Defter – “Bleakmatic” (Album Review)

Defter is a hip-hop duo composed of Raw Proof and SK9. Last year, they released their first major album titled “Bleakmatic”. With a chance at becoming the rap games next super duo, will Defter deliver an unforgettable experience?


Through twelve tracks, Defter releases their anger towards an array of brewing issues in the world. Moments such as the redefining “The Basics” and fear-mongering “All In” best capture the two’s ability to scorch each bar with firey commentary that will undoubtedly challenge anyone listening to think. On top of their potent songwriting, the two seem to connect seamlessly. Highlighted on the brilliant “Arnold Drummond,” we see these two trade bars and play with each other’s words at a surreal level. When it comes to the two’s performance, the only gripes I have come in the department of their deliveries, which can feel too dull or lackluster. The awful hooks, which are both terribly delivered and poorly written on various occasions, are even worse, but these issues are far from enough to ruin the experience. Aside from these issues, both Raw Proof and SK9 layout all the intangibles to become a great duo that can dominate for years to come. 

Behind the boards, there’s a hard-hitting soundtrack that puts a modern spin on classic boom-bap. Each track is crafted to the best of the pair’s budget, and there are hardly any occasions where the soundscape leaves something to be desired. “F.A.n.g.” is one of the best-produced tracks here with its gloomy piano-infused instrumental that brings the best out of both MCs. A neat touch that is seen through most of the tracks is the insertion of various vocal clips and skits. Opening up moments such as “Capital Gains” and “Biography Channel,” these thought-provoking monologues serve as the perfect segways into these super thoughtful thinking pieces. With a soundtrack that sounds proficient while also adding context at every corner possible, Defter shows they shine just as well on the sonic side as they do on the microphone. 

In conclusion, “Bleakmatic” is a giant leap forward for a hip-hop duo that shows so much promise. Defter honestly reminds me of a Run The Jewels type duo due to the contrast in their personalities and the chemistry they possess. Going forward, both Raw Proof and SK9 will continue to grow and improve as artists, and if you want to see what Defter does next, be sure to follow @stricknine999 and @rawproof on Instagram!

Rating: 7/10

Highlights

  • Chemistry
  • Boom bap style modernzined
  • Interesting skits

Chase Fetti – “Count Me In” (Album)

New Jersey’s Chase Fetti often gets mistaken for a West coast artist because of his Blood affiliation and penchant for bandanas. However, this up and coming spitter is cut from the same cloth as popular names like 38 Spesh and Flee Lord, both of which he has done albums with. His new project “Count Me In” is a statement which says, I’ve arrived and I want a piece of the action. With features from current fan-favorites like Eto, Che Noir, and Grafh, it should be clear Chase is moving in the right circles.  Follow him on Instagram @chasefetti.

Rome Streetz & DJ Muggs – “Death & the Magician” (Album Review)

Rome Streetz is a 34 year old MC from New York who broke out in 2016 off his debut mixtape I Been Thru Mad Shit. This was followed up by a plethora of projects, most notably the Noise Kandy tetralogy & Headcrack. He just dropped a dope project with Farma Beats on his birthday a few months back called Kontraband but as we close out the 2nd month of 2021, Rome is dropping his 5th full-length album produced entirely by DJ Muggs.

After the “6 of Cups” intro, the first song “Prayers Over Packages” talks about never slacking off over an otherworldly beat whereas the next track “Ace of Swords” talks about getting pieces to the puzzle over a gully instrumental. “The Manuscript” talks about his mind being focused on the money over a glum beat while the song “High Explosive” compares himself to a bomb over some horns.

The track “Zig Zag Zig” with Knowledge the Pirate finds the 2 talking about putting bitches in their place over a violin-tinged beat while the song “Stone Cold Soul” talks about clapping shit over a macabre instrumental. “The Devil’s Chord” talks about how the nights where he had nothing we’re eating him up inside over some ghoulish keyboard melodies & the sound of winds gusting by while the track “Shooting at the Dance Hall” gets on some disrespectful shit lyrically on top of a native-flavored beat for lack of a better term.

The song “Wheel of Fortune” talks about moving in silence over a Bollywood style instrumental while the track “Horn & Halo” with Rigz sees the duo talking about being conflicted since birth over a guitar & some eerie background vocals. The closer “Fly Obnoxious” talks about going all out for his rep over an malevolent boom bap beat & then the bonus cut “Fuck You Know About Me?” talks about preferring fetti over fame over some jazzy horns.

