Rigz – “Heal In” review

This is the 4th full-length album from Rochester emcee Rigz. Getting his start as a member of Da Cloth, he eventually broke out solo in 2017 off his debut EP Calculated & then the debut mixtape I Got Samples. This was followed up with a sequel tape & then his 2nd EP A Piece of the Action until his popularity began to grow in 2019 off his Chup-produced 3rd mixtape Roach Gutta Slums & then the Big Ghost Ltd. produced collab effort with fellow Cloth member Mooch called The Only Way Out. Then he brought in Futurewave to produce his full-length debut Substance Abuse & the DJ Muggs-produced Gold, but is now returning in the form of Heal In after laying low since.

After the “Full Plate” intro, the first song “Somewhere” kicks off the album with Rigz over a synth-laced instrumental from Chup talking about how he’d rather die than be stuck in projects trying to survive prior to Bishop the Great & Shonyea tagging along for the raw “Pick Ya Poizon” to let y’all know that there ain’t no avoiding them. “Nobody” has a more lavish approach courtesy of Vanderslice admitting the loneliness that he’s felt, but then Rob Gates comes into the picture for the tense “Instacart” to compare their staged blicks to the titular grocery delivery/pickup service.

M.A.V. joins Rigz over a more sample-based beat on “Guide Me” to get 1 thing straight & after the “Revolving Credit” skit, “It’s Fuck Me But Love You” with Asun Eastwood finds the pair over a chilling loop talking about how they fell into themselves as opposed to falling out with others. “Parrying” with Jai Black blends some pianos, kicks & snares so they can flare shit just before the drumless “Masterpiece” talks about the stains his jeans sustained in the midst of making a work of art.

Meanwhile on the Mooch-assisted “Fundamentals”, we have both Rochester lyricists accompanied by a string-tinged boom bap instrumental to get in their gangsta bag whereas “Henny Shards” brings back the keys talking about the broken glass that he’s ran over. The track “Brand Ya Pain” with M.A.V. has a more jazzier tone as they deliver that soul music while the penultimate song “Exhibit R” reminding us of his roots in the dope game before music. The title track however closes out the album with introspective look at the stresses he’s faced within the last year.

Gold was amongst my favorite albums of last year & if anyone has been wondering what Rigz has been up to since then, you’re gonna have to check out Heal In because it’s a great comeback. Couple lackluster feature performances here & there, but most of them manage to come correct as the subject matter is more personal than dude’s previous efforts & combining that with the signatory raw production we all came to know & love Da Cloth for remains in tact.

Score: 4/5

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Mooch – “Da 5th Power” review

Mooch is a 29 year old MC from Rochester, New York most notable for being a part of Da Cloth. He came onto my radar just last year when he dropped 3 solo albums & then a collab effort with Rigz but after a 4 month delay, Mooch is enlisting Thank5th for his 4th full-length album.

The album kicks off with “Puro”, where Mooch talks over being the illest over a luxurious piano instrumental. The next song “Slap” talks about fucking someone up over a gully instrumental while the track “Hard Knock” with Rigz sees the 2 talking about growing up in NY over chipmunked-vocal sample. The song “Grab da Work” talks about hustling over a grim instrumental & after the “Pandemic Coke” skit, the track “Microwave” reunites with Rigz to continue the themes of drug dealing over a soulful beat.

The song “Going Back to Cali” talks about hoping he never relapses over a dramatic instrumental while the track “Care Less talks about being him over a melancholic beat. The song “I Need You” talks about romance over a lush boom bap instrumental while the penultimate track “Tuesday” with Rob Gates & Rome Streetz finds the trio talking about the reckless shit they do over a ghostly beat. The album ends with “Cure”, where Mooch compares his music to an antidote over a lavish instrumental.

Dude’s one of my favorites members of Da Cloth & this new album was well worth waiting a few months for. I wish it was a bit longer, but Thank5th’s production is on point & Mooch continues to reveal himself as one of the illest lyricists that the Big Apple has to offer today.

Score: 3.5/5

Da Cloth – “Da Fixtape” review

Da Cloth is a hip hop outfit from Rochester, New York consisting of Mooch, Rigz, M.A.V., Rob Gates, Times Change, Illanoise, Symph & Speed. They first started making noise in the underground in 2016 when the group put out The Fixtape & then Broad Day Kidnaps the following year, but their profile grew as each member starting putting out projects of their own. Whether that be Mooch’s Boss Sauce, Rigz’ Roach Gutta Slums, M.A.V.’s Hoodlum, Rob Gates’ Rob Like Get Robbed as well as their respective collab albums The Only Way Out & The Dark Side of Nature (the latter of the 2 both feature Big Ghost Ltd. production front to back). But to continue their prolific year, everyone’s getting back together for another collective mixtape.

The tape starts off with “Last Dose”, where Da Cloth paint some vivid street imagery about over a deadly instrumental. The next song “Count Us In” is a Mooch solo cut about how his crew is gonna be winning over a boom bap beat while the track “Back Door” talks about the block being hot over an eerie instrumental. The song “Ask Me Why” opens about the ugly shit they’ve been through over an weepy loop provided by Nicholas Craven & after the “Hardest Out” skit, the track “When the Studio Talked Back” sees Rigz going solo to demonically attack wack rappers over an gritty boom bap from Chup.

The song “Shake ‘Em” gets violent over a chilling sample while “Speaker of the House” sees M.A.V. on his own talking about turning nothing into everything over an instrumental with a depressing atmosphere to it. The song “All About the Money” lyrically needs no further explanation with spine-tingling beat from Eto while the track “Role Models” celebrates their success over a boom bap beat with a killer guitar passage throughout.

The song “Hobbies” is a Rob Gates solo cut about busting his gun for fun over a grim instrumental from V Don while the track “Too Much” with Tekk 9 talks about there being enough nonsense & bullshit over a beat with a somewhat whimsical feel to it. The song “31 to 62” gets on their hustling shit over an electrifying instrumental while the track “Stretched” gets back with Tekk 9 once again to call out the rats over a boom bap beat with a bleak piano loop.

The closer “Ready” shows how ambitious they are over a rock-flavored instrumental while the first bonus track “Da Big Fish” talks about being top dogs over a desolate beat. The other bonus cut “Made Me What I Am” then discuses how they became the men they are today over some icy keyboards.

We all know Griselda have been the current Kings of New York for quite some time now but if you ask me, Da Cloth is right behind them. Each member continues to stand out in their own unique way & given how much all 8 of them have evolved in the last 3-4 years, hearing the crew together again in full effect has made them stronger than ever before.

Score: 4/5