Ty Farris – “Malice at the Palace” review

Ty Farris is a Detroit underground veteran who came up up under the name T-Flame & wound up being featuring on a lot of projects throughout the mid-2000’s until the very end of the decade. It was at that point where he started to put out solo stuff at a prolific rate by dropping 11 mixtapes, 8 full-length albums & 3 EPs. Standouts include the Room 39 duology & the No Cosign Just Cocaine series, the 5th & final installment of which finally arrived last month. But continuing to balance quality & quantity as always, Ty’s enlisting Danish producer Machacha behind the boards for his 9th album.

After the “Starting Lineup” intro, the first song “Dope Sales to Vinyl Deals” is a powerful opener to the album with T-Flame detailing how the long way that he came from whereas “Sign the Contract” has a more eerier route talking about a fine print on the street agreement. “Bleacher Report” has a spacey boom bap quality to it as the lyrics touch on trying to survive with suicidal thoughts with anonymous sources reporting live & direct leading into Dango Forlaine, Guilty Simpson & Marv Won all joining forces for “4 Point Play” as they really show y’all who the bad boys really are with a suspenseful beat backing them.

Moving on to “Coke in the Locker Room”, we have Ty on top of some more bluesy production with a clever reference to the sample whilst touching on poverty on the lyrical front just before “Flagrant Fouling” returns to the boom bap as he & Mickey Diamond comparing this rap shit to the layup line when it comes to bars. The song “Karma’s the Referee” returns to a bluesier vibe providing y’all the best of him while the penultimate track “Strong Arm Aggression” with Waterr goes into rap rock turf as their chemistry is as strong as it was on their collab EP Bulls vs. Pistons a few years ago. “Bloodstains on the Jersey” ends things with a groovy instrumental & Ty pointing out people wanting to see blood since the gladiator days.

I remember watching the Malice at the Palace live on TV with my dad & my older brother as an 8 year old kid with all of us being in amazed by what was unfolding in front of our very eyes & if you love basketball the way you love hip hop, then you’re gonna want to give this a listen. The themes of the sport are incredibly cohesive as the Detroit wordsmith rips it on top of what I consider to be amongst Machacha’s strongest batch of production to date. Looking forward to seeing him open up for Rome Streetz on the first night of the Kiss the Ring tour this upcoming Wednesday.

Score: 4.5/5

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Ty Farris – “No Cosign, Just Cocaine 5: The Final Sniff” review

This is the 11th mixtape from Detroit emcee Ty Farris. Coming up under the name T-Flame, he was featured on a lot of projects throughout the mid-2000’s until the very end of the decade where he started to put out solo stuff at a prolific rate from Tyrant to Room 39. But coming fresh off his 3rd EP Moments of Mayhem alongside his last 2 albums Fluorescent Mud & Pain for Ya Vein respectively, Ty’s returning for the 5th & final installment of the No Cosign Just Cocaine series.

After the “80’s Cocaine” intro, the first song “The Coca Leaf” works in a drumless loop as T-Flame spits about that cocaína prior to Jae Skeese tagging along for the gritty “We Never Backing Down” talking about refusing to fold. “Alejandro Sosa” has a slicker yet cinematic groove to the production courtesy of Trox speaking on the man only concerned about the quota, but then “Dean Smith” takes a more soulful with it’s bare sample & the lyrics concerning the rap game’s dean’s list.

As for “Dope Speak 4 Itself”, we have J. Arrr & Vega7 the Ronin joining Ty over a cavernous boom bap instrumental provided by Stu Bangas to show off their lyrical prowesses just before “The Thoughts of Ghost” comes through with a standout from the horror flick-inspired beat that Big Ghost Ltd. cooks up to the bars about being a hot boy before Lil Wayne could start to curse in his music. Flames Dot Malik drops a husky verse on “The Twilight Zone” as they continue to son motherfuckers on the mic over what is possibly the darkest Wino Willy beat I’ve ever heard leading into “Underestimate Me” weaving some synths, kicks & snares speaking to those who underrate him.

“The Most Feared Threat” with Mickey Diamond, Pro Dillinger & Snotty finds the quartet over a shimmering boom bap beat from Finn referring to themselves as problems in the game while “Critically Acclaimed” has a richer quality to it taking a dive into his dark mind. The song “Brown Bags Over Revolvers” with Daniel Son sees the pair on top of some pianos, kicks & snares to live lawless while the penultimate track “Never Lose Respect” returns to soulful turf declaring himself as the Jesus of this rap shit. “The Most High” concludes the tape & the NCJC series with a downtrodden Bozack Morris instrumental living for today.

I’ve been anticipating this project for quite some time now & even had the honor of seeing the artwork only a few months before the final product was even announced earlier this week. From that moment on, I knew I wasn’t gonna be disappointed it & it couldn’t have been a better conclusion to the saga now that we got it in full. Ty lyrically continues to cement himself as one of the best in underground today, the guest list is nearly as on point as the last installment’s was & the production is consistently raw.

Score: 4.5/5

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Mickey Diamond – “Oroku Saki” review

This is the 6th EP from Detroit underground emcee Mickey Diamond. Emerging at the beginning of 2020 off the strength of his debut EP Bangkok Dangerous, the dude has since gone on to turn quite a few heads in the underground by building up the impressive discography for himself with his previous 6 albums alongside 5 EPs & & a mixtape. His last 2 outings Gucci Ghost & Gucci Ghost 2produced by Big Ghost Ltd. that dropped back to back last month have quickly become my favorite bodies of work that Diamond has put out yet so when I found out that one of my favorite graphic artists in recent memory Ral Duke would be behind the boards for Oroku Saki in it’s entirety, it was only right to give it my first review of 2023 since Gucci Ghost 2 was my last review of 2022.

