Rigz – “Gold” review

Rigz is a 30 year old MC from Rochester, New York who came up as a member of Da Cloth. He eventually broke out solo in 2017 off his debut EP Calculated & then the debut mixtape I Got Samples, which was followed up with a sequel tape & then his 2nd EP A Piece of the Action. However, Rigz’ popularity began to grow in 2019 off his Chup-produced 3rd mixtape Roach Gutta Slums & then the Big Ghost Ltd. produced collab effort with fellow Cloth member Mooch called The Only Way Out. Then he brought in Futurewave to produce his full-length debut Substance Abuse to universal acclaim & now after coming fresh off the sophomore effort Wake Ups that came out over the summer, DJ Muggs is coming in the picture to produce Rigz’ highly anticipated 3rd album.

After the “Gold Standard” intro, the title track with Mooch sets off the whole album by talking about how all they need is a brick over a morbid instrumental whereas “Every Season” with Rob Gates finds the pair on some spectral boom bap shit going at those who’re only tough in their heads. “Supreme” weaves in some keyboards & dusty drums talking about keeping 10 toes down just before Meyhem Lauren tags along for gritty drug dealer’s anthem “Cook Off”. Meanwhile on “What We Got”, we have Rigz on top of a beat kin to Wu-Tang Forever era RZA just giving the listeners who he is leading into the Rome Streetz-assisted “Heads on the Wall” talking about keeping their foots on cats’ necks on top of some luxurious piano chords & sputtering drums.

Mooch returns for the bare soul sample-laced “Where Ya Soul At?” speaking on turning the streets to their home, but then “Fool’s Gold” works in an enticing vocal loop going into battle rap territory. “24 Karats” goes back into drumless turf expressing his desire for a fortune while Big Twins comes into the picture for the forlorn “We Want In” talking about riding for their respective cliques.

The guitars on “Eastside Blues” are a nice change of pace sonically reminding that you can’t change where you came from & they carry their way over to “Crack the Code”, where Times Change jumps in to talk about how masterful they are. After the “Balance” interlude, the final “Never Met a Real Gangsta” with M.A.V. sees the 2 on top of some strings telling listeners all the G’s they know wound up not wanting be involved with crime anymore & then “The Culture” ends it with a spoken word piece.

It’s been a long time coming & I’m glad it finally came because this would be an excellent entry point for those who’re aren’t already familiar with Rigz or Da Cloth as a whole really. He continues to reveal himself as the sharpest lyricist of the crew even though I got love for all the members & Muggs’ production is as equally superb as Futurewave’s was on Substance Abuse a little over a year back.

Score: 4.5/5

Rigz – “Wake Ups” review

This is the sophomore album from Rochester emcee Rigz. Coming up as a member of the Da Cloth, the man as released a couple EPs & mixtapes in the last 4 years prior to his critically acclaimed collab album with Mooch & Big Ghost Ltd. entitled The Only Way Out at the tail-end of 2019. Then came Rigz’ full-length debut Substance Abuse a little over 7 months ago, which was entirely produced by Futurewave & became one of my favorites of last year. However to warm fans up for his upcoming album with DJ Muggs, he’s preluding it by dropping Wake Ups.

“Coconut Water” is a dense opener saying he’ll always have his foot under your neck whereas “Wipe da Timbs Off” enlists Illanoise, Mooch & Times Change for a dramatic anthem representing their crew. Rob Gates comes into the picture on “Trophies” to work in some background vocals with the help of Chup & lyrics about proving that you actually fuck with them just before saying he’s the one who’s gonna get it for the family on the chilling “Show You”.

We have Ransom tagging along on the soulful “Da Predicament” to describe their own unpleasant situations & after the “Sobrinos” skit, Rigz jumps on top of a dreary instrumental from Giallo Point to tell the listener to “Get Urs”. The guitars on “Let Me” are pretty epic given that he’s talking about wanting to murder a deceitful person leading into Mooch coming back in the picture to talk about how they don’t know what to say because they ain’t got to say shit for the rich “Beach Chairs in Marcy”.

