King Iso – “8 P.M. Med Call” review

King Iso is a 32 year old MC/producer form Omaha, Nebraska who up as a protege of San Diego chopper Twisted Insane. But he would only drop first 2 full-lengths The Insanity Plea & Autophobia under Brainsick Muzik, falling out with his former mentor & putting out his next album DeMenTia independently in 2018. However, I was thrilled to see him sign with Strange Music the following spring & his debut on the Kansas City powerhouse World War Me that came out when the COVID-19 pandemic started quickly become one of the label’s best albums ever. He just dropped Get Well Soon earlier this year & I happened to like almost as much as World War Me. So when Iso took to social media saying he recorded so much music for his last effort that he’s giving us the leftovers in the form of his debut EP, it intrigued me enough to check it out.

Tech N9ne & X-Raided tag along for the trap opener “R.A.P. (Really A Psycho)” talking about that’s exactly what they are whereas “Happy” works in some somber keys to wonder if he’ll ever find happiness again. “N.A.A. (Not At All)” returns to trap turf calling out someone for not listening to him, but then Taebo tha Truth comes into the picture for “F.W.T.T. (Fuck What They Think)” shoots for a moodier aesthetic down to the finger-snaps & hi-hats talking about not caring of what others say of them.

“I.M.H. (In My Head)” brings in the acoustic to let y’all know where he spends way too much of his time while the song “Speedy Recovery” is a twangy trap banger admitting that his road to recovery isn’t happening fast enough. The penultimate track “Touch the Sky” has a more glistening quality to the beat giving the world a letter from the other side & “Otherwise” ends the EP by chillingly confessing his hopes.

For a bunch of outtakes, I think nearly all of them would’ve fit right it on Get Well Soon somewhere in the track listing as a little long as that album already is. His production is on par with that & World War Me with Iso’s themes of mental health will definitely continue to resonate with a lot of people who’re not alone & are also in a dark point of their lives.

Score: 4/5

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Smokingskul – “Nat Cap” review

Smokingskul is a 20 year old Swedish-American rapper from Naples, Florida who first came up in the spring of 2018 off his debut EP Souls. He has since gone on to follow it up with 25 more EPs in that short amount of time, but it wasn’t until earlier this week where my little brother & UnreleasedSnip founder Jacob! played some of his shit for me during a smoke session. Namely the singles “Assembly Line” & “Vlone”. I was so impressed by the witty lyricism throughout both of those cuts, that it intrigued me enough to check out his 26th EP right here following his born day on Tuesday & landing a deal with Geffen Records.

“PSA” is an eerie trap opener sending a message to the TSA whereas “Nina” takes a pluggier turn talking about guns. XanMan’s verse on “If U Was Me” is a bit underwhelming if I’m being honestly as much as I like the quirky synths & the line during Skul’s verse where he says “You Justin Bieberwith that baby Glock when you up that, you Ludacris” leading into the experimental “Jenga” calling himself “a main-eventer” & “a real drainer”.

Continuing from there with “Who is U?”, we have Skul calling out those who ain’t slime over a glossy trap instrumental just before “Hi tech” working in a whistling beat talking about being down bad & O.G.s. not showing him love. “Valid” has a glitchier quality to the production as Lunchbox comes into the picture to ponder what they be on their dicks for, but then “Kong Kong” has a more rubbery yet psychedelic vibe to it talking about doing it all himself.

The bassy “Blick” of course boasts that he has a Draco on him while the penultimate track “Who I Am” shoots for a more hypnotic aesthetic talking about running up on motherfuckers that ain’t do shit & to your spot. “Good Lad” however managed to send off the EP on a pluggier note with Skul explaining how you would’ve passed off to him if you were from the UK & the Jeff Hardy bar at the end of his verse is insane!

I seriously gotta shout out my lil brody for putting me onto to this dude because I think he really is someone to keep an eye on in the plugg scene right now. Both of the features didn’t really do anything for me with no disrespect intended whatsoever, but Skul’s witty gangsta rap heavy lyricism & crazed flows throughout this EP are both huge selling points for me to want to go back to it.

