Rap fans are a fickle bunch. Yeah you heard me right, I said it. Plenty heads saying “there’s no dope music out these days” & “it ain’t like it used to be”. I’ve got mixed feelings. In some respects there’s truth in both statements. If you dig deep enough and keep your ears open for new shit I guarantee you’ll find it. I did, discovering both Skrewtape & Ren Thomas within the last year by being open minded. That’s how true rap fans do. We dig for gems. They both deliver the kind of music that invigorates me with its freshness while providing me with authenticity. It’s something many try to do but fail. Not these two New Jersey gentlemen. They both display different cadences & flows but share a dark sense of humour and a street aesthetic that shines a light on the grimey underbelly of there respect dwellings. They are products of their environments and all the better for it.
That brings me to the Joint EP “Don’t Be Mad” they released last Friday. 7 tracks deep with a select but well chosen guest list of friends (Miilkbone, Reef The Lost Cauze, Slaughter Rico and more…) they deliver music with a serious punch. I knew of their friendship from following them both on IG but was truly taken aback by the chemistry they share on each track. They connect like Erick & Parrish dropping lyrical bomb after lyrical bomb. It’s a sensory pleasure to hear when collaborations of MC’s can feel phoned in and somewhat stagnant in this culture of verses for sale. I get the impression they were in the studio together inspiring & pushing each other on to go harder (pause) for that often missing rewind factor. I’ve employed that aforementioned ‘factor’ many times since the EP dropped. I’ll keep it 100 and admit to laughing to myself to the punchlines both MC’s unleash on my train commute to & from my job. Other passengers looked at me funny but they got the gas face.
I don’t like to direct people to specific tracks on releases as it concerns me they won’t embrace the full body of work but a special mention goes to their update/rewo of Miilkbone’s classic ‘Keep It Real’ featuring the man himself. I’ve added the video below for your visual enjoyment. Peep it, it’s got a vibe you’ll dig trust me. An extra special mention goes to Ren on his fitting tribute to the recently passed Pumpkinhead on ‘Uh Huh’. Anyways enough of my ramblings go cop this from all the usual outlets and buy the full length album when they drop it.
The Official 20 Year Anniversary Remix – Ren Thomas & Skrewtape pay homage to Miilkbones 1995 classic single “Keep It Real” over Witta C’s rendition. Featured on the #DontBeMad EP available on iTunes, Spotify and at http://www.sensi-starr.com/