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This right here is a prime example of why any new rapper claiming to be the “King of New York” sounds ridiculous. New York has all of the LEGENDS of rap music; here we have Kool G Rap approaching the 25th anniversary of his first album, and he’s consistently been an example of elite lyricism in the 1980s, 90s, 2000s and now 2010s. As if that weren’t enough for a “King of New York” to live up to, you have a guy like Necro who came out ten years after Kool G Rap, but still has almost 15 years experience of keeping the bar raised for lyricism in hip-hop. Even though these guys probably don’t follow all this “King of NY” gossip, we can see this album as a middle finger to Kendrick Lamar or any other rapper claiming the title without being able to rap at this level over multiple decades.
This album is pretty much exactly what you expected when you saw the names on paper; hardcore rap with high technical proficiency over hard-hitting beats. Say what you will about the disgusting things Necro raps about, but his production has always been great, and it’s exactly what Kool G Rap needed to make another great album. This is probably the best Kool G Rap album since 1996’s 4, 5, 6, as the Necro production really makes his flow stand out, and his rhymes are as on-point as ever. Necro is also able to keep up with G Rap bar for bar, and his gore-rap style brings a harder edge to these tracks.
There are just a few flaws that keep this album from reaching the top 5. Similar to the Swollen Members album ranked at #12, this album mostly stays in one lane and although it rides that lane well, this makes it have a one-dimensional vibe. Also, there’s a very cookie-cutter, formulaic approach to these songs, as all of them are structured as Necro verse – hook – G Rap verse – hook, except for the couple songs where G Rap spits first. These are just small flaws though, as anyone who likes to hear dope rap verses over dope beats will enjoy every song on this album. I’d say this long-awaited collaboration lived up to the hype.
My Grade (based on how well I connected with it, no disrespect if your experience was different): A-
Come back to my blog tomorrow to see which album or mixtape came in at #9 on the countdown!
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