After the “Can Opener” intro, the title track is a symphonic boom bap opener where Mickey talks about how he’s gonna make you learn to respect the throne whereas “Chrome Dome” works in some more strings whilst dashing some jazzy undertones to the beat as well referring to himself as the masked man. “Wow!” hooks up some kicks & snares with a piano loop talking about how those listening be knowing his style leading into “Multiverse” following the “Krangstrumental” interlude takes a more cavernous route in terms of sound echoing the iconic Tribe Called Quest joint “Can I Kick It?” painting images of the wicked mean streets. “Turtle Soup” is a killer rap rock cut talking about what he be dining on tonight & ruthlessly hijacking your whole residence while “The Foot” returns to the boom bap talking about how he could never take all of this from a rat. After the “Ooze” interlude though, Mondo Slade come into the picture for the closer “Shredder vs. Casey Jones” as he & Diamond essentially battle rap one another over an uncanny instrumental with co-production from & Swab.

It’s funny how Gucci Ghost 2 was a last minute addition to my best of 2022 list & now here is 3 weeks later kicking off the new year the exact same way: By giving us his 3rd consecutive classic. As someone who enjoyed the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series as well as the first 2 movies from the early 90’s & the ‘03 series, the concept of the EP is incredibly cohesive as Mickey ties in references into his hardcore lyrical style excellently. Now the only time I can recall hearing Ral Duke production a track was “Painkillers” off Conway the Machine’s 11th mixtape Everybody‘s F.O.O.D. 2: Eat What U Kill & that was always a highlight track for me personally, but I genuinely appreciate how much his production here has fluctuated so much in the last 4 years or so.

Score: 4.5/5

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Ty Farris – “Pain for Ya Vein” review

Ty Farris is a veteran MC from Detroit, Michigan who came up under the name T-Flame. After landing features on a lot of projects throughout the mid-2000s, it wasn’t until the very end of the decade where he started to put out solo stuff at a prolific rate from Tyrant to Room 39. He just dropped his 3rd EP Moments of Mayhem back in March produced entirely by Italy’s very own Slim 1 & followed it up over the summer with his 7th album Fluorescent Mud produced by Sebb Bash but is looking to end the year in the form of his 8th album.

“Don’t Poke the Bear” opens the album a flute-tinged boom bap instrumental advising not to disturb him whereas the title track goes into more chipmunk soul territory talking about being designed for this shit & the fact that he remains undefeated. “Aged Wine” works in yet another vocal loop letting y’all know you catch him at a round table sipping the finest of the titular alcoholic beverages just before Asun Eastwood tags along for the raw “Black & Brown Spoons” taking you through the minds of 2 men who have nothing to lose. Continuing from there with “No Balance to Greatness”, we have Ty on top of a crooning soul sample talking about paying a steep price to be on the position that he’s in today leading into “5 Figures in the Bank Account” has a more calmer vibe to the beat flexing his wealth.

“Fools in the Fold” is a synth/boom bap hybrid produced by Stu Bangas has talking about being married to the game like Stephanie McMahon making it my favorite on the album & after the “Vince McMahon Speaks” interlude appropriately enough, the song “Klitschko Fist” has a more drumless approach acknowledging the fact that he created a new wave in the 313. The penultimate track “Every Night’s a Test” flips “I Love You More & More” By Tom Brock reminiscing on the reckless times when he rides through & “Die on My Feet” is a incredibly woozy closer courtesy of Trox confessing that he’s searching his soul to find his peace.

Of the 3 projects that Ty has given us this year, you can’t really go wrong with either one because dude managed to go on a 3-peat here. The production teeters between drumless & boom bap as the hard-working Detroit veteran continues to drop the insane quotables that we all come to know & love him for. I already know that the 5th & final installment of the No Cosign, Just Cocaine series is gonna be something truly special.

Score: 4/5

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Ty Farris – “Moments of Mayhem” review

Ty Farris is a 41 year old MC from Detroit, Michigan who came up under the name T-Flame. He was featured on a lot of projects throughout the mid-2000’s until the very end of the decade where he started to put out solo stuff at a prolific rate from Tyrant to Room 39. But with his profile continually increasing within the last year or so & dropping Practice Raps back in January & then No Cosign, Just Cocaine 4 in November, but is now preluding the 5th & final installment with his 3rd EP produced entirely by Italy’s very own Slim 1.

“Glorious” is an appropriately titled opener as Ty hops on top of a bare orchestral loop shoving his greatness in everyone’s faces whereas “Here’s the Shovel” works in some foreboding horns talking about being self made. The song “Sure Shot” brings back the strings with some piano chords describing being the product of a poor block while the penultimate track “Scary Jungle” goes into angelic boom bap territory talking about never crumbling. The EP ends with “Highly Favored”, where Bub Styles & Mickey Diamond join Ty over some alluring choir vocals to gloat their big dog statuses.

Ty has pretty much proven himself to be one of the greatest MCs to ever come out of this reviewer’s hometown at this point & for him to give us Moments of Mayhem as a prelude to NCJC5, the fans will absolutely be satisfied with it. I’m very much looking forward to hearing who else Slim 1 will be producing next because his sound goes hand in hand with Ty’s raw lyricism.

Score: 4/5