Mach-Hommy – “Balens Cho” review

This is the 11th EP from New Jersey emcee Mach-Hommy. Blowing up in the underground off his Griselda-backed sophomore effort H.B.O. (Haitian Body Odor), he & Tha God Fahim fell out with them shortly after only to reconcile this past Christmas & then Mach returned to the label over the spring with one of best albums of the year: Pray for Haiti. But in light of his Dump Gawds colleague Your Old Droog dropping Space Bar last week, Mach is continuing to apply pressure by dropping Balens Cho.

After the “La Prèmiere Bougie” intro, the first song “Labou” starts the whole thing off with Nicholas Craven weaving in some incredible saxophones wittily talking about being the new Rick Rubin & Russell Simmons whereas “La Deuxième” is just a decent interlude. “Separation of the Sheep & the Goats” incorporates a sweet vocal sample humbly opening up about his blessings leading into the “Magnum Band” sequel produced by the late Ras G which I’ll go as far to say is superior & darker than the predecessor.

After the “La Troisième” interlude, we have Mach talking about making it out the hood rich for “Lajan Sal” accompanied by an instrumental that gives me crazy Italian monster vibes just before the “La Quatrième” interlude comes into play. “Wooden Nickels” is probably the most heart-wrenching cut on the EP cautioning shady motherfuckers while the song “Traditional” cleverly uses the same rhyme scheme throughout over a healthy mix of horns & whistling even though it could’ve been a little bit longer.

After the “La Cinquième” interlude, Tha God Fahim tags along for the penultimate track “Money Magnets” getting on some boom bap shit talking about dominating the rap game & “Self Luh” finishes the EP with Mach encouraging listeners to treat their bodies like it’s the only one they got on top of a comforting beat from Conductor Williams.

I’ve been fiending for this shit hard ever since it was originally announced a month ago & my God is it a great follow-up to Pray for Haiti. The excessive amount of interludes are annoying because they’re all so short that there’s no point of them being on there, but the production is as equally fantastic & Mach still manages to drop bars that’ll make you run it back.

Score: 4/5

DJ Muggs – “Winter 2” review

DJ Muggs is a 53 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 4 solo efforts & after dominating 2021 by fully producing projects like Death & the Magician or Cartagena, Muggs is returning for a Winter sequel given that the 1-year anniversary of that album is coming up next month.

After the “Winter 2 Theme” intro, the first song “Beaming Hi” by RLX is a symphonic opener spitting the fly lifestyle he’s living these days whereas “Absolem Reprise” by Roc Marciano takes a dusty boom bap route talking about being prone to kill it. “All White Party” by Meyhem Lauren fuses together some keyboards & punchy drums spitting that they gotta kill him to take his spot leading into RLX returning for the jazzy yet drumless “Have a Bad Day” hoping that on those who get in his face.

Meanwhile on “L.A. County”, we have T.F. coming into the picture ominously detailing his life as a Crip just before “Panoramic Sunroof” by Crimeapple keeps the boom bap vibes going detailing his mind moving as fast as the drugs he’s pushing. “God Killa” by Rigz has a bit of an Italian flare to the instrumental talking about killing motherfuckers’ egos, but then “Father Time” by Ill Bill takes a dark electronic approach expressing his desire to chop bodies up.

“More Fire” by Hologram weaves in some heavenly vocals throughout saying you can’t ruin his game while the vibraphone-heavy “Absolem Reprise, Pt. 2” by Roc Marciano perfectly picks up right where the predecessor left off lyrically. The final song “It’s Over” by RLX mixes a guitar & an organ talking about the title he earned from his gusto, but “Winter Black Ice” finishes the album off with an instrumental piece similar to the intro.

Overall, I think this is a worthy sequel to round out such a prolific year in Muggs’ career. I like how he gives a couple of the guest MCs more shine rather than just giving them 1 joint each as well as the diversity of sound throughout.

Score: 3.5/5

Mach-Hommy – “Pray for Haiti” review

Mach-Hommy is a 38 year old MC from Newark, New Jersey breaking out in 2017 when he dropped his sophomore album H.B.O. (Haitian Body Odor) under Griselda Records. However, he & Tha God Fahim fell out with the label shortly after only for both of them to reconcile this past Christmas. But since May is Haitian Heritage Month, we have Mach marking his return to the Buffalo powerhouse by dropping his 5th full-length album to celebrate.

“The 26th Letter” is a trumpet-laced opener where Mach goes on about rearranging the whole game whereas the next song “No Blood Sweat” jumps on a pillowy Camoflauge Monk instrumental to say he taking food out cats’ mouths. Westside Gunn hops on “Folie á Deux” as he & Mach tell all the fuckboys that they’re finished over a psychedelic boom bap beat from Conductor Williams before declaring every day as Easter Gunnday on the soulful “Maxron Jaxon”.

“The Stellar Ray Theory” was a great choice for a lead single with its sax-heavy production & the lyrics about cats “blaming clouds on the rain & the sky” while he gets in his storytelling bag on “Marie” & I love the “Hail Mary” tribute in the hook. After the “Leta Yo” skit, Mach vents that he keeps seeing Deedee & Stevie in his naps with Nicholas Craven providing him with a bass guitar & a vocal loop for “Kriminel” just before declaring that he’s in his bag on the Sadhugold-produced “Pen Rale”.

“Murder Czn” with Westside Gunn of course a melancholic cut using for blood while Tha God Fahim tags along for the rich “Magnum Band” to help talk about having 357 on deck. The back & forth chemistry between Mach & Westside on the piano-tinged “Rami” is fantastic & after the “Kreyol” skit, the song “Au Revoir” goes into a more rock direction with the help of DJ Green Lantern as well as lyrics going at “pussy n****s”. The penultimate track “Blockchain” has a slowed down jazz sample throughout as Mach explains that there’s too many information highway cats riding the wave & then “10 Boxes: Sin Eater” is a dusty finisher saying he’s been wavy.

As much as I really enjoyed Pray for Paris, I can argue that Pray for Haiti is one of those immensely rare instances where the sequel album is better than the predecessor. We get a good look into Mach-Hommy’s Haitian roots whilst sticking to the raw lo-fi aesthetics we’ve all come to know & love from him.

Score: 4.5/5

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