This is the 18th EP from Louisville, Kentucky emcee & Mobstyle Music founder Bukshot. From his lengthy solo discography to the group & duos that’s formed with some of the biggest names that the underground has to offer, there’s no question that dude’s been putting it down for the culture for a grip at this point. He just dropped the ferocious Never Safe last spring prior to his appearances at Astronomicon around that same time & is now seeing fit to put When Hell Freezes up on DSPs in light of Friday the 13th.
After the “Kafkaesque” intro, the title track truly opens up the EP with a cinematically haunting instrumental courtesy of 7 airing out those who want him out of the game prior to the almighty Alla Xul Elu & Lo Key tagging along for the apocalyptic trap banger “Rise Up” talking about running this shit from underneath. Stevie Stone comes into the picture for the cavernous “We Was” looks back to the days on the block while the song “Chant” with the Super Famous Fun Time Guys sees the trio over some kicks & snares talking about having these ways of crushing their dreams. The penultimate track “Death Dance” with the Lune Squad has a more morbid trap flare to it confessing they see their skeletons dancing & the Godsynth-produced “Beat ‘Em Up” ends with The Underground Avengers reuniting alongside Zitro for a fight anthem.
Mobstyle have been rightfully experiencing a rise in popularity within the underground wicked shit scene within the last 3 years & if this is how Buk’s gonna ring in 2023, then it only increases my anticipation for what Mobstyle has coming down the pipe such as Cabal’s sophomore album The Bottomless Pit & of course The Horde’s eponymous debut. The production’s knocking, nearly every feature comes correct & Buk sounds as ruthless as before.
The Berzerkers are a newly formed underground duo consisting Louisville veteran Bukshot & Gilroy’s very own Mr. Grey. First time they worked with each other was a decade ago when Buk hopped on “Ruthless” off of Grey’s solo debut Remain Raw alongside the latter’s former Gorilla Voltage cohort ClockworC as well as Insane Loc. They’re also 2/3 of the trio Cabal with Lo Key, whose well received full-length debut The Watchers just celebrated it’s 1-year anniversary recently & The Berzerkers are properly introducing themselves in the form of a debut EP.
After the “Solomon Says” intro, “Death Circus” is a cavernous opener daring listeners to step inside whereas “Oxygen Thieves” morbidly talks about those not deserving to breathe the same air as them. “Dark Path” has a more futuristic sound to it confessing that the road they’re traveling is deep underground while the track “Bottomless” by Cabal is a deranged prelude to the trio’s sophomore effort The Bottomless Pit coming next summer. The penultimate song “Red Team” returns to a more daunting route talking about how no one can fuck with them & prior to the “Upon Activation” outro, “Bullet Catcher” ends the EP with a petrifying trap banger getting murderous lyrically.
My expectations for this were very high considering how much I enjoyed Operation: Delirium & even though you can’t go wrong with either one, I’d have to say The Berzerkers a tad bit more. Buk & Grey ping off each other very well lyrically with 7 going for a more rawer sound in comparison to the range of sounds he displayed on Grey’s latest EP.
Mr. Grey is a 42 year old MC from Gilroy, California who came up as 1/2 of the duo Gorilla Voltage alongside ClockworC. However, he would drop his first 2 solo efforts Lost Soul in the fall of 2012 & then Remain Raw a couple summers later prior followed by The Damn Dirty Apes the year after Remain Raw. Gorilla Voltage then signed to Majik Ninja Entertainment on Christmas Day 2016 & manage to dropped 2 more full-lengths together, but quietly disbanded following their final album Gods & Claws which is a bit of a shame considering that I consider it to be their best work musically. That being said, Grey dropped his 3rd album Vicious Vendetta a little bit after the pandemic started & celebrated last year’s Valentine’s Day to go fully acoustic rock on the Righteous Devil mixtape. Few months later, he formed the trio Cabal with Philly horrorcore pioneer Lo Key alongside Louisville veteran Bukshot released their debut The Watchers to widespread acclaim within the underground. Considering that, it was only right for Buk to sign Grey to Mobstyle Music for his debut EP fully produced by 7.
