This is the 4th proper full-length album from Queens emcee Flee Lord. Coming up in 2017 as protege of the late Prodigy, he has since become known for building up a massive discography for himself in the last 5 years. This includes the Loyalty or Death: Lord Talk trilogy produced by GodBlessBeatz, the Loyalty or Trust duology produced by 38 Spesh, the DJ Shay-produced Lucky 13 the Buckwild-produced Hand Me My Flowers, the Pete Rock-produced The People’s Champ & the Havoc-produced In the Name of Prodigy, the DJ Muggs-produced RAMM£LLZ££ & the Roc Marciano produced Delgado. He just linked back up with Mephux over the spring for the 3rd & final installment of the Pray for the Evil trilogy, but is returning 5 months later with Ladies & Gentlemen.
“We Was Gettin’ It Off” opens up the album with a string-laced boom bap instrumental from GhostDave spitting some battle bars whereas “Da Warm Up” takes a jazzier route thanks to Futurewave encouraging to throw some shells if you’re real with the steel. Rome Streetz & T.F tag along for “Outta Bounds” with a fresh ass Tiona Deniece hook as well getting in their hustler bags on top of some keys & dusty drums prior to the cinematic “Ride Away” bringing you the hardcore.
Continuing from there with “Step Brothas”, we have O.T. the Real coming into the picture for a weepy boom bap ballad detailing the crime life just before “Recipes” with Vic Spencer returns to jazz rap territory explaining that the recipe to lose is being too high & fly. The soul sample throughout 3 Queens” by Che Noir, Dazy Lyn & 7xvethegenius is a nice touch as the 3 display their skills leading into Flee returning on the piano/boom bap infused Fake Thugs” with Bangdana Red talking about how crazy shit is.
“Pardon Me” brings back the jazz courtesy of Harry Fraud to speak from the heart while “Broken Hearted” with Trizz weaves a vocal loop into the mix as the pair admit they’re more mad about their bros & a bitch. “Mission Complete” despite its 53 second brevity finds Flee on top of an orchestral beat from Che Noir talking about going down in history while the song “Everything” with G4 Jag jumps on top of a tense instrumental talking about coming from nothing to having it all. The penultimate track “Last of the Real” has a more dejecting tone sonically declaring himself as such & “On to the Next” is a guitar-woven closer talking about those who hate seeing him win.
As classic some of Flee’s extensive EP work has been, I’ve felt that an full-length effort with more than 10 tracks & over a half hour in length has been a little overdue & the last time I think we really got anything in that form was No More Humble Fashion a couple Black Fridays back. Needless to say: It’s a solid follow-up to Pray for the Evil 3. He sounds fully focused, the production cast all stick to their own stylistic strengths & most of the features come correct as well. If this is the last thing we’re getting from him this year, then here’s to 2023!
T.F. is a 36 year old MC from Los Angeles, California who I first heard after he was featured on “Tookie Knows, Pt. II” off ScHoolboy Q’s magnum opus Blank Face LP. He then dropped his debut EP No Hooks only 7 months later, which was followed up by his full-length debut ErThangSkanless & then a 2nd EP called OktoberFest. Then after appearing on Flee Lord’s 8th EP Hand Me My Flowers produced entirely by Buckwild & put out 2 more EPs on his own, T.F. eventually signed to Lord Mobb Music & dropped his sophomore effort Skanless Summer last spring. But now after releasing Big Moon a few months back, T.F. is back in effect for his 3rd album produced by Mephux & Roc Marciano.
The title track sets off the album with a pillowy boom bap cut talking about violence coming from everyday arguments whereas “Olathe” with Conway the Machine & Roc Marciano finds the trio on top of a narcocorrido sample getting in their mafioso bag. BVNGS tags along for “Death Wish” to talk about needing to be killed if you ain’t loyal to the game on top of a despondent beat just before “Crash Bandicoot” goes into a jazzier direction saying he’s been focused lately as well as doing it for the dead ones.
After the “Intermission” interlude, we have Crimeapple coming into the picture for “Friend of God” working in a Spanish vocal loop spitting that g shit leading into the Lil Bunko-assisted “Cuban Links” taking a more climatic route as far as Marci’s production goes saying you gotta talk to God instead of them. The song “Betty Crocker” of courses gets back on the drug dealer tip over an eerie sample while the penultimate track “Long Way Home” with Zoo jumps into drumless territory talking about the rate they’re going. “Fuck the Rest” with Flee Lord then ends the album with an orchestral loop talking not fucking with anyone but his homies.
If you’ve enjoyed T.F.’s features in the past & are looking to get into his solo work, then Blame Kansas would be a great introduction in my personal opinion. There are a couple of lackluster features, but a good majority do a good job at breaking up any monotony & the dude himself sounds hungrier than ever. On top of that, both Mephux & Roc absolutely SCHOOL it behind the boards.
