New York rap is awesome again! No longer content to sulk and skulk around under the shadow of commercially dominant southern sounds, a new generation of underground city rap kids are releasing some of the freshest new hip-hop around. Here’s five fine slices of brand spankin’ new Big Apple rappin’ to prove that the east is very definitely back in the house.
1. Flatbush Zombies, “Laker Paper”
Earlier this week, Lana Del Rey’s all-time favorite horror-styled Brooklyn rap trio released “Laker Paper.” The song is the Zombies’ latest laid-back ode to their favorite distractions of stacking chips and consuming weed. For extra charming kicks, it comes fresh on the heels of the track “S.C.O.S.A.” which features a video set in a decrepit warehouse and has a titular acronym that involves doing a certain activity with cocaine off of a certain part of a stripper’s body. The hippest of New York’s new rap cats, order your Flatbush Zombie tees now!
2. Children of the Night, “Kids From Queens”
“Now why they hating on us kids from Queens? ‘Cause we killin’ ‘em, god damn, we killin’ ‘em.” So runs the chorus to the hazy, piano-propelled “Kids From Queens,” a song which is fast becoming the calling card of Remy Banks, Lansky Jones and Nasty Nigel (although don’t hold their ropey MC names against them ’cause these kids can most definitely rap). The track’s culled from the Children’s gratis mixtape Queens … Revisited – which also features members of Odd Future and Das Racist’s extended Greedhead camp.
3. Action Bronson feat. Roc Marciano, “Pouches of Tuna”
There’s probably a U.N. Resolution that decrees you can’t have a modern New York-centric rap list that doesn’t feature Action Bronson, and for good reason – the great be-bearded one is that nice on the mic. “Pouches of Tuna” is an exquisite selection from Bronsolini’s just-released Blue Chips project with Fool’s Gold producer Party Supplies, and we can say without any reservation that it’s the best rap song of the year to consist of nothing more than two rappers kicking (sometimes food-based) rhymes over an acoustic violin quartet loop.
4. Joey Bada$$ feat. Capital Steez, “Survival Tactics”
Panda ski-masks, ginormous water guns, and video scenes shot at a Flatbush subway station: 17-year-old Joey Bada$$’s vicious “Survival Tactics” has everything you want from a youthful stab of Big Apple rap. Over a beat recycled from an old Styles of Beyond record, Bada$$ and his Progressive Era pal Capital Steez spit invigorating and energized raps that also contain a curt Lil’ B dis (huzzah!). And someone’s gonna say it: The oversized Pro Era crew might just become New York’s version of the Odd Future massive but consisting of cats who rap first and pose with skateboards second.
5. Big Baby Gandhi feat. Fat Tony, “Lurkin’”
The next off the Greedhead conveyor belt, 21-year-old Queens kid Big Baby Gandhi flows forth with a warped and wacky (but still on-point) style. His team-up with Fat Tony hails from No1 2 Look Up 2, his new album released today that, handily, you can download for free. You can thank the Big Baby for it later.