ShrapKnel: Shrapknel (Stream)

This month saw the release of the debut LP from ShrapKnel, aka the well-matched pairing of PremRock and Curly Castro. It follows on from their introductory EP, which was released last year to triumphant acclaim and helped build the intrigue for this album. Considering we’re dealing with two already established rappers here, this latest outing appears to have urged them to push their levels even higher, with each bar seemingly trying to outdo its predecessor. Sonically it’s a masterpiece as well, thanks to the involvement of not one, but two production talents, ELUCID and Willie Green. Further fortified by some impeccably chosen features, from Zilla Rocca, CASTLE, billy woods, GOOGIE and Henry Canyons, the album shot into the upper echelons of the 2020’s releases and will no doubt remain there until the year’s end. You can hear the album in its full glory below, with downloads and vinyl available on Bandcamp. As well as the album, you will also find their latest video for Fashion Week, featuring production from ELUCID. Continue reading “ShrapKnel: Shrapknel (Stream)”

Shrapknel: Tempest

The debut LP from Shrapknel is looming. Ever since the duo announced their formation last year, along with the subsequent EP release, fans like me have been fiending for the arrival of the full-length. The album features production from two of Backwoodz Studioz’s finest, ELUCID and Willie Green, as well as guest spots from billy woods, Zilla Rocca, Castle, Googie and Henry Canyons. You can hear the lead single, Tempest, below, and pre-orders for the album are available via Bandcamp. The full release is set for 13 March. Continue reading “Shrapknel: Tempest”

Shrapknel: Cobalt (Stream)

Pleased to see the arrival of the new project from PremRock and Curly Castro, as they connect to form Shrapknel. The duo have been friends and collaborators for a long time, so this union makes a lot of sense, even more so when you hear the EP itself. Featuring some stunning production from the likes of ELUCID, Fresh Kils and Small Pro, Cobalt is the perfect introduction to Shrapknel, as we await the release of their full-length album, which is produced entirely by ELUCID and Backwoodz Studioz in-house wizard, Willie Green. You can stream Cobalt in full below, with downloads available via Bandcamp. Continue reading “Shrapknel: Cobalt (Stream)”

Zilla Rocca: 96 Mentality (Stream)

As reported the other day, Zilla Rocca returned to the fore last week with a new project and I am pleased to report that it is a worthy addition to his already exceedingly robust repertoire. He is a true student of the culture and 96 Mentality embodies everything that comes with that title. Continue reading “Zilla Rocca: 96 Mentality (Stream)”

PremRock & Fresh Kils: Shelf Life (Stream)

Today we are graced with the arrival of another superb project from PremRock and Fresh Kils, as they reunite for Shelf Life. Having been given life during a week long stay in Toronto, Shelf Life is described by PremRock as their most collaborative work yet, a statement which is backed up by the overall fluidity and cohesion of the project itself.
They are also joined by a few notable artists along the way, with LA duo ZenSoul dropping in on No Mandate, plus Birdapres and fellow Wrecking Crew member, Curly Castro stepping up to the mic on Loud Again. You can listen to Shelf Life in full below and downloads are available over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “PremRock & Fresh Kils: Shelf Life (Stream)”

Curly Castro: TOSH (Stream)

It was already a phenomenal year for hip hop, but the last month is seeing a flurry of releases that are pushing the standards even higher. One of them is Curly Castro’s solo effort, TOSH. The album is apparently inspired by George Orwell, Spike Lee and MF Doom, as well as Castro’s own background – West Indies, Philly and Brooklyn – resulting in a richly diverse sound throughout. That diversity is also thanks in part to the range of producers who are involved. There are beats from the likes of Blockhead, Blueprint, Zilla Rocca, Messiah Musik and NASA, as well as features from billy woods, PremRock and ELUCID, among others. When you put all those attributes together with Castro’s own inimitable talents, you get a worthy contender for your end of years lists. The album is available to stream below and you can grab a download over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “Curly Castro: TOSH (Stream)”

Henry Canyons: Interview

Its been a few months since I dropped an interview on here, so I am pleased to be able to present a recent conversation I had with one of my favourite MCs, Henry Canyons. Having blessed us with two new projects this year – La Côte West and Cool Side of the Pillow – as well as touring North America and Europe with PremRock & Fresh Kils, the Backwoodz MC has already made 2018 his own. We spoke about making Cool Side, how much jazz has influenced his career and his recent artist’s residence in Biarritz, among other things. Continue reading “Henry Canyons: Interview”

PremRock & Fresh Kils: Poet’s Payday

PremRock & Fresh Kils brightened up these cold climes with a surprise EP this week. Poet’s Payday has been put together while the duo are on tour and the result is seven strong tracks, ranging from the light air of Somebody Up There, to the electronic bombardment of Fentanyl. There are some nice features too, with billy woods dropping in on the aforementioned Fentanyl, Zilla Rocca bringing his a-game to Bad Sign and Ice Tha one making an appearance on Time, Change. Poet’s Payday is available to stream below and you can grab a download over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “PremRock & Fresh Kils: Poet’s Payday”

LNYCHPIN: LNYCHPIN

LNYCHPIN is an important compilation that showcases some of the best work that the indie rap scene in NY has to offer right now. The collection was put together by Backwoodz Studioz affiliates and linchpins of the scene themselves, Lt Headtrip and Willie Green, so you already know that the levels are going to be high.
There are tracks from Headtrip and billy woods, Gruff Lion and Teddy Faley, Warren Britt, PremRock and Hype Wonder, as well as a whole load more. It is basically the perfect selection for anyone who is already immersed in their love for NY rap, as well as anyone wanting to get familiar with the scene and its players. You can stream the compilation below and downloads are available via Bandcamp. Continue reading “LNYCHPIN: LNYCHPIN”

Wrecking Crew: Pinball Machine Gun Rap

My Grown Up Rap family recently premiered the latest offering from alternative rap collective, Wrecking Crew. Zilla Rocca, PremRock and Curly Castro, bring on board Alaska and Castle for Pinball Machine Gun Rap – a track which never made the cut for their 2012 Wu Tang Pulp project and so is now being released, in all its glory, for the fifth anniversary. You can stream the track below and you can find the original Wu Tang Pulp release here. Continue reading “Wrecking Crew: Pinball Machine Gun Rap”