Be careful while listening to “Get Ugly.” The snapping beat quite distracting in its own right, infectious enough to cause the body to revert to doing The Wop or other random ’80s dances. But the real focus here is the trio of emcees – Skotch, DZA and PUSH! – who are unofficially leading NYC’s avant-garde.
For points of reference, Smoke’s haze-inspired George Kush… may be one of the sleepers of the year while Mr. Montana bears a sounding resemblance to Stack Bundles and manages to steal the show quite often, much like the fallen soldier. While Skotch remains raw around the edges, the continuous glimpses of talent and an uncanny understanding of what it takes to be an all-encompassing emcee, from studio to stage. In rap’s roulette, I’d confidently place odds on each of these guys creating a healthy discog over the next few years and, if we’re lucky, helping to shape the sound of what’s next.
Their names may not ring bells at first mention but each one is so lyrically flamboyant and capable, the music not characterized by any parameters except that it always sounds as if it were sparked during a long night’s smokey studio session where one-upping each other was the only goal. As the chorus says, it could potentially “Get Ugly,” but it’s one beautiful mess.
#SkotchTape, coming soon.