Rome Streetz – “Death & the Magician” 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: 4.5/5

DJ Muggs – “Winter” review

DJ Muggs is a 52 year old producer & DJ from Queens, New York who came up as part of The 7A3 alongside the Bouldin Brothers in the late 80s. The trio only put out 1 album together but as the 90s approached, Muggs started to become a household name in the west coast as the producer for Cypress Hill & the leader of the Soul Assassins. He would go on to release 2 solo albums & with the 8 year anniversary of his previous one Bass for Your Face approaches next month, Muggs is finally delivering a follow-up.

After the “Winter is Here” intro, the first song “Warning Shots” by Boldy James talks about swimming or sinking over a creepy-sounding beat whereas the next track “Olympic Stamps” by Cappadonna talks about how his crew rolls thick comes together over a rowdy instrumental. The song “Japanese Space Program” by RLX talks about wanting all the riches over an operatic beat while the track “Food on My Fork” by Rome Streetz shouts out those who think they can go toe-to-toe with him over a rock-flavored instrumental.

The song “Veneno” by Crimeapple, Eto & Meyhem Lauren sees the 3 talking about that fly shit over a minimalist beat while the penultimate track “Resume” by Hologram talks about how they wanted him dead 10 years ago over a sinister instrumental. The closer “Roll the Credits” by al.divino talks about how listeners already know what the deal is over a cinematic beat whereas the bonus cut “Winter’s Theme in DM” is an instrumental piece that you can just sit back & smoke a bowl to.

As a whole, this album is solid & I would absolutely recommend it if anyone loves Muggs as I do. He could’ve added a few more joints & stretch it out longer than just 25 minutes, but his production is still very much top notch all these decades later & the guest MCs he brings on board come correct for the most part.

Score: 3.5/5

al.divino – “Kilogram” review

al.divino is a 26 year old MC/producer from Massachusetts that I’ve been following for a couple of years now. Dude’s been steadily dropping projects since 2015, with the last one being the Futurewave-produced Kataklizm this past summer. But to continue his grind, al.divino is enlisting the West Coast veteran DJ Muggs himself to drop Kilogram exclusively on the Soul Assassins website.

The album kicks off with “Jansport”, where al.divino talks about that pusher life over a horn loop. The next track “Money on Ya Head” talks about putting hits out over a sinister beat while the song “Streets Still” tells the listener to give him his respect & talks about those who tried to count him out over a psychedelic sample. The title track gets reckless over by a grungy guitar loop while the song “Jabba Jaws” with Estee Nack sees the 2 talking about turning dudes into mince meat over spooky boom bap beat.

The track “Mr. Dynamite” gets back on the drug dealer tip over an eerie instrumental while the song “Landslide” talks about his crew be winning over a boom bap beat with some dramatic string sections. After the “Wildstyle” interlude, the track “Larry Davis” talks about how no one can fuck with him over an intimidating instrumental while the song “Oven” with RLX sees the 2 getting mafioso over a bewitching beat. The album ends with “Singapore”, where al.divino talks about his shooters over a foreboding instrumental.

As much as I highly enjoyed Kataklizm, I think al.divino really outdid himself on this new album over here. Probably his best work to date in my opinion. His presence on the mic is at it’s most ferocious & DJ Muggs’ signature sound meshes in with al.divino’s relentless lyricism very well.

Score: 4.5/5

Meyhem Lauren – “Members Only” review


Meyhem Lauren is a 36 year old MC from Queens, New York that came up as the leader of the Smart Crew graffiti team. He eventually started rapping in the mid-2000s, but it wouldn’t be until this decade that he saw success. Most notably with Mandatory Brunch Meetings, the Buckwild produced Silk PyramidsPiatto D’oro & most notably the DJ Muggs produced Gems from the Equinox. The latter was followed up with Frozen Angels last year, but it seems like now that the 2 are getting back together for Meyhem’s 9th EP.

The EP kicks off with “Aztec Snowflakes”, where Meyhem gets at his competition’s throats over an old school instrumental. The next song “GT3” gets lavish over a grimy boom bap beat while the penultimate track “Wavy” brags & the drums on here are thunderous. The EP then finishes off with “Blue Chinese”, where Meyhem gets mafioso over a morbid instrumental.

This is a dope continuation of Meyhem & Muggs’ partership. They continue to compliment each other’s own raw styles very well. Definitely looking forward to their next full-length album together whenever it comes out.

