Looking back on my 2018 posts (it’s December, baby, time to reflect!), I’m thinking I’ve underrepresented hip-hop as a genre given how much I listen to it…and how much good shit came out this year. Hell, just this past month!
Hip-hop is vibrant, man. Hip-hop is hummin.‘ There was so much content released this year, it was impossible to keep up, especially for this lowly non-monetized, side hustle blog. But, even a small sampling (say, perhaps, in the upcoming In My Ear 2018 Playlist?! Teaser!) showcases a dynamic, eclectic musical art form brimming with talent, ideas, and creativity–not to mention mind-blowing lyricism, bracing emotion, thick beats, soaring instrumentals, and point-blank political statements.
In the midst of all of that terrific and exciting clatter, original MC Masta Ace’s A Breukelen Story (produced by, featuring, and dedicated to underground East Coast beatmaker and producer Marco Polo) offers a calm in the storm for old rap souls and anyone with an ear for 90s vintage NYC hip-hop. Easy flow, robust album concepts and lyrics, and laid back, straight-ahead beats paired with spare instrumentals (especially piano). Throwback? Sure, but it sounds fresh and tight. It’s authentic, genuine, and eminently professional, so it fits right in — and even stands out — among all of the other artists doing their thing this year with beats and soundscapes that are relentlessly, excellently pushing hip-hop forward.
The entire record just vibes, no more so than on this track–an homage to the BK.