After the titular intro, the opener “Into the Wasteland” sets off the album with an occult instrumental talking about being born for this just before Gorilla Voltage reunite for the somewhat industrial “Outrage da Jour” asking why people are mad at them. “Justice?” works in a creepy ass beat to call out the system leading into “American Meat Grinder” embracing a trap metal sound talking about fiending for blood.
“The Day the Angels Day” frantically confesses all he sees now is the darkness that came from the fog while the penultimate song “Zerk!” finds Boondox joining The Berzerkers for an uncanny prelude to their upcoming debut EP. And prior to the “Codicil” outro, “Winter Soldier” truly ends the EP with some strings & hi-hats declaring himself as such.
Compared to his earlier work, Operation: Delirium is easily the best solo effort that Grey has put out yet in my opinion. The apocalyptic concept is well conceived & 7’s production is dark, yet comes through with a range of interesting ideas from trap metal to industrial hip hop. He’s a great addition to Mobstyle in my opinion & have high expectations for the Berzerkers EP.
Bukshot is a 47 year old MC from Louisville, Kentucky who’s been around for a quarter of a century at this point whether it be his lengthy solo discography or groups/duos with some of the biggest names that the underground has to offer. The last we heard from him on his own was Night of the Zombie back in the fall & in light of his appearances at Astronomicon this weekend, he’s enlisting former Strange Music in-house prouder 7 behind the boards for his 17th EP.
After the “Under the Surface” intro, the title track kicks off the EP in his wicked shit bag down the thrilling instrumental whereas “Asleep” works in some pianos to diss the woke. “Role Mode” goes into cloudier territory getting more vulnerable lyrically just before “Molotov” mixes keys with guitars showing motherfuckers that he’s a problem. The song “Hog-Tied” has a more dramatic aesthetic to it declaring his lack of respect for anyone who plots against him while the penultimate track “Round Here” ghoulishly cautions everyone not to stop coming around his turf. “Alright” then closes out the EP by incorporating elements of orchestral brushing off his haters.
Now 2021 had to be one of if not the biggest year in Mobstyle Music’s history & for this to be the label’s way of keeping the ball rollin’, I’m highly impressed. Buk sounds incredibly ferocious on the mic & on top of that, 7’s production is absolutely chilling & compliments the aggressive bars very well.
Boondox is a 43 year old MC from Richmond County, Georgia who first came onto the scene in the Early 2000s as Turncoat Dirty. He then changed his moniker after signing to Psychopathic Records from 2005 & remained with them until 2015. Eventually he would join Majik Ninja Entertainment in 2016 & is still on the label to this very day. However, he & MNE are teaming up with Mobstyle Music for his 5th EP.
After the titular intro, the first song “Good Night” is a cold blooded opener getting murderous on top of some baleful keyboards throughout whereas “Time” goes into a more trap direction saying it maintains him. “Wait for Death” heavy-heartedly opens up about suicide just before the penultimate track “187” goes back into trap territory quenching for blood once more. “The Code” finishes the EP off with an energetic Southern Hustlas Inc. reunion as the trio enlist Bukshot to slaughter those who disrespect them.
I enjoyed Dirty Days of Night, but I’d have to say to Cryptodirt is a superior follow-up just by a small margin. Boondox is at his best when he’s on his gangsta shit as proven during his Psychopathic Rydas days a little over a decade ago & 7 literally never disappoints behind the boards.
Cabal is a newly formed supergroup consisting of Bukshot, Lo Key & Mr. Grey. Up to this point each of the members have worked with one another, but we haven’t heard them all together at once. Bukshot just dropped Double Dragon’s self-titled debut with Kung Fu Vampire back in February & just about a month ago, Lo Key put out a his Metanoia EP paying homage to nu metal. I also loved Gorilla Voltage’s 2 albums through Majik Ninja Entertainment (especially Gods & Claws), so I’m very excited to see what they trio are gonna pull off on this debut album of theirs. Especially since they got 7 behind the boards for the whole thing.