Score: 3.5/5

Kill ‘Em All – Self-titled review



cover-22-768x768Kill ‘Em All is a newly formed duo consisting of New York spitter Mach-Hommy & legendary California producer DJ Muggs. The duo first came together last summer with the songs “Blue Horseshoes” & “Contagion Theory” off of the latest Soul Assassins album Dia del Asesinato, but they made their debut this past March with Tuez-Les Tous & if that wasn’t enough, Mach & Muggs are already hitting us with a sophomore album.

After the “Jolly Roger Introduction”, we go into the first song “Lady Justice”. Where Mach literally sounds like he’s rambling drunk over a soulful beat. The track “Apollon’s Wheels” gets mafioso with Your Old Droog sees the 2 over some strings while the song “Cessna 210” with Tha God Fahim sees the 2 flaunting over a boom bap beat with some sirens. The track “Force Majeure” talks about how far he’s come over a boom bap beat with some piano keys & while the next 3 songs all feature verses from Tha God Fahim.

The first of these 3 being “The Omni” which has a great atmosphere in the production, but Mach’s delivery is atonal & Fahim’s feature is boring. The track right after “Daniel Fast” sees then sees the 2 spitting game over a dreary beat while the song “Mount Tambora” gets bloodthirsty over a forbidding beat. The penultimate track “Anacoma” with Sick Jacken sees the 2 rapping in Spanish over an enticing beat & then the album finishes with “Titanium White”, where Mach & Fahim get back together to spit some gritty street bars over over a dismal boom bap beat that awkwardly changes up during the last 30 seconds.

Compared to Tuez-Les Tous, this was jus ok. Mach & Muggs still show a solid chemistry, but the overabundance of features kinda overtakes it.

Score: 2.5/5

Crimeapple – “Medallo” review

Crimeapple is an MC from New Jersey who first garnered my attention in 2017 with his 4th EP Sweet Dreams that dropped on a couple years ago on Halloween along with his Big Ghost Ltd. produced debut album Aguardiente last March. He released a fantastic sophomore album Wet Dirt with DJ Skizz earlier this year & if that’s not enough, he’s coming back with the help of DJ Muggs to deliver his 3rd full-length album.

After the titular intro, we go into the first song “En Vivo Desde Manrique”. Where Crimeapple delivers some gritty battle bars over a haunting beat. The track “Tiburones” then flaunts over a grimy boom bap beat while the song “Camisas” continues to brag over a piano-inflicted boom bap beat. The track “Prescription” reflects on his drug dealing days over a alluring sample while the song “Villa Hermosa” gets reflective over a classy sample.

The track “Crazy Eddie’s” talks about how sharp he is over a boom beat with an ominous bass-line while the song “Just Because” compares his music to drugs over some strings. The track “Acetone Wash” with Conway the Machine sees the 2 gets bloodthirsty over an eerie sample & while the song “22 Blue 2s” has a nice boom bap/rock fusion in the instrumental, the Primo Profit verse at the start does nothing for me.

The track “No More 2 for 5” has a beautifully horror-esque vibe to it as Crimeapple’s voice sounding like it’s coming from a walkie talkie while the song “Aguas Profundas” gets mafioso over a minimalist instrumental. The penultimate track “Bloodtype” gets back on the battle tip over a nightmarish instrumental & then the album ends with “Tellin’ Me Lies”, where Crimeapple gets sensual over a soulful beat.

Yet again, Crimeapple outdoes himself & reveals himself as one of the best in the underground right now. His lyricism keeps getting sharper & DJ Muggs’ signature sound suits him near perfectly.

Score: 4.5/5

Roc Marciano – “Kaos” review

Roc Marciano & DJ Muggs are 2 criminally underrated legends in the hip hop world. Both of whom been having a big 2018, with Roc putting out Rosebudd’s Revenge 2: The Bitter Dose in February & Behold a Dark Horse just last month while Muggs just put out a new Soul Assassins album Dia del Asesinato & the new Cypress Hill album Elephants on Acid within the past 2 months. But now, they’re uniting to put out Roc’s 7th full-length album.

After a 2 minute instrumental intro that sounds like it could be playing at the start of a blaxploitation film, the first song “Dolph Lundgren” sees Roc talking about him & an unnamed current rapper being from different eras over a minimalist instrumental with some acoustic guitar strumming. The next track “White Dirt” boasts about what he has over a grimy rap rock beat while “The E Train” is about being one of the illest over a laidback instrumental.

The track “Aunt Bonnie” vividly talks about murder over an apocalyptic instrumental while the song “Rolls Royce Rugs” of course returns to the bragging tip over a classy instrumental. The track “Caught a Lick” has a pretty murky vibe to it & Roc’s delivery on here is probably the catchiest on the entire album, but it’s way too short. The song “Wild Oats” gets mafioso over a haunting instrumental while the track “Shit I’m On” gets on some “king shit” over a piano. The song “Wormhole” talks about his main chick over a hypnotic beat & the outro spurs battle bars over an instrumental with a killer guitar & occasionally some orchestral elements.

