Rochester, NY MC Pounds is back after last year’s Rules And Parameters EP with his brand new album Pee Wee Kirkland, currently available on Bandcamp. Pounds manages to give you the criminally minded wordplay on tracks like “Problem” featuring Meyhem Lauren, but then gives you the story behind it on “Unforgiven”, where he details the direct effects of a troubled upbringing and how that influenced how he moves now.
Hackensack, NJ rapper CRIMEAPPLE has been releasing solid projects non-stop recently and Salud y Plata, a collaborative project that includes Cuns, he seems to be continuing his streak of straight heat with this short but palatable collection of head-nod material. Get familiar.
In 2015, producer FredFades dropped the Fruitful EP alongside Norwegian rapper and Rap Dad favorite Ivan Ave. Aside from the rapping on this quietly satisfying EP, FredFades stands out as silent partner to Ivan Ave, providing the perfect backdrop to accommodate the rapper’s nonchalant contemplations. On the “Fruitful” remix, the two invite some like-minded friends for a relatively subdued posse cut of sorts.
To me, “Let Me Ride” is a perfect time capsule record – it speaks from a very specific time and place, incorporating nearly all of the sounds that were popular in gangsta rap at the time, most of which can simply be credited to Dr. Dre himself as a founding father of it.
SmokeyV, Classicko, Niftee and Kilam make up the Los Angeles rap collective known as Villain Park. On “We Out Here”, the group spit some verses over a track reminiscent of the west coast bangers of old. In a good way, this takes it back to Raiders Starter jackets for me.
MF DOOM should basically go on a tour of just doing collaborative projects with deserving young MCs. I could see him working with Your Old Droog or Wiki, among others. Here, DOOM conspires with organically buzzworthy Westside Gunn, who’s been killing it recently to a point there’s just been too much music for me to sit down and really touch on. Mistake rectified. I don’t know how much more content this will lead to, but I’m excited to see where it goes from here.
“These Heaux” is terrible. On a paint-by-numbers trap beat, Bregoli yelps at the mic in a voice heavily slathered in auto-tune, managing to pack more rap cliches into every bar than I ever thought imaginable. The beat is unimaginative. There is literally nothing here that sticks to the ribs, nor does it even have any true ear-worm appeal that I could identify, for what that’s worth. This is the untested bravado of a poorly behaved 15-year-old with a pitiably limited view of rap music. The funny thing about the attitude Bregoli approaches “These Heaux” with is that it doesn’t differ in terms of maturity level from the same attitude Cardi B gives us on the wildly popular “Bodak Yellow” (despite Cardi being 10 years older and having a more interesting story you’d think would make her work more compelling). Moreover, there’s not much difference in production value or creativity level between the two artists or songs. Coincidentally, both are signed to Atlantic Records. Both garnered a level of fame from viral content and reality TV. The elephant in the room for some people, however, is that Bregoli is white.