This is the sophomore album from Inglewood emcee Shady Ray, who’s been around for a little over a decade with a handful of mixtapes under his belt including The Sinister & 1 Man Gang. But now that he signed to Lord Mobb Music a little bit after dropping his full-length debut Blood Pool, Ray celebrated Christmas Eve by having Sushi Punk produce Blood Work from front to back.
After the titular intro, the first song “Dark Path” starts off the whole EP by enlisting Jameel Na’im X for a drumless look at them fighting demons whereas “Fine China” has a more alluring sound to it saying he doesn’t make threats. “Appetite” goes back into drumless territory spitting some vicious battle raps leading into the calming “Medicated” talking about being blessed to be where is now.
Meanwhile on “Water on the Spoon”, we have Ray & Aaqil Ali coming together on top of a soul/horn sample to spit that heroin shit leading into Bale as well as T.F. & Young Act tagging along for “Where We At” to call out those who act like they came from the slums over yet another melodic vocal loop.
The song “Cannes” with BVNGS, Eto, Gifted Gab & Phonk P finds the quintet on top of some guitar licks going at those who have beef with them while the penultimate track “Act n’ Shady” with Flee Lord & Young Act weaves in some dreary pianos telling punks to leave all 3 of them alone. “Soul Food” finishes it all off by getting inspirational lyrically with these heavy horns backing him.
In the end, I think this is the crown jewel of Ray’s discography so far & have a feeling this is only the beginning. Lyrically, I feel like listeners will get a good idea as to who he is personality-wise & Sushi Punk comes correct behind the boards as well.
Phonk P is a 32 year old MC from Compton, California who came to my attention in the spring of 2019 after dropping the collab EP Up’s & Down’s with his mentor Flee Lord, who would sign P to Lord Mobb Music following the release of his Local Astronauts-produced EP Bitters. However for his official debut under the ever-growing New York based indie imprint, godBLESSbeatz is being brought in to his sophomore EP in it’s entirety which caught my attention given the fact that the Loyalty or Death: Lord Talk trilogy was a lot of people’s introduction to Flee with myself being included.
After the titular intro, the first song “Murder Medley” opens the EP with Fred Blaze & Hyde Park tagging along on top of some melancholic piano chords thirsting for blood whereas “Hiatus” takes a smokier route putting a pause on the haters out there. Compton Menace comes into the picture for the horn/trap infused “Ghetto Byrds” talking about family over everything leading into the hypnotic “Resin” encouraging to keep your enemies closer. The dusty penultimate track “Bity of Industry” finds Hyde returning to proclaim that they’ll bust on anyone who disses them & “Lately” ends it off on a jazzy yet introspective note.
From the get-go, I had a feeling that Off-White Underbelly was gonna be P’s best work thus far & I stood corrected at the end of the day. I feel like he kinda overdid it on the features a tad bit, but there’s no denying that this is the best he’s ever sounded lyrically & godBLESSbeatz’ production on here compared to his previous efforts is just on a different dimension.
Flee Lord is a 38 year old MC from Queensbridge, New York who came up in 2017 as protege of the late Prodigy. He has since become known for building up a massive discography for himself with projects like the Loyalty or Death: Lord Talk trilogy produced by GodBlessBeatz, the Loyalty & Trust duology produced by 38 Spesh, the DJ Shay-produced Lucky 13, the Buckwild-produced Hand Me My Flowers, the Pete Rock-produced The People’s Champ & the Havoc-produced In the Name of Prodigy. But after dropping the the DJ Muggs-produced RAMM£LLZ££ back in March, the Lord is now enlisting Roc Marciano to produce his 16th EP.
The titular intro is a sumptuous piano ballad to say he’s important to the slums whereas “Slow Down” aggressively compares his verses to the feds pulling up on the strip. “Shouts Out to the Mobb” goes into jazzier territory showing love to his protégés, but then “Medusa” brings in some guitars for him & Conway the Machine to spit that gun talk.
“This is What Ya Want?” has a bit of a more orchestral feel reminding everyone his raps are reality, but then switches up into a classy vocal sample to get on his luxurious trap shit. Ransom tags along for “Breath of Air” to give them that back against the wall music just before Stove God Cook$ comes in for the grungy “Trim the Fat” talking about money, power & respect.
Meanwhile with “Skipping Town”, we have Flee jumping on top of some lavish keyboard embellishments trying to start a hood war leading into him & Marci detailing going from walking to driving sports cars on the unsettling “Breeze in a Porsche”. The penultimate track “1st Kill” has a more sadder tone instrumentally spitting that pure dope & the titular closer reads off as a cool 1-minute freestyle with some piano melodies accompanying it.
I wouldn’t be mad if you preferred Delgado over RAMM£LLZ££ because it’s undeniable that Flee Lord has been putting out some of his best work in the last couple years. Lyrically, he’s one of the illest out of New York right now & Roc Marciano’s production I feel like doesn’t get appreciated as much as his lyricism does.