I’ve always said that Headcrack is Rome’s magnum opus, but Death & the Magician is even better. The way he continues to put words together (especially multi-syllable rhyme patterns) is like no other & it’s really cool to hear Muggs providing a wide range of sounds for him.

Score: 9/10

Scum – “Dying World Chroniclez: Grey Skiez” (Album Review)

Scum is a 40 year old rapper from Denver, Colorado known for being the founder of the seminal horrorcore label Lyrikal Snuff Productionz. He’s gone on to release 11 albums on his own, the previous being the double-disc Out with the Old that came out this past summer. But just about 7 months later, the Gorefather is returning once more for his 12th full-length album.

After the intro, the title track that truly kicks the album off talks about Hell awaiting over a frightful instrumental whereas the next song “New Day” with Lex the Hex Master sees the 2 giving their take on the saying “out with the old, in with the new” over an oracular trap beat. The track “This Right Here” talks about repping LSP over a villainous boom bap beat while the song “When It Rains” with Smallz One finds the 2 talking about spraying rounds over a bleak yet abrasive trap instrumental.

“Tha Hit” vividly details whacking someone over some weighty strings while the track “Body Parts” by M.M.M.F.D. talks about dismemberment over a slow, wintry beat. The song “Stress” talks about insanity over a deranged instrumental while the track “Look Around” by Lobotomy talks about the fall of an empire over a apocalyptic trap beat.

The song “Downfall” talks about how fucking with LSP will be the end of you over a nocturnal trap instrumental while the penultimate track “24” with Death+ finds the 2 talking about having fucked up thoughts 24/7 365 over an uncanny beat. The album finishes off with “Story’s End”, where Scum talks about how you’re going to meet your maker over a cinematic instrumental.

This is a pretty dope album & I’m looking forward to hearing how the other installments of the Dyin’ World Chroniclez turn out to be. The lyrics is as gruesome as it was on his debut 18 years ago & his production choices just keep getting rawer with each project he puts out.

Score: 7/10

Vino La Mano – “Blood & Fire” (EP Review)

This is the 10th EP from Texas emcee Vino La Mano. Breaking out a couple years ago after Benny the Butcher signed him to his E1 Music imprint Black Soprano Family Records, he’s been staying busy ever since by dropping a total of 9 EPs. But just a month after his previous one Circle of Trust, we’re already being treated to the follow-up Blood & Fire.

The EP starts out with “Live from the Krooked”, where Vino talks about trying not to get caught up in the game over a cavernous boom bap beat. The title track talks about going broke & starting back over a rock/boom bap fusion while the song “You Don’t Know What It’s Like” talks about having shit on his mind that he doesn’t show over an icy beat.

The track “Wolves Eat Sheep” flexes his mafioso lifestyle over an extravagant instrumental while the song “It’s Cut Throat” talks about how they gon’ acknowledge his pen over a morose boom bap beat. The penultimate track “YKTV” talks about his killers being on standby over a boom bap instrumental with a piano sample hanging in the background whereas then the closer “Gift & Curse” talks about what it took to get here over an incensed beat.

As much as I liked Circle of Trust, I think Blood & Fire is a step up from it. The Soul Monsters’ grimy production has improved quite a bit & you can really tell Vino was coming from the heart in his verses. If he’s got more EPs or even a full-length album in store for 2021, then I already know he’s gonna get better from hereon out.

Score: 7/10

Elcamino & TrickyTrippz – “On the 3rd Day” (EP Review)

This is the 10th EP from Buffalo emcee Elcamino. Blowing up in 2017 off his self-titled EP with Griselda Records, his profile increasingly grew after being followed up by Walking on Water mixtape in the summer of 2018 along with dropped 2 studio albums & a few EPs the year after that. But after dropping 3 EPs in 2020, he’s teaming up with German producer TrickyTrippz for On the 3rd Day.

“The Deal” that kicks the whole EP off talks about his boys catching their first bodies & filling his book-bags with Ben Franks over a sorrowful instrumental whereas the next track “40 Belows” talks about doing the most over a supernatural-sounding beat. The song “Extra Baggage” talks about keeping an automatic on him over an instrumental with a dope orchestral sample while the track “I’m the Blame” sings about losing all his money to the dope game over a dramatic beat.

The song “Door Steps” talks about making a killing off crack over a boom bap instrumental with some luxurious keyboard melodies while the track “Stainless Steel” reflects on his past & talks about where he is now over a glum beat. The song “Grimey” advises the listener to leading their life over a cinematic instrumental while the penultimate track “Paying Taxes” talks about rising from the bottom of the pit over a rich beat. The EP finishes off with “Still Remember”, where Elcamino talks about how you wouldn’t believe half the shit he’s done over a bare soul sample.

