Legacy Track of the Week: Phonte - Such Is Life
“My people listen to me and say when they listen to me all they hear is the greats, but I can't listen to it cause all I hear is mistakes…” 💎💎💎 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 preceded by the ill setup this gem alone makes this one of the best verses of the year thus far, to be found on the No News Is Good News album that’s reminded us all why Phonte is truly one of the GOD MC’s 🙏
Phonte - So Help Me God
"They say they want bars but it's unfounded, cause when they get bars ****** be dumbfounded” One of my favorite MC’s of all time Phonte aka Phontigallo aka ½ of Foreign Exchange, previously known as ⅓ of the legendary Little Brother, and almost always known as the 🐐 in real Hip Hop circles, has just released his official sophomore solo album entitled No News Is Good News, yet the fact that we have this project after seven years is the best news I’ve heard in a while. On this record, Tay comes out swinging in his patented style that could never be fully duplicated (though has been a source of inspiration for many) and through his braggadocious raps were reminded why we love this genre once more. This one also features fellow Carolina artist Lute on the outro (albeit rather inconspicuously), who’s signed to Dreamville and has recently been road managed by Rapper Big Pooh on the J.I.D. Never Had Shit Tour, which is perhaps the only Little Brother/Dreamville connection to date.
Phonte - Pastor Tigallo
“Wonder why the best ideas only come to me when I'm alone or I'm depressed, whatever happens to a rhyme deferred? 4 bars at a loss for words, hoping that I find the rest, it's like a wound that never heals, a void that never fills, and I'm thinkin is it by design or by request?” The 'rhyme deferred' is a reference to Langston Hughes Dream Deferred which was in itself the inspiration to Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun, and, honestly, I’m inspired just thinking about it. Phonte is the essence and this album is the gospel, thankfully we still have artists like this left in the game.
Phonte - Cry No More
“I get it you're the one, who did the raising I'm the son, but I'm not ready to cry at your Lorraine Hansberry-al (burial), you can't undo it you either succumb to it, make the adjustment or just become numb to it, looking over your life like ‘what have I done to it,’ knowing your bloodline is the river that runs through it, my sons look at me these days and think I'm certified, preparing them for a world they'll be deserted by, internalize, black man if you get a teaspoon of compassion that's more than double the serving size, I get impatient shit is taking too long, they don't get it I really lived it you can say what you want, cause by the time you realize that your father was right, you'll probably have your own son telling you that you wrong, but be his ride or die, even if you two ain't seeing eye to eye, teach him how to throw a punch, ride a bike, tie a tie, hold on to em while you can, this is just what I advise…” 💎💎💎💎💎💎💎 timeless gems from one of the most talented, unsung heroes of this art form, Phonte Coleman embodies everything that a true MC should be. Lyrical ✔️ Smooth Delivery ✔️ Creativity ✔️ Thought-Provoking ✔️ and incredibly introspective, this one can’t help but remind me of another classic from another time period, yet the penmanship and the author could only be one in the same. This one hits home and that I’m sure that was his every intention, like the former this record will likely stay with me forever.
Phonte ft Freddie Gibbs - Change of Mind
“You're a keeper and you know it…. I'm lost in a bad dream” Produced by AbJo this one has Foreign Exchange vibes written all over it, yet this time Tay sings the infectious melodies and Freddie Gibbs comes through and rips a 16… and it’s all good music… personally I’m glad they didn’t trade bars and instead this track is composed perfectly, making it an all important piece to perhaps the most cohesive body of work to be released this year.
Phonte ft Eric Roberson - Find That Love Again
“I used to jump in the whip throw on a beat and write bars to it, and get sharp to it, all summer long like I’m doing martial arts to it” smh 🔥🔥🔥 effortless delivery and these verses have been fucking up my rewind button from the first listen, where for some reason this one is reminiscent of his All That You Are flow from the Connected album, and even is complete with his patented outro cadence that will forever be synonymous with the Little Brother sound <<< one of the best movements in Hip Hop history point blank period.
EarthGang - Build
“Just yesterday, I had everything, everything was nothing, but I ain't complain” EarthGang has just released their third EP in the last six months and sure enough the quality continues, whereas Royalty is a step above Robots though not quite as impressive as Rags, yet altogether there’s a body of work that the Dreamville brand must be thrilled to add to their catalogue. Lyrically and musically (and sonically because I know you all love that word) Doctor Dot & Johnny Venus push the envelope every time they bless the microphone, and personally I can’t wait for those J Cole collaborations that I imagine will be released before long… perhaps on their upcoming album Mirrorland set to be released very soon.
EarthGang ft Mereba - Off the Lot
“I'm on my Go Go Gadget, movin through jungle traffic, I was a hoodrat magnet I had to drop old habits” Produced by Like of Pac Div (whom very quietly has already produced for Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, & Anderson Paak just to name a few) this is a somewhat melancholy record that only adds to EarthGang’s mystique and artistry.
EarthGang - LOLSMH
“Fighting for my inner child and it tastes so sweet, hearts get broken and souls get weak” The best record off the project has a hypnotizing outro that can’t be ignored, yet even still it should be noted that if you’re looking for two Dreamville records that symbolize the true greatness of these ATL spitters, then look no further than Red Light & Legendari that was released late last year - or check out their pre-Dreamville work that is better than most artists full catalogue. In other words, the duo known as EarthGang seems to be just getting started, and thanks to Mirrorland I’m expecting it to be a very hot summer.
Flatbush Zombies - Headstone
“The underdogs, with liquid swords, it was written in my diary this art of war, I'm feelin infamous, immortal with my technique, a revolutionary shinin with diamond teeth” The Flatbush Zombies are back with their upcoming sophomore album entitled Vacation in Hell, and for the first single they pay tribute to more than a few legendary Hip Hop moments from yesterday, all by way of clever word play and references that any true Hip Hop fan would be sure to notice.
DJ Khaled ft Jay Z, Beyonce & Future - Top Off
“Screamin free my *****, Meek Mill, ****** can't wheelie in this free world” I see the Free Willy reference and the penmanship is there, but this Future hook is straight garbage and I really can’t sugarcoat it… this one gets a hard pass and it’s time to demand more creativity from the mainstream (not that there hasn’t always been a balance but this has gone too far), and ultimately this is not a good look for anyone involved.