic “400 Million Plus Tax” introduction, which gave me heavy Uncut Gems PTSD. Ironically, Tyler The Creator mentions Josh Safdie on “327,” referencing the …

Marcielago – [Roc Marciano]

Roc Marciano is the king of the subtle flex. His bars are bound to fly over the listener’s head, his beats set a unique and indescribable tone, and he’s overall comfortable with keeping everything very low-key. It serves as a nice change of pace in 2019. To close out the decade, his album Marcielago is out on all streaming platforms, and with that, he’s further solidified himself as one of the greats of the 2010’s.  The introduction to Marcielago contains a vocal sample from the late Prodigy who is heard addressing the corniness of the majority of rappers, and how there’s really only a “select few” that can effectively command the genre, which sets the tone perfectly for the relentless project that follows. The outro of the album includes a vocal sample from Max B, who says “we’re all gonna die, but who’s gonna leave a legacy?” It’s the 47 minutes in between these two tracks where Roc Marciano proves himself as the furthest thing from corny, and also an artist that is in this for the long run, guaranteed to leave a legacy that will outlive all of us.  Lyrically, Roc is on top of his game. For the …

Thousand Ways – [Wiardon]

Wiardon is a sixteen-year-old rapper from Austin, TX and there is a very good chance that he is your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. The youthful spitter is a modern-day renaissance man, frequently drawing comparisons to Roc Marciano because of his propensity for bars and dense lyrics, but in addition to this Wiardon is also a beloved producer earning placements with Baby Smoove, Lucki, and several other underground pillars. He has quickly stood out from his competition mainly for his instrumentals that are powered by lavish samples that almost drown out his rapping, leaving just enough room in the mix for his vocals to still stand out. His latest visual for his song “Thousand Ways” is easily my favorite of his many visuals to date and it is perhaps the finest example of him blending a fantastic song with an equally aesthetically pleasing video. Keep an eye on Wiardon as he only continues to improve and furthers his already substantial and rapidly growing cult audience.

It Wasn’t Even Close – [Your Old Droog]

Your Old Droog blessed us out of nowhere this past Friday with his brand new LP, titled It Wasn’t Even Close. The Brooklyn-native has been dropping consistently solid east coast rap soaked in grit for a few years now and he makes quite the statement here with his 2019 return. This follows up 2017’s Packs, a lyrically focused record featuring the likes of Danny Brown and Wiki. This time, he brings with him an absolutely star-studded lineup, featuring underground legends such as MF DOOM and Lil Ugly Mane (who steals the show on “Smores”), along with Wiki, Roc Marciano, and Mach Hommy, who also executively produced the record. The gritty production on the record is mesmerizing from top to bottom and was clearly meticulously chosen, which shows in the stacked production lineup featuring names like Sadhu Gold, Tha God Fahim, Ohbliv, and many more talented beat-makers. Droog is at the top of his game, dropping witty and blunt bars oozing with confidence along with top-notch storytelling. Every verse on here keeps the bar high and leaves a lasting impression, not only from Droog, but from the features, too. This is definitely a stand-out boom-bap project from this year with all-star …

Bread – [Alchemist]

In the world of production, no one is on the same planet as Alchemist — and it has been that way for years. Today, proving this, the Alchemist is back with one his finest offerings to date in the form of a brand new album entitled Bread. Soulful as can be and doused in dense flows and head-turning energy, this project pairs some of the best lyricists in the game with a collection of Alchemist’s best instrumentals. Boasting features from Westside Gunn & Conway, Roc Marciano, Black Thought, and Earl Sweatshirt, the project is clearly filled with talent, even including the song “E. Coli” alongside Earl Sweatshirt that dropped just a couple days back as well as the instrumental versions of each song. Needless to say, as expected, Alchemist never loses his soul and Bread is proof, so make sure you spin this record at the link below!