New York MC Hus Kingpin is one of a number of rappers creating classy, stripped-back street smart music from the east coast of the states. With a number of noteworthy collaborations, Kingpin surrounds himself in a talented circle; frequent partners in rhyme Smoovth, Rozewood and Marvelous Mag all appear on ‘Lord Wavy 2’, a thirteen track mixtape that showcases the NY MC’s individual style and ear for subtle, raw beats.
The Roc Marciano produced opener ‘Playoffs’ is a perfect introduction for those unfamiliar with Hus’ work; the dramatic but sparse instrumental backs flawlessly structured lyricism, laced with vivid imagery and intelligent references. Hus has made it his specialty to fuse restrained production and writing dripped in swagger to result in intense, gritty hip-hop packed with charisma.
The soulful, subtly menacing ‘Hourglass’ features Rozewood, and the classy Knxwledge produced cut is an early standout. ‘Cognac Phantoms’ too is outstanding; Roc Marciano and Hus Kingpin demonstrate their impeccable ability to construct abstract, memorable punchlines with perfectly balanced humour and realness. The chemistry between Roc and Hus is tried and tested, and once again they reap the rewards with this track.
Detroit spitter Guilty Simpson appears on the excellent ‘Time Is Running Out’, and the track takes a more upbeat, textured direction, with jazzy samples and dusty drums. ‘Ice Cream’ is laced with veiled Wu-Tang references, and the minimal, slow-paced production is perfectly suited to Hus’ dexterous pen game and unorthodox style. ‘MMM’ features a textured instrumental, with absorbing soulful orchestration that allows Hus to demonstrate his encapsulating lyricism.
‘Lord Wavy 2’ isn’t absolutely perfect, there are definitely some cuts that are stronger than others, but it is a mixtape after all, and the rough around the edges feel of the project acts as a real draw. Hus KIngpin does an excellent job of showcasing his unique, easily identifiable style and his abundance of lyrical prowess over an eclectic selection of beats. This one is another free download project; see what all the fuss is about.
By Sam Bennett