R.A. The Rugged Man has found himself in a good place: within a new song by Diabolic that is produced by Snowgoons. The album is Fightin’ Words which (as of this writng) is not out yet but will be on September 16th, or eleven days as of this writing. Do not fear this.
“Ass and cigarettes” is not what this album smells like, far from it, but as they say, the Demigodz is back. Apathy and Celph Titled have gathered once more to create an album that is the definition of a “banger”, and KILLmatic (self-titled) is something that must be heard for those who understand what quality hip-hop sounds and feels like.
The production on this album is incredibly solid with the kind of samples that’ll make you go “oh wait, you can flip this to make it sound like that?” It has that nice feel of mid to late 90’s hip-hop where it felt like every song had the potential to
be the last song you ever heard, but the truth was that these songs became “the truth” and tracks like “Never Take Me Out”, “Dead In The Middle”, “Caveman”, and “Dumb High” stand out as potential classics-to-be. Lyrically, all egos on this album are flying high, and with assistance from RA The Rugged Man, Panchi, Planetary and Ryu among many, they are having a great time shooting lines, verses, and punch lines. There will be lines that come off incredibly offensive, but these guys could care less.
The best guest verse on this, however, goes to Eternia in “Can’t Fool Me”, and as the song goes on its merry, laid back pace, she comes into the track and graces it with an incredible eight-line verse before moving away. As I heard this, I had wanted to hear another eight, or a full track from her. New album Eternia, please!
KILLmatic may very well be an updated, in title at least, to Illmatic and may be sonically based on the Nas album of the same name, but Apathy and Celph Titled are out for the kill and they are throwing machetes to those who feel they shouldn’t be making music this way. As the sample in “Tomax & Xamot” says, the science of the future is in their hands, and that’s a good thing.
Brooklyn to Brooklyn, when you can have an artist based from a borough work together with a record label within the same borough, it can be helpful for both parties. Such is the case with Bekay, who is now down with Coalmine Records. Bekay’s own name comes from one of the many nicknames Brooklyn is known as, and if you’re an avid hip-hop fan, you’ve heard of BK from spending time on 106th & Park and maybe the Rawkus 50. But now Bekay is ready to take things to much higher levels with the release of Hunger Pains (Coalmine), and the title explains it all: the man is hungry.
First off, the anger. Some may known him as a battle rhymer, so by doing battle raps one has to ask what is he battling? In one of the tracks he condemns those who feel a need to constantly compare him to Eminem, from the way he flows to the shock value of some of the lyrics. But what does Bekay do? To make a point, he rhymes exactly like Em and does it with a fervor in his voice that you’re wondering if you’re hearing something from Brooklyn or from 8 Mile. That’s the purpose, to strip away the similarities in skintone and make blanket statements based on that.
The rest of the album is a nice attack of the senses, people who love nice rhymes and flows will be comfortable with the way Bekay sounds. In “Bloodsport” he confronts anyone who thinks they can step up to him and cut up Bekay’s shtyles. What is interesting is that he isn’t afraid to be in-your-face, so he’ll be saying words that normally one wouldn’t expect for an MC to say these days. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t give a fuck what anyone says, but then again, that’s Brooklyn. You’ll hear a sound that is very much not only a Brooklyn thing, but an NY thing, so he goes out of his way to use hip-hop traditions for his own benefit, without taking away anything from who and what came before. The battle rhymes are a nice kick to the teeth, but he’s capable of proper song construction, something some battle rhymers tend to have problems with. Bekay doesn’t. When you also have artists like Heltah Skeltah (in the great “Crazy”), Inspectah Deck, Masta Ace, and R.A. The Rugged Man helping you out, it doesn’t hurt. These guys could easily say “I’m getting money to be on this track, let me rip you open” but it’s not like that, each of the contributors are here to show support and say “now check out Bekay”. It’s a good thing, and Bekay is in full swing.