Flatbush ZOMBiES – “now, more than ɘver…” review

The Flatbush ZOMBiES are a Brooklyn trio consisting of Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice & Erick the Architect. Coming up as part of of the Beast Coast collective, the group broke out in the early 2010s off the strength of their 2 mixtapes D.R.U.G.S. & BetterOffDead. Shortly after they formed the quintet Clockwork Indigo with fellow Beast Coast members The Underachievers & put out an eponymous EP, but it wouldn’t be until 2016 when they put out their fantastic full-length debut 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Last we heard from then was in 2018 with their sophomore album Vacation in Hell but fast forward a couple years later, they’re back with their debut EP.

Things kick off with “herb”, where the trio of course talk about weed over a psychedelic instrumental from Erick as always. The next song “iamlegend” is about how they’ve hustled all their lives over a cloudy trap beat while the track “quicksand” is a Meechy solo cut about his demons over a manic instrumental.

The song “dirty elevator music” talks about how they have the world in their hands now over a boom bap beat while the penultimate track “blessings” talks about how life’s too short over a sedative instrumental. The EP finishes off with “when i’m gone”, where the trio talk about death & Meechy pays tribute to Mac Miller over a mournful beat.

Overall, it’s a solid EP for the most part. It‘s focused, Erick’s production continues to evolve over the course of time & the lyrical topics that’re being brought to the table are amongst the group’s most introspective ones to date.

Score: 3.5/5

Powers Pleasant – “Life’s Beautiful” review

Powers Pleasant is a producer/DJ from Brooklyn, New York that came up as a member of the Pro Era & Beast Coast collectives. He’s had a hand in the instrumentals on some of the latter’s output from The Underachievers’ 3rd mixtape It Happened in Flatbush in 2016 to Joey Bada$$’ politically charged sophomore album ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ in 2017. However if the Beast Coast’s disappointingly average debut album Escape from New York earlier this year wasn’t enough, Powers has seen fit to drop an EP of his own.

After the “Sway’s Intro”, we go into the first song “Vintage Chanel”. Where Joey teams up with [Kirk Knight] as well as Meechy Darko & Zombie Juice to boast over an alluring trap beat. The next track “Please Forgive” by Denzel Curry, IDK, ZillaKami & Zombie Juice is a lyrical onslaught with an ominous beat while the song “Can’t Fucc Wit It” by Buddy & G Perico showcases the gritty life on the West Coast over an apocalyptic beat.

The track “Pull Up” by A$AP Ferg & Joey sees the 2 flexing over a cloudy trap beat while the song “Hit My Line” by AKTHESAVIOR, Jay Critch & Joey finds the 3 getting sexual over an intoxicating beat with a hook sounding totally ripped off from the Travis Scott playbook. The penultimate track “Purified” by Aaron Rose, CJ Fly & Joey talks about being blessed over a classy instrumental & then it closes out with a decent “Pull Up” sequel by the Beast Coast.

There’s not much else for me to say beyond that, this is a decent EP. Powers is definitely a talented producer, but 5 of the 8 tracks sound like leftovers from the Escape from New York sessions.

Score: 3/5

Beast Coast – “Escape from New York” review

The Beast Coast are a New York hip hop collective consisting of Pro Era & Clockwork Indigo (the Flatbush ZOMBiES & The Underachievers). All 3 subgroups blew throughout the decade with the strengths of Joey Bada$$’ debut mixtape 1999, Flatbush’s sophomore tape BetterOffDead & The Underachievers’ sophomore album Evermore: The Art of Duality. Now after all these years of making names for themselves, they’re finally teaming up for their full-length debut as a collective.

The opener “It Ain’t Easy, It Ain’t Easy” by AK, CJ Fly, the Flatbush ZOMBiES & Nyck @ Knight talks about their rise to fame over a bland beat while the next track “Left Hand” by CJ, Clockwork Indigo, Joey Bada$$ & Nyck @ Knight takes a jab at their enemies over a druggy trap beat. The song “Problemz” by CJ, Erick the Architect, Nyck Caution, The Underachievers & Zombie Juice talks about their own issues over a mellow beat while the track “Far Away” by Erick Joey, Meechy Darko & Nyck @ Knight gets romantic over a mellow beat from Powers Pleasant. The song “Snow in the Stadium” by CJ, Erick, Joey, Issa Gold, Kirk Knight & Meechy talks about defeating the best over a cloudy trap beat while the track “Rubberband” sees Flatbush & Joey talks about making dough over a gloomy trap beat.

The song “Distance” by Erick, Issa & Joey talks about feeling free over some pretty keyboards & skittering snares while the track “Bones” by Clockwork Indigo & Nyck @ Knight gets confrontational over a perfectly fitting trap beat. The song “Puke” by AK, Erick, Joey, Meechy & Nyck looks back at when they were broke over some somber piano chords while the track “Desperado” by Joey, Kirk, Meechy & Zombie Juice get at their haters over some hi-hats & an ominous acoustic guitar lead. The song “1 More Round” by Erick, Joey, Meechy & Nyck is a headache inducing alcohol anthem with a buttery instrumental while the penultimate track “Coast/Clear” by Flatbush, Issa, Joey & Nyck @ Knight is a horrifically executed friendship ode. The closer “Last Choir” by AK, Erick, Meechy & Nyck @ Knight then talks about being blessed to have made it in the rap game over a joyous instrumental.

While we’ve waited a long time for it, it’s pretty decent. Everyone all sounds great collectively & I love how they didn’t bring on any features as a way of showing that, but the production could’ve been better.

Score: 3/5

Flatbush ZOMBiES – “Vacation in Hell” review

A little over 2 years after the release of their debut album 3001: A Laced Odyssey, Beast Coast subgroup Flatbush ZOMBiES are finally returning with their sophomore full-length album. The album starts off with “HELL-O”, where they talk about how they came up & how they’re moving on with their newfound fame over an eerie beat. The next song “Chunky” sees Erick Arc Elliott & Zombie Juice talking about standing for something over a & leading the youth over a settle trap instrumental from Erick while the track “Vacation” with Joey Bada$$ is a fun celebratory anthem about making it while the track M. Bison talks about winning over a decent trap beat.

The song “Headstone” is filled with creative references to some of the trio’s influences over a gritty instrumental & while “Big Shrimp” talks about sex over a banging Kirk Knight beat, the hook is just alright. The song “Leather Symphony” with A$AP 12vy gets braggadocious over some piano keys & handclaps while the track “Reel Girls” with Bun B gets sexual over some prominent drums.

The track “Facts” with Jadakiss is filled with battle bars over some keys & punchy drums while the song “Ask Courtney” is a reminder that love hurts over an atmospheric trap beat. The track “Crown” is about real music winning & their destinies over a druggy beat with a faint organ while the song “Proxies” gets ambitious over some creepy choir vocals. The track “U&I” sees the trio getting introspective over a smooth instrumental while “The Goddess” talks about the type of ladies they’re into over a laid-back boom bap beat.

The track “Trapped” is a beautiful love tune with a mellow acoustic guitar while the song “Best American” gets conscious over an atmospheric instrumental. The song  “Misunderstood” is about self-destruction over a twangy guitar & hard hitting drums while the penultimate track “YouAreMySunshine” is a Meechy Darko solo cut that pays homage to the late A$AP Mob founder A$AP Yams over some somber keyboards. The album finishes with “The Glory”, where the trio get with Denzel Curry to tell you that they want you to succeed & the instrumental sets the tone perfectly.

While I was initially worried about the album being incosistent, the ZOMBiES proved me wrong at the end. The production is banging as always & their content on here is a lot stronger than before

Score: 4/5