Score: 3.5/5

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Darby O’Trill – “Amputate” review

This is the 5th EP from Floridian emcee Darby O’Trill. Coming up in the fall of 2018 off his full-length debut Blood, Guts & a Whole Lotta Love, he would go on to follow it with Fester almost a year later & has extensively been working with Chapter 17/Psychopathic Records in-house producer Devereaux by bringing him into the cut to fully produce his 3rd album Piecemeal to critical acclaim during the COVID-19 pandemic. His last full-length Gully came out this past spring under Lyrikal Snuff Productionz & instantly became a modern day wicked shit classic so when it was announced that Darby & Dev were giving us Amputate as a prelude to The Tomb on Halloween, the anticipation was most certainly there.

“Carcass in the Car Wash” kicks off the whole EP with a synth-laced trap beat taking aim at all the knock-offs while the penultimate track “Take a Shower & Clean Your Clothes, You Smell Like Complete Garbage” has a more haunting atmosphere to it talking about drinking bleach. “I Hate Rappers Who Only Rap About Rapping” though sends Amputate off with an operatic loop, some hi-hats & Darby describing the sick world that we all be living in.

You know for a 3 track/5 minute EP, I think it’ll hold off just fine until we enter The Tomb a little over a month from now. Devereaux’s production continues to elevate, Darby lyrically continues to push himself as one of the best newcomers in the underground right now & the Jugg-A-Holics tags throughout are a fresh homage to DJ Trap-A-Holics.

Score: 3.5/5

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Cam’ron – “U Wasn’t There” review

Cam’ron is a 46 year old rapper, record executive & actor from Harlem, New York who came up in the mid-late 90’s as a member of the Children of the Corn. He eventually signed to Epic Records as a solo artist, dropping his first 2 full-lengths Confessions of Fire & S.D.E. (Sports, Drugs & Entertainment) with them until the contract expired. However Cam’s biggest exposure would come by forming his own group The Diplomats as a well as signing to Roc-A-Fella Records & Def Jam Recordings in 2001. His next 2 efforts Come Home with Me & Purple Haze would become his most sought out bodies of work, but Cam would leave The Roc & sign to Asylum Records in ‘05 due to the poor promotion of Purple Haze. Cam would yet again drop 2 outings with Asylum before parting ways, Killa Season & Crime Pays. He has since dropped a couple mixtapes & originally planned on retiring from making music following Purple Haze 2 a few Christmases back, Killa has had a change of heart & is bringing in Fool’s Gold Records founder A-Trak to produce his 7th EP.

Things kick off with a superior remix to “This is My City” off Cam’s last album featuring co-production from Thelonius Martin whereas “All I Really Wanted” works in some lavish keyboard embellishments & chipmunk soul with G Koop’s assistance talking about all the things he desires most in life. Conway the Machine tags along for the horn-laced “Ghetto Prophets laced with the help of DJ Khalil wittingly declaring themselves to be such, but then “Dipset Acrylics” weaves some reggae influences into the fold down to the Mr. Vegas feature awkwardly talking about sex.

After the spoken word Dame Dash skit with Kenny Beats supplying the synths, “Cheers” comes through with a colorful celebratory anthem just before Jim Jones & Styles P come into the picture for the tropical trap banger “Think Boy” demanding to know how others really feels bout them. The penultimate track “What You Do” is a jazzy ode to Killa’s accomplishments that !llmind helped put together & “Dipshits” ends the EP with a throwback to the Dipset era from the Juelz Santana appearance to Just Blaze having his hand with the beat.

For a little 27 minute EP, I can honestly say that U Wasn’t There is the most I’ve enjoyed a Cam project in a minute & will go down as a high point on his catalog in due time. A-Trak’s production happens to be admirably more eclectic than Purple Haze 2 was with Killa Cam sounding like he has a fire under his ass lyrically.

Score: 4/5

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Ransom – “This Life Made Me” review

This is the 8th EP from Jersey City wordsmith Ransom. Coming up as 1/2 of the short-lived duo A-Team alongside Hitchcock, he branched out on his own in 2008 following their disbandment beginning with his 2008 full-length debut Street Cinema & the Statik Selektah-produced sophomore effort The Proposal. But it’s been safe to say these last couple years have been his biggest so far whether it be the 5 EPs that he put out produced by Nicholas Craven & his last EP 7 based around the 7 deadly sins or his previous album Heavy’s the Head produced by Big Ghost Ltd., the Rome Streetz collab album Coup de Grâce & more recently his latest album No Rest for the Wicked earlier this spring. But now that fall’s here, Ransom’s enlisting Mayor & Ty Jamz to produce This Life Made Me top to bottom.

