The rappers have been off to the races lately. Whether working on full-length albums, collaborative projects or performing at top speed, local hip-hop cats have been putting in work. We've compiled the latest heaters from A. Fox, who goes right in with his Boy Davey-produced certified club-banger, "Main Bitch"; Pries, who goes in another direction entirely with "Rock and Roll"; Dyalekt, of Diamond Boiz, who keeps it thoughtful and upbeat on his verse over Nicki Minaj's "Moment for Life"; and "Boomin,'" from Rockie, the rapper whom many consider the next to blow.
First up is "Main Bitch," which has the makings of being a big club banger. The cut, produced by Boy Davey, features A. Fox, a relative newcomer to the scene, who comes out the gate swinging, opening this track with this catchy and controversial hook: "I ain't gotta tell her that I love her/I trust her so I fuck without a rubber."
His rapping is ecstatic and measured on each bar, and the production is clean and cohesive, with each sound building on the next, laying the perfect foundation for Fox to jog on the beat. Fox is brilliant in his delivery, flow and lyrical ability. He spits eloquent, misogynistic and sexually explicit lyrics with the confidence of a pro, and Davey's pyramid production offers the perfect example of how to let the beat build.
On the flip side of the spectrum is Pries, with his latest single, "Rock and Roll." This joint is strictly pop and finds the MC rapping about skateboards and punk-rock chicks.
Again, he kills it with the melody and a very accessible hook. His voice is unmistakable, no question, but this boisterous ode to lady pop singers -- in which Pries shouts out Rihanna (twice, the second time to imply that he enjoys her "crazy"), Gaga, Taylor Swift, Pink and Madonna, among others -- could use a raucous guitar solo as accompaniment. Pries does a great job of explaining the attraction of polar opposites here, cueing up an Amber Rose reference to boot.
From a production standpoint, Pries once again proves himself a one man show, and he emphasizes his talents in all the right places. Toward the end, he gets on his Kanye "Power" megaphone shit, and it seems to work, but a clear vocal with the guitar addition would be just as compelling.
Dyalekt, one-third of the Diamond Boiz production and rapping team, adds his flavor to Nicki Minaj's hit "Moment for Life" in the form of a hot verse. Dyalekt shines on the cut with lyrical versatility and rapid, rhythmic flow. Here he tunes in perfectly to the beat and keeps up with the charismatic theme of a thankful watershed moment.
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Even though it's clearly Nicki's song, Dyalekt owns his verse -- shouting out his crew with a celebratory feel, complete with handclaps and patron references -- while Minaj takes a back seat to his lines about belief in self and his learned experiences. Dyalekt is believable, and will rightly make you want to listen again. Also, is it just us, or is Dyalekt showing an uncanny rapping resemblance to J. Cole?
Rockie's latest installment of the Barcode series, Barcode 3, brings us "Boomin," a track about posturing, pretty girls, greatness and moolah -- all wrapped up in an intricately produced club record with deep house elements. Here, Rockie gives a verbose account of just why he's the best at what he does. When he announces with vigor and concise rhyme patterns that he and his Squizzy Gang crew came to get it and will not be denied, it's more flossin' than a direct challenge to anyone in particular. Lyrically, they'll take your girl, your money and your notoriety. Hip-hop, son.