I wouldn’t be surprised if dude has a few more projects coming down the pipe later on in the year, but this is a solid way to kick it all off. TrickyTrippz comes correct behind the boards & his production is done justice with the help of Elcamino’s unfiltered street tales.

Score: 7/10

Intrinzik – “Lasers & Poison” (Album Review)

Intrinzik is a 43 year old rapper from Phoenix, Arizona most notable for being the founder of Underground Hustlin’. Aside from that, the dude has put out a total of 9 albums & 3 EPs through his own label Intrinz Ink Records since 2004. But for his 10th full-length effort, Intrinzik is getting it backed by none other than the Majik Ninja Entertainment sub-label Welcome to the Underground.

The album kicks off with the title track, where Intrinzik talks about commercial sponsors feasting on inhibitions over a rap metal beat. The next song “Dinosaurs” talks about devouring these other rappers over some heavy guitars while the track “Force Fed Famine” talks about watching the market collapse like skyscrapers over a dreary backdrop fused with some hard rock instrumentation. The song “Chemicals” talks about paying it forward genetically over a punky beat while the track “Lizard Tongues” talks about overdosing on power over some live drumming & chugging guitars.

The song “Heart of the Table” with Dienasty the Mexican Thuggalo sees the 2 talking about the 3rd world over an instrumental that almost has a bit of a nu metal influence to it while the track “Lied To” ponders what’s real & fantasy over a riot-inducing beat. The song “Amphetamine Suicide” talks about drug usage over some thick instrumentation while the track “Broadcast the Apocalypse” takes aim at television as a whole over some Hellish riffs.

The song “Losing My Mind” with Twiztid finds the trio talking about insanity over a robotic instrumental while the track “Built for This” talks about annihilating anything that comes after him over a chaotic beat. The song “Try to Stay Alive” with Skeptik sees the 2 talking about survival over some more punk rock flavored production while the track “End of the World” with McNastee finds the duo talking about living in the apocalypse over a hard rock instrumental.

The song “First World Problems” with Krypto Man sees the 2 talking about that very issue over a somewhat thrash-esque instrumental while the penultimate track “The Right to Vote” with Bisshop & Raw-D finds the trio talking about how they use music as their weapon & I love how the build-up in the production. The album finishes off with “Toy Gory 2”, which is a decent 8-minute Underground Hustlin’ posse cut.

If you wanna get into Intrinzik, I would recommend starting with this because I find it to be his best work to date. Not just because of how the sound of the album continuously bounces from metal & punk to straight up hip hop, but his songwriting on here in comparison to his previous material is a lot more conscious this time around.

Score: 7/10

Baby E & Ouija Macc – “We Never Forgot” (Mixtape Review)


This is the brand new collaborative mixtape from West Coast rappers Baby E & Ouija Macc. One is a Lil Wayne protege signed to the icon’s Republic Records imprint Young Money Entertainment & the other is an Insane Clown Posse protege signed to their independently-owned Psychopathic Records. I don’t think the duo have ever worked together in the past, so I was very curious to hear how they would play off one another on We Never Forgot.

The tape kicks off with “Bands Won’t Stop”, where Baby E & Ouija talk about how the money will always come in over a trap beat with some teary piano melodies. The next song “Like Yuh” talks about keeping the drama away from them over a woozy instrumental while the track “(I Don’t Like Life) Anymore” talks about suicide over a crazed beat from Devereaux. The song “Different Mindset” gets romantic over a more voluptuous, poppy instrumental while the track “For Good” interprets the title in a few clever ways on top of an orchestral beat.

The song “1 for Me” talks about women who don’t know what they want from them over an acoustic guitar backed by some snares while the track “Overnight” talks about how Rome wasn’t build in a day over a rubbery beat. The song “It Be Like That Sometimes” talks about life being a carnival over a cloudy trap instrumental while the penultimate track “Mitosis” talks about killing everything in site over a monstrous Devereaux beat. The tape finishes off with “Got Somebody”, where Baby E & Ouija talk about being there when their homies are down over an acoustic-tinged trap instrumental.

Out of all the collaborative projects Ouija has put out in the past few years, this is easily my favorite of the bunch. It’s understandably a lot more melodic in comparison to his previous material & I commend him for stepping out of his comfort zone on that, but he & Baby E also do a good job of playing off each other. If these guys plan on working together more down the road, then I’m all for it.