“Pain is Glory” is an organ-laced opener declaring himself to be the modern day Michelangelo whereas “Ignorance” works in a boom bap instrumental to talk about talking about being a businessman. “The Prophecy” takes a more triumphant route bragging that he’s the greatest while 38 Spesh tags along for the soulful “Last Gasp” confessing that they wanna see the best sides of them. “The World is Yours” has some cool rock undertones to the beat talking about swerving the law, but then Havoc comes into the picture to bring back the organs for the closer “Purge Night” belittling their opposition.

Ran went on social media last night calling this EP “a warm up for what’s about to come” & whatever that may be, I’m very excited to hear it because this dude is one of the most consistent MCs in all of hip hop today. Not only does he manage to explain how he the life he loved made him, but Mayor & Ty Jamz also manage to cook up some very eclectic production together pulling from boom bap to soul & even rock.

Score: 4/5

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Boondox – “So Much Blood” review

This is the 6th EP from Georgia emcee Boondox. Coming up as 1/3 of the trio Southern Hustlas Inc. under the moniker Turncoat Dirty, he would go on to sign with Psychopathic Records in 2005 following the release of his debut EP Dama Blanca & remained under the Insane Clown Posse’s wing for about a decade putting out his first 4 albums along with his 2nd EP PunkinHed through the infamous Detroit label that runs beneath the streets. Former label-mates Twiztid then brought the Killer Scarecrow on board over at Majik Ninja Entertainment in the winter of 2016, whom he’s still signed to today. Last time we heard from Boondox was last summer with the 7-produced Cryptodirt EP that Mobstyle Music backed with the help of MNE & is now ringing in the fall 4 days early in the form of So Much Blood.

After the titular intro, the first song “Prey for Me” is a demented opener produced by Fritz the Cat with some rock undertones talking about being unable to pray for those who be hoping on his downfall whereas “A Beautiful Death” dives into trap territory thanks to 7 pondering how he ends up in the situations he gets himself into. “Re-Animator” works in some more rock undertones expressing that he wants something real while the song “Devil’s Due” returns to the trap talking about possession. The penultimate track “Open Vein” has a bit of a boom bap flare to it admitting that he feels alive committing murders & “Gravely Ill” ends the EP with a heinous trap banger about falling asleep in the cemetery.

In comparison to the heavy gangsta rap themes of Cryptodirt about 13 months ago now, So Much Blood finds Boondox returning to the wicked shit just in time for the Autumn Equinox next Thursday. Lyrically, the killer scarecrow sounds more vicious than ever with 7 & Fritz’ production excellently honing in on a darker sound to help bring these gruesome tales to life.

Score: 4/5

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Autumn! – “Golden Child 2” review

Autumn! is a 24 year old rapper, singer/songwriter & producer from Lafayette, Louisiana who made he got his start by dropping 16 EPs & a full-length debut on SoundCloud since 2018 prior to signing to Victor Victor Worldwide & Republic Records following Not Much Left this past fall. He just put out his sophomore album albeit major label debut Antagonist! few months back to positive reception & returned to his plugg roots a month ago with ##B4GC2, but is steadily grinding by putting out his 18th EP.

The intro sets it off with a glistening instrumental talking about being up now whereas “Inside My Head!” takes a more atmospheric route refusing to let the industry take his soul. “Can We Talk!” goes pluggnb responding to everyone who said he fell off prior to “Golden Child!” confessing about lying that he’s fine when he’s really not over a tranquil instrumental. The song “Jay n Bey!” works in a guitar comparing his love for his partner to that of The Carters while the penultimate track “Should Know Me Better!” spaciously talks about needing to relax after moving too fast & that he’ll always be here in the scene. “Myself!” though is a fun send-off to the EP telling this hoe not to deny that she’s like the rest.

As a sequel to one of the best projects in Autumn!’s ever-growing discography, it certainly lived up to my expectations. Much like the prequel & the predecessor, the actual follow-up itself picks up where things left off with it’s well-crafted pluggnb production that helped blow him up & the subject matter all comes from a unique perspective that he continues to bring to the table. He & Weiland are definitely holding it down for Victor Victor right now.

