Donnie Menace is a 34 year old MC/producer from Stratford, Connecticut who emerged in 2008 off his debut mixtape The Threat & as the leader of the Nitebreed collective. Then came his full-length debut Wrath of a Menace a couple years later, which was followed up with his 2nd tape The Threat 2: Audio Sickness & his sophomore effort Bonded by Chaos. But considering that Russian-American horrorcore veteran Scum signed Donnie to Lyrikal Snuff Productionz & his mentor dropped the Blame Us collab effort with Smallz One last weekend, it was only right for him to deliver his highly anticipated LSP debut.
“Talk to the Boomstick” is an organ/boom bap infused opener mixing the wicked shit some some braggadocio whereas “Who Slashed Ya?” is a cool lil horrorcore rendition of the classic Biggie joint “Who Shot Ya?”. “Around Here” returns to the boom bap warning that you should’ve never popped up near his parts, but then the “Theatrikill” remix with J Reno & Lex the Hex Master has the same verses & a new instrumental from Donnie himself that lives up to the O.G.
Meanwhile on “Violating”, we have Donnie over some chilling production talking about people looking at him like he’s Satan himself just before the Nitebreed comes together for the dusty “Brude” to talk about how you’re gonna find out what really happens when titans clash. “Do You Hear Me Now?” ruggedly calls out his detractors, but then Scum tags along for the grotesque “I’m Choppin’ ‘Em Up” talking about dismembering bodies.
“Low Life” brings back the organs & dusty drums to look back on his success thus far while “Devil in Me” with Claas & Smallz One goes into trap territory confessing they don’t know how much longer they can hold their stress inside them. “The Executioner” gets in his storytelling bag with a hair-raising beat while the penultimate track “I’m a Creep” with by the Nitebreed & Dent 1 is a rowdier cut confessing they can no longer deny being creeps. As for the “Luv 2 Kill” remix with Mr. Grey & M.M.M.F.D., it’s a great closer & my favorite remix of the 2 throughout the album
LSP’s been making a whole lotta noise in the underground this year & the Nitebreed leader’s debut with the label proves that he fits right in with everyone else over there. The production is a step up from his last outing, Donnie himself sounds hungrier than he’s ever been & the performances from the just about every feature that he takes with him for the ride are on par too.
This is the 7th full-length album from Detroit emcee Ty Farris. Coming up under the name T-Flame, he was featured on a lot of projects throughout the mid-2000’s until the very end of the decade where he started to put out solo stuff at a prolific rate from Tyrant to Room 39. He just dropped his 3rd EP Moments of Mayhem back in March produced entirely by Italy’s very own Slim One & has decided to recruit Switzerland’s very own Sebb Bash for Fluorescent Mud.
“Bashing Heads” is a chaotic opener declaring himself as the main event & his opposition as the undercards whereas “Mental Tats” takes a morbid route talking about how this the meeting of the Gods. “Crown Us” works in some strings talking about how sometimes you lose battles before the crown comes & after “The Homie Van” interlude, “Where’s the Garbage Can?” lividly calls out anyone who wants to step up to him for being wack. Meanwhile on “Deadly Dialogue”, we have Ty over a wavy instrumental talking about being prepared for such leading into Estee Nack tagging along for the tense “That Simple” telling everyone in their path to face the music.
“Con Uno” solemnly talks about being one of the greatest to ever do it & the “Destinations” interlude, “Feed the Kids” has this incredible vocal sample addressing poverty while the song “Can’t Candy Coat It” atmospherically confesses he only writes what. The penultimate track “Condominium Crack Dealers” with Planet Asia incorporates some organs getting on their hustler shit & the horn-laced “Immortalized” finishes the album by talking about his legacy.
The more that Ty drops a new project, the further that he cements himself as one of the most consistent MCs in Detroit today & Fluorescent Mud is no exception of that. Sebb Bash whips up some of his best production yet & T-Flame’s gritty yet ear-grabbing bars pretty much exemplifies the point that he made during the last joint. Can’t wait for the 5th & final installment of the No Cosign, Just Cocaine series.
Diamond D is a 54 year old MC/producer from The Bronx, New York who came up as a mentor of Jazzy Jay. He would then form the D.I.T.C. collective alongside Lord Finesse & Showbiz in ‘92 only to put out his classic full-length debut Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop shortly after. D went on to drop 4 more albums & a couple mixtapes of his own but now that it’s been a year & a half since Gotham gave us their acclaimed self-titled effort, he’s back in effect for a 6th album.