Score: 7/10

Asun Eastwood & THETWINNING – “Prophecy Is My Present″ (Album Review)

Asun Eastwood is a 38 year old MC from Toronto, Canada who came up as part of the Brown Bag Money collective. His 2017 debut mixtape Hollywood Briggs was a good introduction, but it wouldn’t be until 2 years later after dropping his Finn-produced debut album With All Due Respect where he would come to my attention. He just dropped Let Me Talk My Shit a couple months back & to celebrate his birthday, Asun has enlisted THETWINNING for his 4th full-length album.

The title track that starts things off tells God to look at him now over multiple beat switches that’ll make you feel like you’re riding like a roller coaster whereas the next song “Stillness is a Skill” with Lord Juco finds the 2 talking about their spirits being imprinted & not accepting failure over a swanky instrumental. The song “TeamWork Glow” talks about how “it costs a lot to get it on your own” over a spectral beat while the track “StepWork Glow” with Falcon Outlaw sees the duo talking about wanting paper & respect over a boom bap instrumental with some sumptuous keyboard melodies.

The song “L.O.V. (Life Of Victory)” with Lex Talionis finds the 2 talking about love over a repetitive vocal loop while the track “Framed My Pyrex Bowl” with Raz Fresco sees the 2 of course talking about whippin’ up dope over a mild boom bap beat. The song “Underrated” with Family Gang Black & donSMITH finds the trio responding to those who call them such over a lush instrumental while the track “Anfernee” with SLNC sees the 2 talking about the outcome their aiming for over a dope ass soul sample.

The song “Hurt ‘Em” with Richie aka Rapsy & Quinn the Comic finds the trio talking about murder over a downtrodden beat over while the track “Inspired by Death” pays tribute to the fallen over an elegiac instrumental. The song “Tie Ya Camel” with Rasheed Chappell sees the 2 talking about proving who you are over an inspiriting beat & then the closer “Muhammad Glow” with Maze Overlay finds the duo pondering why question things you can’t control over a steady instrumental.

To me, this is yet another example as to why Asun is the currently most hard-working dude in BBM right now. The features on here are a bit too much, but I think THETWINNING cooks up some of their best production to date & Asun still manages to rip it up on the mic.

Score: 7/10

SmooVth & Giallo Point – “Amongst Wolves” (Album Review)

SmooVth is a 35 year old MC from Hempstead, New York known for being a part of the duo Tha Connection alongside Hus Kingpin. But as far as his 11 solo efforts go, I recommend checking out Portrait of a Pimp as well as the Young SmooVth & Medellin duologies. The dude dropped something was the DJ Beanz-mixed rarities mixtape entitled Tha Conduit this past Christmas & now just a couple months later, he’s reuniting with Giallo Point for his 12th full-length album.

After the intro, the first song “Double Dutch” talks about using ice cream trucks to cover up them slanging dope over a dust boom bap beat with some glistening chimes while the track “Grey Heron” talks about his rapping prowess over some prominent string loops. The song “Rogue” talks about disappearing with his best friend on top of an overcast beat while the track “Nickel” talks about him & Hus “supersizing” over a funky bass-line & some opulent piano chords.

The song “Joe Blow” talks about sending “30 deep poppin’ on ya man” over a cinematic instrumental while the track “Bullet Holes” with Asun Eastwood sees the duo talking about being them dudes over a boom bap beat. The song “Boss” with Rigz finds the 2 literally talking about being mob bosses over a drumless, meditative instrumental a while the track “38 Corridor” talks about how no one’s fucking with him over a well incorporated soul sample.

The song “Real Me” talks about giving the listener a good look as to who he is over a sleek instrumental while “The Ave” talks about his family & I really dig the guitar licking in the beat a lot. The song “Mega” talks about gangsta leaning over some synths & finger-snaps while the track “Hillside” talks about not giving a fuck about a judge over a symphonious beat.

The song “Hieroglyphics” finds Tha Connection comparing their lyrics to such over some pensive keyboards glistening away in the instrumental while the track “Sparks Fly” with Big Twins sees the 2 talking about living it up over a foreboding beat. The song “Plates” with Eddie Kaine & Rim finds the trio barring shut out for 3-minutes nonstop over a sullen instrumental & then the closer “War” talks about standing tall over some organs.

Whenever this emcee/producer duo come together, it’s always something special & their 4th outing together is no exception. Giallo Point continues to cement himself as one of the best producers that the UK has to offer currently & his sound continues to suit SmooVth’s razor-sharp lyricism best.

Score: 9/10