After the “Monolith of Xaos” intro, the first song “Horn of Hades” is a heinous look at the trio having crazy thoughts as of late whereas “Shadow People” goes into a trap direction talking about being stuck in a familiar place. The title track works in some haunting synth melodies saying they don’t like what they see & after the “Dark Assembly” skit, the trio come back to in action to proclaim themselves as “Death Merchants”. Meanwhile on “The Spawning”, we get a dastardly depiction of Cabal being Hellspawn just before taking listeners through their inner turmoils on the petrifying “Madness in Me”.
I think “Devil Inside” has the best hook on the entire album as the trio speak on something in them wandering the darkness spiritually & after the “Offering of Souls” skit, the song “Don’t Go in the Basement” works in some organ & synth melodies to paint a picture of Hell. The penultimate track “Maelstrom” with the Super Famous Fun Guys & the Venomous 5 finds the 10 emcees aggressively proclaiming themselves as the wickedest creatures, but then “Phanchasm” ends the album by talking about learning things you should never learn.
If you loved Double Dragon’s self-titled debut that dropped at the beginning of 2021, then you might enjoy The Watchers just as much it not more. All 3 of the members have great chemistry with one another & 7 just knocks it out of the park in terms of the overall sound of it.
Double Dragon is a newly formed hip hop duo consisting of Bukshot & Kung Fu Vampire. The 2 have collaborated with one another a couple of times throughout the years, but they’re joining forces & taking things to the next level by dropping a full-length debut together after being traded since 2019.
After the “Rise of the Pranja” intro, the first song “Buk-Fu” finds the duo asking how people gon’ react when they come through over a malicious 7 instrumental with this incredible g-funk synth-line throughout while the next track “Ain’t the One” tells the listener not to play with them over a trap beat laced with this plinky keyboard melody. The song “Torn Apart” talks about over an instrumental backed by some Omen-like background vocals while the track “Non-Believers” with Boondox sees the 3 talking about losing their way over a spine-tingling trap beat.
The song “Nice” talks about taking flight over a cacophonous Godsynth instrumental while the treacle “Don’t Get Beat Up” talks about rappers feuding over nothing on top of an icy trap beat from Young Wicked. The song “Easy Target” with Rittz finds the trio talking about how they ain’t hard to find over a Kung Fu Vampire instrumental fusing elements of country as well as trap & rock while the title track talks about being the ones they fear over somewhat quirky yet abrasive beat. Then there’s the bonus cut “Tyrants”, where Double Dragon speak on not being with all the bullshit over a macabre instrumental.
This has been one of the underground’s most anticipated albums of 2021 & the final product makes it well worth waiting almost 2 years because you can really tell Bukshot & Kung Fu Vampire took their time to really hone in on a natural chemistry on top of some top notch production.
The Underground Avengers are a supergroup consisting of Boondox, Bukshot & Claas. They first assembled in 2012 with their self-titled EP, but then disappeared shortly after. Then with the help of Majik Ninja Entertainment late last August, they reformed to drop their debut album Anomaly 88. Now 11 months later, they’re back with their sophomore album & have enlisted Strange Music in-house producer 7 to produce it from front to back.
After the “Dragonfly 44” intro, we go into the first song “Black Summer”. Where the trio get vicious over a haunting trap beat. The track “Tribulation” attacks fake people over a symphonic trap beat while the song “1 More Night” of course talks about partying over a rap rock beat. The title track is pretty much a decent spoken word interlude & then the next song “Chimera” talks about internal conflict over a nocturnal beat.
After the “Hecatomb” interlude, we go another interlude with with “Protocol”. We finally get back into the music with “Invasion”, where the Avengers get with Young Wicked & The Jokerr to compare themselves to aliens over a sinister trap beat. The penultimate track “God Particle” is a fantastically gritty sequel to the equally star-studded “Thanos” off of the Avengers’ previous effort & then album ends with the “Coda” spoken word piece.
This is yet another solid effort from the Avengers. There are a little too many interludes/skits for me, but the chemistry between the trio is still strong & 7’s production suits them fantastically.