After the Chris Rock intro, the first song “Life’s What You Make It” is a symphonic opener to the album produced by Focus… talking about never saying your word’s your bond & breaking it whereas “Live My Life” takes a groovier approach encouraging to let him glow. Westside Gunn tags along for the guitar-driven “Faithful” getting in their mafioso bag leading into the title track bringing back the strings thanks to Nottz taking about feeling so free.
Meanwhile on “Godly”, we have Diamond D over some dusty drums & pianos confessing that’s exactly how he’s feeling just before Dre comes into the picture for the classy “Neva Settle” talks about keeping their eyes up & that they gotta get it. After the “Joe Crack” interlude, “Ouuu” mixes some lavish keyboards & a crooning vocal loop reminding that nothing can stop you as long as you listen to your heart prior to the synth-laced “Smoke Sumthin’” dedicating a banger to all the chiefers out there.
“The Wrong Thing” comes through with a more smoother aesthetic getting on the more romantic side of things, but then the Posdnuos-assisted “Flying High” delivers a charming banger about being the hardest. The song “The Man’s Swift” returns to the boom bap spitting some braggadocio while the penultimate track “The Scorn” with K.P. laces some horns talking about wanting the chicken & there isn’t any other like them. “Inertia” however serves as a mystical finisher saying all he honors is his balls & his word.
As much as I admired The Diam Piece & it’s sequel for primarily focusing on Diamond D’s production skills, I’d still recommend giving The Rear View a shot for those who missed hearing him on the mic. A couple weak features here & there, but the production is a lot more laid back with more slower tempos & the man himself sounds rejuvenated lyrically.
SadBoy Loko has released his latest album ‘Sin Fronteras‘ featuring Regional Mexican legend Lupillo Rivera, as well as Corridos star Jorge Gamboa, Atlanta rapper Kap G, and Chicano king of auto-tune MCMagic.
Formerly signed to YG’s 4Hunnid, SadBoy Loko is now on a new mission with a fresh mindset. Together with multi-platinum producer Cricket, and with the backing of his label Prajin Records, SadBoy Loko has managed to not only maintain consistency in dropping high-quality content but further explored the versatility of his sound.
Harry Fraud straddles the line between two generations. He is known for his work with artists like French Montana, Benny The Butcher, Meyhem Lauren, Jay Worthy, and Larry June, but he also puts on the next generation with his Surf School Recordings label. Downtown Dion is one of the artists he wants the world to hear. After making some noise with the singles “Don’t Make It Hot” and “Bag On U,” Dion is giving listeners the full-length studio album “Be The Change You Want To See.”
Your Old Droog season is upon us. The prolific Brooklyn artist is half-way through his most impressive year yet, cementing his place as one of the most important figures in the modern hip-hop landscape. With the internet still buzzing from several recent albums and a new Madlib-produced single, YOD is at it again, unveiling the new collection Yodney Dangerfield. Droog’s fourth project of 2022, the album is another extraordinary body of work from the talented Ukrainian wordsmith. And yet, the music industry still gives him no respect. Now available on all digital outlets, Yodney Dangerfield features beats by Nicholas Craven, SadhuGold, Lee Scott, Jonwayne, and more. Your Old Droog is currently headlining a much-discussed tour, catch him on stage in a city near you.
This is the new collaborative album between Russian-American horrorcore veteran Scum & his New Mexico-based protégé Smallz One, who has been a longtime signee to Lyrikal Snuff Productionz for the last 15 years or so. Of course they’ve been working with one another for a long time & always killed it whenever they popped up together, so it was only a matter of time they dropped Blame Us a week after headline the first night of the Gathering of Dreams.
“Victim” kicks off the whole album with a symphonic boom bap beat attacking those with a victim’s mentality whereas the apocalyptic title track confessing to be the root of every issue. “Never” works in some rock undertones reminiscing on the times one had to lose it all just before the rebellious “March” talking about the Army of Beasts they have.
Meanwhile on “Blood”, we have Smallz & her mentor over some g-funk production detailing a bloodbath prior to “The Tab” embracing a funereal sound confessing to pay such in order for issues to be resolved. “That Kind of Shit” is a piano/string infused banger basically beeping the wicked shit leading into “Needful Things” asks about selling your soul over a glistening trap instrumental.
