Monyy's aptly named Crack Vol. 1 offers a perspective that's stuck in the trappings of street life, but with aspirations of something more. While the tape's lo-fi sound gives it a rugged feel, inspired production allows the tracks to breathe. Monyy's main focus is the corporate music industry, for which he expresses no small distaste. Commendably, he avoids the made-for-radio hook aspect of rap on all but the last track. The rapper's flow is refined and his passion is palpable, but his lyrics are a bit too safe, and, as a result, nothing he says is especially groundbreaking. But even though he sometimes falls into the "money over hos" pattern that is so prevalent in the mainstream, that doesn't necessarily undermine things here; in fact, it goes with the "industry is like the crack game" motif. It's a formula that has proven to be successful, and it's hard to escape. The Crack mixtape, definitely worth a listen, can be had for free on


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