Ketch P – “Gift Certificate” review

Ketch P is a veteran from Inkster, Michigan known for being a member of the quartet Street Justice. He’s released a few solo mixtapes in the past like What Happened? & Motown is Back but with the help of Middle Finger Music, he’s returning from a 6 year hiatus with Gift Certificate.

The tape starts off with “Welcome/Whatupdoe”, where Ketch reintroduces himself over a classy soul sample. The next song “313” is filled with witty battle bars over an beat from Chanes while the track “Doap Pusher” compares himself to a drug dealer over a vintage beat from Peace of Mind. The song “Kareem & Shaq” finds Ketch liking him & his Bad News Brown cohort Foul Mouth to the legendary Lakers players of the same name over an alluring boom bap beat while the track “Ode to the Roots” pays tribute to those that came before him over an instrumental from Jimbo Slice with these Godly background vocals.

The song “Back Outside” with Finale & Vstylez sees the 3 talking about shutting shit down over an uplifting instrumental from Blizzard while the song “Middle Finger Trophies” with Bubba Rock & Rim finds the 3 getting bellicose over a soulful boom bap beat. The song “Boom Bap Shit” pays homage to the titular subgenre over a soulful instrumental while the track “Get the Money” with Isaac Castor talks about making dough over some claps & a fitting vocal sample. The song “Street Justice Nigga” with Jypsy sees the 2 reminding their competition who they’re dealing with over a boom bap beat with some strings & horns while the track “Death Soup” with Guilty Simpson & Paradime finds the 3 talking about Detroit being untouchable over another soulful boom bap beat.

The song “Top 10s & Buffs” talks about Middle Finger Music being in the house over a Foul Mouth beat with some eerie vocals looped throughout while the track “Poured Up” of course talks about alcohol over a wavy boom bap beat. The song “Like This” sees the 2 getting romantic over a delicate beat then the closer “Fish Grease” takes the opportunity to showcase Ketch’s lyricism 1 last time & not only do I like how the instrumental switches from being organ-inflicted to something funky, but I love how he speeds up his flow during the last 30 seconds.

I’ve been waiting for this all year & at the end of the day, it’s easily Ketch’s best work to date. Middle Finger Music has been reminding me for the past year now that they’re one of the best labels in the underground right now & this is no exception, as Ketch P’s lyricism has gotten sharper with time & the production continues to be grimier with each release the label puts out.

Score: 4/5

Bang Belushi – “The Adventures of Bang Belushi” review

Bang Belushi is an MC from Detroit, Michigan who came up as 1/4 of the world famous Fat Killahz. Since the group’s hiatus beginning in 2011, he’s released a few EPs with 2 of them being under his own name & the other one being a collaborative effort with fellow Fat Killah King Gordy. But now with just a few days left in 2018, the newly founded Middle Finger Music is helping him in giving fans his long-awaited full-length debut with the label’s co-founder Foul Mouth producing it in it’s entirety.

After the intro, we go into the first song “Gotta Go”. Here, Bang gets boastful over a smooth boom bap beat. The track “That Loud” is a weed anthem with a prominent flute while the song “I Love Fast Food” pretty much speaks for itself over a grimy beat. The track “Do the Bang” is a charismatic party anthem while the song “DrinkSmokeWeedFuck” vividly describes his Saturday nights over a boom bap beat with some vibraphones. The track “Simple” with Nolan the Ninja sees the 2 getting on some fly shit over some funky guitar licking while the song “I Think I’m ODB” with A-Minus talks about how wreckless they are over a boom bap beat with some horns.

The track “For Years” talks about his place in the rap game over a soulful beat while the song “Rhyder Daddy” is a heartfelt tribute to Bang’s daughter complete with a settle beat. The track “Shooter” with King Gordy & Guilty Simpson sees the 3 getting vividly murderous over an organ-inflicted boom bap beat while “The Zone Out” with Isaac Castor sees the 2 talking about relaxation over a spacey yet jazzy beat. The song “Blowed Everyday” speaks for itself over a laidback beat while the track “Bloodsport” feels like a perfectly haunting sequel to “Bang & the Barfly” off of Aztek the Barfly’s latest magnum opus Line King. The album then finishes with “Middle Finger Rap”, where Bang fantastically sets the vibe complete with some eerie choir vocals.

It’s been a long time coming & at the end, Bang’s magnum opus is over here is a fantastic example of why I think Middle Finger Music is starting to become one of the most consistent labels in hip hop. There are a couple features that I personally didn’t care for but other than that, Foul Mouth continues to prove himself as one of the best producers in the game today & it suits the raw unfiltered lyricism that is displayed from beginning to end.

Score: 4.5/5