Score: 3.5/5

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YBN Nahmir – “Faster Car Music” review

This is the debut EP from Alabama rapper YBN Nahmir. Coming up as the de facto leader of the now defunct YBN collective, he would go on to drop his full-length debut Visionland about a year & a half ago under Atlantic Records to be universally panned (more specifically for “Soul Train”). But after jumping ship to Def Jam Recordings recently, Nahmir’s looking to redeem himself in the form of Faster Car Music.

“Spend It” is a generically produced opener unenthusiastically bragging, that he has $800 on him whereas “Where I’m From” happens to be one of the better cuts with it’s vibrant production & the subject matter describing what it’s like around his parts. “Bows” has a decent instrumental to it even though there’s not that much substance to what Nahmir’s saying leading into “Pip ‘n Walk”, which is a bass-heavy cut talking about being the plug.

The song “Inna Trap” confesses that the feds raided his shit over a grim beat while the penultimate track “Only 1” comes off as a forced pop rap ballad with an ok Jeremih hook & the lyrics talking about how this bitch is the only partner that he really needs. “Lamborghini Truck” however finishes the EP with a bland ode to the whip that he be pulling up in.

As decent as From a Bird’s Eye View was compared to The Lost Boy, at least Cordae publicly acknowledged that recently & makes me feel like next album we’ll be better. That being said: I don’t get any more out of Faster Car Music than I did with Visionlandwhatsoever. It’s lazy songwriting, uninspired subject matter & cut-rate production makes it really hard for me to believe that this EP would appeal to any sports car enthusiast.

Score: 1/5

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Internet Money Records – “We All We Got” review

Internet Money Records is a record label & producer collective from Los Angeles, California founded by Taz Taylor. Their full-length debut B4 the Storm celebrates it’s 2 year anniversary at the end of the month & even though it was a disappointment for me personally, the singles they put out prior to their debut EP over here intrigued me enough to go into it optimistic that it would be better than their last effort.

“$2k in the Soda” by Lucki is a triumphant opener talking about only pulling up to Los Angeles for the drink whereas “She Want Some More” by Ken Carson & Lil Tecca takes a cloudier route describing bitches who can’t get enough of them. “On Me” by Destroy Lonely works in a rage beat talking about staying strapped while the song “No Handoutz” by Yeat is a fun successor to “Twizzy Rich” off his full-length debut Up 2 Më. The penultimate track “Codeine Cowboy” by Lil Yachty incorporates some synthesizers thanks to Rio Levya talking about how he hasn’t slept in a week & “Falsetto” by Tecca closes out the EP on a spacious note going into detail about his ride or die.

Coming away from We All We Got, it definitely lived up to my expectations & is without hesitation the best project that the Internet Money crew has put together yet. This time around, the production that they bring to the table dabbles with more modern sounds like hypertrap & the performances from the guests are a lot more consistent than they were almost 2 years ago.

Score: 3.5/5

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RhymeStyleTroop – “Cypher” review

RhymeStyleTroop is a 26 year old MC from Imperial Beach, California who’s been turning heads in the underground for the past year now by dropping a total of 6 head-banging singles along with her mic session at UndergroundHipHopBlog.Com & her opening set at their 10 year anniversary show last month. However, all of that has been leading up to her conceptual debut EP over here fully produced by Manzu Beatz.

After the titular intro, the first song “Full Metal Jacket” sets it off with a soul sample & some dusty drums spitting some battle bars whereas the MC Wicks-assisted “Militant” takes a more spookier route talking about their titular mindset. “War of Art” works in some weepy strings advising that you’ll get burned playing with her just before “Ill” talks about being as dope as she is all her life over a downtrodden instrumental.

Following that, “Power” with M Doc Diego takes a more ominous turn explaining that they don’t give a fuck about any of these other cats while the song “Robin Hood” incorporates some vibraphones talking about making the time-wasters pay. The penultimate track “Strength” fuses some strings & keys together expressing that she feels like $1M & “Solomon” is a cinematic closer warning that the reaper’s coming.

For Cypher to be RhymeStyleTroop’s first official project, I think it’s a pretty solid introduction to a wider audience. The whole concept of a soldier finding her resilience is well pieced together down to the intricate lyricism & Manzu Beatz reveals himself to be one of the best producers that Italy has to offer right now.

Score: 4/5

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