To be honest, this is one of the best albums Roc has ever done. Despite it’s 36 minute runtime, his gritty lyricism & DJ Muggs’ signature production style mesh with each other near perfectly. I can also appreciate Roc for not getting any features on here as well.

Score: 4.5/5

Cypress Hill – “Elephants on Acid” review

Cypress Hill is a legendary West Coast hip hop group consisting of MCs B-Real & Sen Dog alongside producer DJ Muggs & percussionist Eric Bobo. Their first 3 albums are widely considered to hip hop classics, but their material since then has been considered average. However, they are returning with their 9th full-length album after an 8 year hiatus.

After the Tusko intro, we go into the first song “Band of Gypsies”. Here, B-Real & Sen are spirting battle bars over a psychedelic beat. The track “Put ‘Em in the Ground” gets murderous over an eerie vocal sample & after the “Satao” interlude, we go into the song “Jesus Was a Stoner”. Here, B-Real makes many references to weed & religion over an instrumental with a haunting atmosphere.

The song “Pass the Knife” returns to the murder bars over an eerie beat & after the “LSD” interlude, we go into the song “Oh Na Na”. Here, B-Real of course talks about getting high over some infectious horns. After the “Holy Mountain” interlude, we go into the song “Locos”. Here, B-Real & Sen deliver street bars over a gritty beat.

The track “Falling Down” confrontationally talks about life over a distorted bass line & after the “Elephant Acid” interlude, the song “Insane OG” pretty much speaks for itself over a apocalyptic beat. However, I wish it was longer than just 84 seconds. “The 5th Angel” is an instrumental interlude that sounds like it could be playing in a trailer for an upcoming horror movie while the track “Warlord” talks about judgement day over a fitting boom bap beat.

The song “Reefer Man” is a sequel to “Dr. Greenthumb” with a tuba-inflicted boom bap beat & after the “Thru the Rabbit Hole” interlude, we go into the song “Crazy”. Here, B-Real & Sen talk about insanity over a trippy beat. The track “Muggs is Dead” is a psychedelic instrumental interlude while the penultimate track “Blood on My Hands” sees B-Real comparing himself to the Grim Reaper over an ominous beat. The closer “Stairway to Heaven” sees B-Real talking about his prediction of the afterlife over a prominent woodwind sample.

From front to back, this was a strong return to form for Cypress. Sure there are WAY too many interludes, but DJ Muggs’ production is just as gritty as the old days & it’s a bit more experimental too. The lyricism is sharper as well. If you wanna hear a fantastic comeback album from one of the greatest West Coast groups ever, PLEASE give this a listen.

Score: 4/5

Soul Assassins – “Dia del Asesinato” review

The Soul Assassins are a legendary collective founded by one of the most underrated producers in hip hop history: DJ Muggs. They dropped their iconic debut album Chapter I in 1997 & they followed it up in 2000 with the equally solid II. However, they collectively haven’t dropped that much material since then with this being their 4th full-length album & their first since Intermission in 2009.

After the “Santa Muerte” intro, the first song “Day of the Dead by Kool G Rap sees the Genius of Rap getting murderous over a perfectly suiting instrumental. The next track “Assassination Day” by G Rap & MF DOOM sees the 2 lyrical titans getting confrontational over a haunting instrumental while the track “Yacht Party” by Raekwon of course vividly gets mafioso over a luxurious instrumental. The song “Black Snow Beach” by Rae & Meyhem Lauren brags about how better they are than you over some strings while the next 2 songs are solely performed by Mach-Hommy. The first one “Blue Horseshoes” has a decent instrumental, but Mach sounds like he phoned it in.

The other one “Contagion Theory” has a somewhat jazzy instrumental that’s actually beautiful, but it doesn’t sound fully written to me. Things pick up on “Wally Face”, where Hus Kingpin provides some vivid storytelling over a settle beat with an alluring vocal sample for the hook. The song “Duck Sauce” by Eto talks about how this ain’t a game over a boom bap beat with an electric guitar while the track “Niggas is Pussy” by Meyhem Lauren speaks for itself over a heavy guitar. And before things finish with the outro, the final song “Death Wish” by Freddie Gibbs & DOOM displays the 2 spitting battle bars over an eerie beat.

I’ve been wondering when or if the Soul Assassins were ever gonna drop an album again & they came back pretty triumphantly. The performers are outstanding for the most part as is DJ Muggs’ production & the concept about using hip hop against corruption is very well thought out

Score: 4/5