This is the 9th EP from Ukrainian-American emcee Your Old Droog. Catching my attention when he dropped his self-titled debut. many actually first thought he was an alter ego of Nas given that their voices are somewhat similar. He eventually became a legend in his own right off later projects such as Packs as well as It Wasn’t Even Close, TIME & the Nicholas Craven-produced YOD Wave. The 3 EPs he’s given us since YOD Stewart, Yodney Dangerfield & The Yodfather weren’t as great in my opinion yet most certainly had their highlights at the same time. So just when I assumed the predecessor was gonna be Droog’s last of 2022, dude’s making me eat my own words by dropping The Shining less than 2 weeks before Christmas.
“Fresh Direct” is an ominous boom bap opener with Droog acknowledging that there ain’t a rapper that he’s not sonnin’ whereas “Brinks Truck” takes a jazzier route to spit the illest shit that he can think of. “We on the Tarmac” has a more spacious vibe talking about not worrying about a thing & being where the stars at prior to TCF Music Group’s very own Che Noir tagging along for the sample based “Room 237” referencing the titular room in the fictional Overlook Hotel from the classic Stanley Kubrick film that the EP is named after. The song “Redrum” with Rock & Tha God Fahim finds the trio over some dusty production to get murderous while the penultimate track “Here’s Johnny” weaves a flute-tinged boom bap beat in talking about catching him where the dough at. “The Hedge Maze” however ends the EP with a ghostly Sadhugold instrumental & Droog looking back on all his fake friends as he freezes to death.
Before I wrap things up here, I just wanna sincerely apologize for jumping the gun & assuming that The Yodfather was gonna be the final offering from Droog before the year ends. Now that’s out of the way, The Shining is absolutely a cut above the last 3 EPs dude has put out. It’s more conceptual as one of the most prominent MCs in the underground today uniquely retells the titularly classic Stephen King tale & it’s cool to see Wino Willy get more shine by producing a bulk of it. Here’s to the impending masterpiece of a Yodlib full-length debut in 2023!
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