Crate Diggers (July 2017)

Zero Fatigue (Smino, Bari and Jay2) – Manegos (Prod. Monte Booker)

Zero Fatigue Crew is a Chicago based collaboration of producer Monte Booker, rapper Smino, and vocalist Ravyn Lanae. Known for their “organic” sound, this track is a symbol of the expansion of the members with boy Bari and Jay2AintShit joining the frey.

Booker claims inspiration from Flying Lotus and Timbaland which is expressed on this futuristic sounding beat that never becomes stale. The comical fluctuations of each rappers flow emphasize the continuously changing beat, keeping the listener involved in the track from start to finish. All the while, the rappers exchange bars almost seamlessly. It’s a production of true art.


Nick Grant – Luxury Vintage Rap

Nick Grant is a South Carolina rapper that is being credited as one of the few new artists to bring the ‘golden-age’ of rap into the new decade. From his socially conscious lyrics to the 90s reminiscent beats he raps over, its not hard to understand why he’s credited as such. 

Luxury Vintage Rap is a song a first heard on NPR’s Tiny Desk Sessions and just loved the accoustic version. Grant spits a relaxed flow on the Desk Sessions but I ain’t mad at the aggressive flow of the original. The production is amazing in this track and Grant’s lyrical prowess is abundant. Despite telling a story of rappers who come in as a one-hit wonder instead of working at the craft for perfection like he is, he still manages hit some amazing punchlines without veering off topic.

“I don’t believe the devil came as a snake. Why would he come as something you naturally hate.”

Nolan the Ninja – Modesty ft. Quelle Chris & Denmark Vessey

Hailing from the hometown of J Dilla and Eminem, Detroit, Nolan has already begun to make a name for himself as both a producer and an emcee. Practicing the art of crate digging at record shops, he creates nostalgic smooth instrumentals while lyrically he delivers a high-pitched energetic flow reminiscent of Freeway in his prime.

Modesty is a collaborative piece full of different styles. Nolan’s high tones are balanced with Denmark’s smooth hook while the aggression in the first verse is quickly followed by Quelle’s playfully mellow verse. The balance is further displayed by the boasting of each rapper’s skills paired with the hook about being more modest. It gives a full spectrum of style while remaining addictively catchy.

“Tunes Looney, which way did he go. He went that-a-way, the bugs rabbit way. The rapping ass act savage way”

Donte Thomas – Keep the Juice (prod. ILL Brown & Corey G)

Hailing from Portland, Oregon this young artist first made a name for himself doing musical projects in high school and has just released his debut album in July. 

This track seems to be inspired by the viral video of a shoe store employee explaining the difference between having the sauce and the juice, in which the song and the employee refer to the juice being fleeting while the sauce is everlasting as symbolism for different expressions of wealth and power. 

3D Na’Tee – OJ (T.mix)

3D Na’Tee is an artist that has been in the game for awhile signing with New Orleans’ label Clientelle Records before its dismantling back in 1999, as well has features on MTV, XXL magazine, Source and other media outlets. 

This track is a flip of Jay Z’s recently released The Story of OJ, from his 4:44 album. It is a slightly different reutterance of Jay Z’s message of African American’s unable to break free of financial and social labels. 3D’s message becomes less racial and more about the chasing of success versus the preparation for it.
How did you like the month’s list?? Let us know in the comments!

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