Meanwhile on “Misled”, we have Rigz & Times Change pondering the value of trust over a piano & a vocal sample whereas “No Mercy Rule” with M.A.V. & Symph is a killer rap rock cut with all 3 spitters talking their shit. The song “Swole Hearted” serves as a dejected depiction of how someone can get a cold heart sometimes while the penultimate track “Throw It Away” is a symphonic plea not to waste your gift. Finally, the closer “Grateful” has a soul sample & lyrics about his gratitude.

If you loved Substance Abuse as much as I did, then I don’t see why wouldn’t enjoy Wake Ups on the same caliber. Dude continues to prove himself as one of the illest lyricists in New York at the moment & Chup really hones in on the raw production. Beyond excited to hear what he has in store with Muggs.

Score: 4.5/5

Rigz – “Substance Abuse” review

Rigz is a 30 year old MC from Rochester, New York who came up as a member of Da Cloth. He’s put out a few EPs & mixtapes throughout the last 3 years (with the most notable being Roach Gutta Slums) but just a week after Mooch dropped his new album Da 5th Power, Rigz is enlisting Futurewave of Brown Bag Money for his full-length debut.

After the spoken word intro “Basura”, the first song “Sheridan Grapes” talks about those who’re scared of him over a demented instrumental while the track “Halfway Into da Future” with Asun Eastwood sees the 2 giving insight to loose-lipped talkers over a grim boom bap beat. The song “Dream” with Mooch finds the 2 talking about getting out of the ghetto over an instrumental that I can picture hearing in a mobster movie or something while the track “Bodies Behind Mojoes” talks about hustling over a nightly beat.

The song “Study da Champ” with Daniel Son, Mooch & Vinnie Paz is a complete barfest backed by over an eerie boom bap instrumental while the track “Balance It” trusting half of what you see & less of what you hear over a lavish beat. The song “Buckshot BB” with Rob Gates sees the 2 trading back & forth with each other over while the track “Melting Pot” talks about fucked up shit going on in the hood over forlorn boom bap beat.

The song “Picture Yourself” ponders how the listeners imagines oneself over a symphonic instrumental while the track “Top Student” with Times Change finds the 2 making a number of education references over a paranormal beat. The song “Brake Lights” talks about how that’s the last thing you gon’ see over a mournful instrumental & then the closer “Embers” gets introspective over a jazzy beat.

Rigz really outdid himself on this one & I’ll even say it’s one of the best albums that I’ve heard all year. Some of his most well-written bars ever pop up on here & Futurewave’s sound compliments him damn near perfectly.

Score: 4.5/5

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

Mooch & Rigz – “The Only Way Out” review

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This is the brand new collaborative album between New York emcees Mooch & Rigz. Who’ve been doing songs together on various projects for a few years now, but are now teaming with Big Ghost Ltd. to take it to the next level.

After the “Stuck” intro, we get into the first song “77B Savage”. Where Mooch & Rigz vividly detail life in the hood over an eerie boom bap beat. The track “3am” with M.A.V. sees the 3 describing what goes on in the late night hours over a spine-chilling instrumental while the song “Re-Up” talks about selling drugs over a boom bap beat with some twinkling keys & an orchestral sample to add the grittiness. The track “Custom Shit” lyrically speaks for itself over a psychedelic guitar lead while the song “We Took Ya Licks” gets violent over a funky bass-line & the drum playing on here is epic.

The track “Summer School” reflects on everyone who doubted them as kids over a jazzy instrumental while the song “Another Day” is somewhat reminiscent of the classic Biggie joint “Everyday Struggle”. The track “Deadbents” talks about how the duo met over some a boom bap beat with some icy keyboards while the song “Sleep wit It” gets mafioso over a grim instrumental. The track “Fall Outs” talks about learning from your mistakes over a gloomy instrumental while the song “Tit for Tat” with Tekk9 sees the 3 talking about trouble with the law from their own perspectives over a cold-blooded beat. The album then ends with “Flag Day”, which is a decent posse cut backed with a triumphant-sounding instrumental.

Personally, this is Mooch & Rigz’ best work to date. The natural chemistry between the 2 is showcased fantastically & the production that Big Ghost Ltd. brings to the table enhances their lyricism to the point where the album plays out like a movie. Really looking forward to where they’re gonna take things in 2020.

Score: 4/5