O.T. the Real is a 35 year old MC from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who started out in 2016 after coming home from prison & dropping his debut single “Papercuts”. From there, his profile began to grow after showcasing his skills on radio stations as well as dropping an eponymous full-length debut & 2 EPs. His sophomore album Evil Empire just came out a couple months ago & to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the East Coast up-&-comer is dropping his 3rd EP produced entirely by The Heatmakerz.
“Non Fiction” is a heartfelt opener as O.T. spits about drilling it out with bars on top of an exultant instrumental & then the next song “Restitution” talks about waiting when he wanted what was his over a morose beat. The track “Carry On” talks about the hustle forever continuing on over an affluent instrumental while the song “Connected” with Jim Jones finds the 2 saying that it’s all about connections over some bongos & faint yet beautiful harmonizing.
The track “Losses” gets on the romantic tip over a stripped back instrumental while the song “Hold On” with Joell Ortiz sees the 2 asking who’s gonna be there when the laws & drugs are gone over a wraithlike beat. The penultimate track “Streets Again” talks about looking for a way to get back on his feet over some hypnotic vocal melodies & then “Relationships” finishes the EP off with some exuberant horn sections as O.T. spits about having 33 on him like Patrick Ewing.
Despite enjoying everything I’ve heard from dude up to this point, he really outdid himself on The Irishman. Not just because The Heatmakerz gave O.T. a more refined sound in comparison to his previous efforts, but the songwriting on here is the best it’s ever been before.
This is the surprise 8th full-length album from Bronx veteran Jim Jones. Coming up as a member of The Diplomats in the 2000s. He’s released a total of 7 solo efforts since, with the last one prior El Capo going on to become his magnum opus. But after much anticipation, Jim is reuniting with The Heatmakerz for El Capo 2.
The album kicks off with “Election”, where Jim & Juelz Santana get political over a suspenseful beat. The next song “Anybody” is an R&B-flavored duet with Sandra Conte that goes over better than I originally anticipated it to be while the track “Chasing the Feeling” gets introspective over a lush boom bap beat. The song “M.M.T.C. (Mink Matching the Coupe)” with Vado sees the 2 getting braggadocious over some popping drums while the track “Father Forgive Us” with Maino finds the 2 talking about how the ghetto made then sin over a soulful instrumental.
The song “For the Better” talks about living like it’s no tomorrow now over a piano & gorgeous vocal harmonies while the track “Pardon My Thoughts” with Dave East sees the 2 painting some vivid street imagery over an amazing Evanescence sample. The song “Everything” talks about wanting it all over a savory instrumental while the track “Try Again” with Conway the Machine finds the 2 coming with some grown man bars over a beat with an old school Kanye feel to it.
The song “Been Like That” talks about coming back from any L over a heavenly loop while the track “Bad Boyz” with Nino Man & the late Fred the Godson sees the trio talking about being up to no good over an amazing EPMD sample. “A Monster Made It” talks about how it’s hard for him to leave the game over a hypnotic beat while the song “Finito” reunites with Fred the Godson to talk about slanging over a prominent organ. the penultimate song “Gospel” talks about preaching facts over a legimate gospel sample & then “I’m Alive” is uplifting positivity anthem to send the album off.
If you enjoyed the first El Capo as much as I did, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this follow-up. Once again, Jimmy’s lyricism in comparison to his previous efforts continue to be a night & day difference as The Heatmakerz continue to bring the best out of him with the soundscapes they deliver to the table.
Jim Jones is a legendary rapper from the Bronx who came up as a member of The Diplomats at the beginning of the decade. He released a few albums throughout the 2000s, but he went off the radar after 2011’s Capo. It wasn’t until last year’s Wasted Talent that he would make his comeback & now a year later, he’s delivering his 7th full-length album with The Heatmakerz producing it in it’s entirety.
The album kicks off with “Cristal Ocassions”, where he talks about his rise from nothing to fame over a soulful boom bap beat. The next track “Love of the Hustle” recalls his drug dealing deals over a minimalist beat while the song “Make No Issues of It” brushes off ignorance over some harmonious background vocals. The track “NYC” with Fat Joe pays tribute to their hometown over a joyous beat while the song “Good Die Young” is a tribute to all of the homies he lost over a beautiful soul sample. The track “State of the Union” with Rick Ross sees the 2 getting conscious over a mellow beat while the song “Pity in the Summer” with Cam’ron & Fred the Godson is a decent club banger.
The track “My Era” with Maino reflects on their pasts over some prominent drums with a soul sample in the background while the song “Nothing Lasts” with Fabolous vents on some life issues over an infectious beat. The track “Cocaine Dreamin'” with Dave East talks about how their lives a like a movie over a boom bap beat with a sped-up vocal sample. The track “Mama I Made It” with Cam is of course a triumphant success anthem with a nice church choir while the song “To Whom It May Concern” is a fantastic Dipset/Griselda posse cut. The track “Sports Cars” is all about just that with a decent beat & a perfect Curren$y verse & while “Song Boxing” is short, it’s very cutthroat. The penultimate track “Bread Right” boasts about his money over a dreamy beat & then the album finishes with “Don’t Know What They Took Him For”, where Jim gets with Jadakiss & Philthy Rich to talk about death over a soulful beat.
Overall, this is easily Jim’s best work yet. There are way too many features, but a good chunk of them do their thing. And on top of that, Jim steps his pen-game up & The Heatmakerz show why they’re one of the most underrated producers ever.