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

M.A.V. – “Hoodlum” review

M.A.V. is an emcee that some may be familiar with as a member of Da Cloth, a group that’s been taking over the New York underground for the past year or 2 now. He just dropped an incredible collab album with Rob Gates & Big Ghost Ltd. in mid-July called The Darkness but not even a couple weeks later, M.A.V. has seen for to team up with Giallo Point for his full-length debut.

After the intro, the first song “Prepaids & Plush Planning” with Mooch sees both of them talking about the dealer life over a dark instrumental with a rapid keyboard sample whereas the next track “Face Value” pays tribute to his significant other over a laidback boom bap beat. The track “Hand in Hand” with Ty Farris & Asun Eastwood finds the 3 painting some dark imagery over a dark yet minimal instrumental while the song “Are You Not Entertained?” with Rigz sees the 2 going at their opposition over a boom bap beat with a grim synth-line.

The track “First 2 a 3rd” with King Bub Rock goes on about cooking up coke in their auntie’s houses over an airy instrumental while the song “Protocol” gets back with Rigz to speak on betrayal & death over a bloodcurdling beat. “The Lion” calls out those who’ve never been on his level over a cinematic instrumental & before a 1-minute outdo, the final song “Remember” with Rigz & Tekk9 speaks on how the work they all put in will be worth it at the end of day on top of a solemn boom bap beat.

Wasn’t expecting another album to come so quickly after The Dark Side of Nature, but I’m glad it did because this is another yet crown jewel in M.A.V.’s ever-growing discography. Giallo Point continues to be one of the best underground producers in the game today, as he provides a fantastic musical backdrop for M.A.V.’s gritty lyrics.

Score: 4/5

M.A.V. & Rob Gates – “The Dark Side of Nature” review

This is the surprise collaborative album between Rochester emcees M.A.V. & Rob Gates. Both of whom are members of Da Cloth along with Mooch & Rigz, who actually happened to drop their own collab effort with Big Ghost Ltd. production top to bottom late last year called The Only Way Out. Given that, it’s only right for Big Ghost to show off 2 other members of Da Cloth for a full project.

After the “Prelude” intro, the first song “Bad News” opens up about doing what needed to be done over a grimy beat with some rock influences to it whereas the next track “Bloodhounds” gets murderous over a wailing guitar. The song “Said What I Said” talks about how ugly the lives that they’ve lived are on top of an instrumental that sounds like something from a horror flick while the track “Wild Card” angrily paints themselves as mobsters over a melancholic boom bap beat.

The song “Green Light” talks about applying the lesions that they’ve learned throughout the years on top of a somber orchestral loop while the track “Tombstone” talks about engaging in criminal activity over a fuzzy boom bap beat. The song “Left for Dead” with Rigz sonically gets back on the rock side of things as the trio talk about how dudes in their hood don’t play while the track “Said Less, Did More” talks about grinding as over an elegiac piano instrumental.

The song “Authenticated” talks about how their credibility over a hypnotic beat while the penultimate track “By Myself” gives us a glimpse of what it was like for them growing up & I really love the instrumentation gets more layered as the song progresses. The album finishes off with “Smokin’ Aces”, where everyone in Da Cloth gruesomely show us what they’re capable of as a unit for almost 8 minutes.

If you loved The Only Way Out, then you’re gonna enjoy this just as much. Not only because M.A.V. & Rob Gates’ chemistry is just so unique, but Big Ghost Ltd. also continues to show why he’s one of the best producers in hip hop today.

Score: 4/5