“Would That Be Alright?” shoots for a more deranging aesthetic expressing their desire to stab while “Rage” aggressively goes back & forth with one another stomping a motherfucker out. The song “What They Say” has a more jazzy, boom bap vibe talking about never giving a fuck about what others think of them while the penultimate track “Hate” is a livid diss towards all their enemies. “Off the Juice” however ends with a depressing tune about drinking & their inner demons.
I knew it was only a matter of time that they put this out on DSPs & if you love all the songs they’ve worked on since 2007, then I highly recommend listening to Blame Us. Scum & Smallz bring the best out of each other lyrically accompanied by some gruesome production.
Dangerous Thoughts is an MC/producer duo consisting of Danger Mouse behind the boards & Black Thought on the mic. 1 has an impressive resume of artists he’s worked with in the past ranging from Prince Po to the late MF DOOM & the other is one of the most acclaimed lyricists in all of hip hop. They initially formed in 2006 & when it seemed like we were never gonna get a full-length debut from them, the day has now come 16 years later.
“Sometimes” is a symphonic, soulful opener talking about thinking of a master plan à la The God MC himself Rakim Allah whereas the title track is a robotico boom bap cut boasting that he’s playing unlimited free throws. Raekwon tags along for the piano/soul-tinged “The Darkest Part” to talk about being in another echelon just before “No Gold Teeth” samples “Stop” by Hugh Masakela promising to never retire.
Meanwhile on “Because”, we have Joey Bada$$ & Russ accompanying Thought in describing the harsh realities of America with a guitar driven instrumental as well as a passionate Dylan Cartlidge hook leading into the rugged “Belize” seeing DANGERDOOM coming together potentially for the last time to assist in some battle raps. “Aquamarine” blends abstract with neo-soul confessing the conflict between him as a person & his status in hip hop, but then “Identical Deaths” brings some xylophones to the table talking about living many lives.
A$AP Rocky & Run the Jewels come into the picture for the hardcore “Strangers” to call out the bluff of those who dare to step up to them lyrically while the song “Close to Famous” almost gives me J Dilla vibes sonically talking about that’s how everyone be nowadays. The penultimate track “Saltwater” with Conway the Machine is a tense boom bap heater delivering some rugged ass bars only for the organ-laced “Violas & Lupitas” ending the album talking about doing God’s work.
For this being 16 years in the making & finally having it in the palm of our hands, it was much well worth it. Danger Mouse’s production is more sample-based than Sean Cane’s was on Streams of Thought 3: Cain & Able, the features all come correct (I don’t even mind Russ on “Because”) & Thought lyrically is just doing what he’s been doing best from the very moment he picked up a mic.
This is the 6th full-length album from New York emcee The Musalini. Beginning to take the underground by storm since 2018 after dropping his debut mixtape Musalini Season, would go on to release 3 full-lengths & another tape before signing to TCF Music Group. Since then, he’s made himself home by dropping a few EPs & Return of the Oroin the early part of this decade. Last we heard from Mus was at the very beginning of 2022 when he dropped my favorite album of his yet The Don & Eye fully produced 9th Wonder to produce his 5th album from beginning to end & has decided to recruit Khrysis for Pure Izm.
“Weed & Coffee” is a jazzy talking about life being beautiful whereas “Goldie in Town” takes a more sample-based boom bap route taking about he had to straighten up. Ian Kelly & Izzy Hott tag along for the soulful yet classy “Well Done” declaring themselves as the top dogs prior to Reuben Vincent coming into the picture for the piano-driven “$200 Pasta” to talk about that’s how they do.
Meanwhile on “Transmission”, we have Mus delivering a funky prelude to the next joint “2 Step on ‘Em” with King Draft embracing a dustier sound doing just that. “Off the Nest” mixes some pianos & an angelic vocal sample talking about doing this for the culture, but then “Nutella” with Planet Asia brings back the soul loop spitting braggadocio-infused lyricism.
The song “Crab Rangoon” with O-Finesse sonically feels like something ripped from a blaxploitation flick spitting that fly shit while the penultimate track “Ghost” with Izzy Hott shoots for a more solemn tone with the beat swearing that they’ll never go back to prison. “Panamanian Brunch” with Ice Lord is a classy sendoff to the album talking about being the big dogs.
Despite that I still maintain The Don & Eye to be my favorite body of work that Mus has put out yet, this is still a solid follow-up in my eyes. The features are alright, but Khrysis’ sound suits Mus just as well as his mentor’s did with the MC continuing to put his lavish lifestyle on wax