If you’re a dedicated disciple of creativity, then you’ll probably agree that art is totally subjective. The same goes with music. People have different tastes, and everyone reacts differently to songs and sonic bodies of work. With that said, it’s also true that music must be authentic and stay honest to the individual making it. When you look at things through this spectrum, then we must admit that New York City Hip-Hop has lost its way.
“To be honest, Meyhem Lauren should have just packaged this as a proper album release…”
NYC rap was known for its grittiness, diversity, originality and brash swagger. Gotham city itself breeds a different kind of street soldier, and the music used to reflect this raw vibe. But nowadays, most of the hottest rappers from New York; French Montana, Desiigner, etc sound like they are dickriding the south. Seriously, what the fuck is going on?
That’s why we were totally elated and inspired when we downloaded the new mixtape Piatto d’Oro from NYC spitter, Meyhem Lauren aka Laurenovich. A few stats about him: (1) He represents Queens (2) He is part of Action Bronson’s inner circle (3) He has a released a full collab album with esteemed DITC beatmaker, Buckwild.
So let’s talk about the mixtape. To be honest, Meyhem Lauren should have just packaged this up and made it a proper album release, because this joint is tight from beginning to end. The tape is about 15 tracks deep, and the beats are produced by some of the sharpest hitters in the Hip-Hop game: Harry Fraud, Alchemist, DJ Muggs & Large Professor. There are also fine rapping cameos from Roc Marciano and Action Bronson.
The highlights on the album are plentiful. The opening cut is a raw, riff-heavy banger produced by Seth Silenser and featuring Meyhem affiliate, Halogram. It’s a sinister heater that sets the tone for the album. The lead single “Badmon Ting” is an energetic, bass-heavy, boom-bap cut with a Jamaican-tinged hook. Elsewhere on the album, the excellent Harry Fraud delivers a smooth, soul-drenched track with an undeniable bounce. Laurenovich & Action Bronson spar lyrically on the Alchemist-laced “Dragon Vs. Wolf” and DJ Muggs slides through for an easy win for the mixtape’s formidable closer “Elevation.”
NYC street rap does have some pockets of dopeness emerging! Westside Gunn & Conway from Buffalo, NY are cooking up remarkable rap projects that harken back to NYC’s Golden era. But so far in 2016, the marker has been set. It’s going to take a lot to surpass Meyhem Lauren’s magnificent new opus.
Don’t sleep on this one!
Follow Laurenovich on Instagram here
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