“Real Hip-Hop is dead! These dudes don’t spit bars anymore!” is the corniest, yet most often used phrase among the more “enlightened” fans of the culture. Hell, up until about a year ago, I was the leader of the, “Migos killed Hip-Hop!!” faction, but we live and we learn — now no drunk night is complete without a full blown, “Kelly Price” cover from the squad. Luckily, self proclaimed rap purists like myself are starting to come around and appreciate the fun, and at times very positive, new music that the younger crowd is beginning to cook up. WITH THAT BEING SAID… Who doesn’t love bars? Especially when they’re perfectly layered over a dusty set of drums and obscure samples. If that’s your style — and it should be — then New York City native YL and his new project, Open 24 is exactly what’s missing from your library.
Produced entirely by in-house producer Roper Williams, Open 24 showcases YL’s ability to spit over nostalgic boom bap beats, while also keeping it refreshing with original cadences and rhyme schemes. At 13 tracks long, the tape boasts features from frequent collaborators, Starker and Mid, while also seeing YL connect with songstress Mello and Pro Era hotspitter Dirty Sanchez. Standout tracks from the tape include, “2 Doors Down” — an ode to danky neighbors nationwide — “Side Effects” and “Sound Reasons” which features Starker doing his best Lloyd Banks impression while YL paints a vivid picture of his future with the line, “I’m old school like Adidas with the thick laces/ and almost famous like Penny Lane, it’s all happening” which, if I’m correct, will be a chilling prophecy in a few months when Y busts through the industry doors Timbs first. The song that showcases his potential the most, though, is the Mello assisted, “Dwele Song”. Rhyming over Williams’ spot on Dwele-like production, YL lets it all out on the table, diving into relationship issues stemming from infidelity. Not fully grasping the weight of his transgressions, Y takes the stance of “I can’t believe you’d just leave me, you’d know I’d never just bounce on you.” followed by Mello coming in with show stopping 30 secs in which she explains EXACTLY why she’s had enough, making for a brutally honest, yet relatable track.
Check out the project below — or download it here for free — and be sure to keep an eye on the NYC native.