I can't stop listening to "Empire State" by MIGHTY JOSEPH (Vast Aire & Karniege) #nowPlaying

How could I possibly resist Mighty Joseph? Vast Aire and Karniege, two of my favorite emcees? both equally comfy spitting that special blend of nerdcore New York thug genius that I am so enamored with? Conversational flows smuggling weapons-grade wordplay? Plus, one of the illest album covers ever? Once I start bumping Empire State, how the hell can I stop listening to it?

The easy answer is I can't!

Vast and Karniege have great chemistry. They pro'lly could'a pulled off an album without any additional features, but this joint benefits from dope verses from other rappers. My favorite song right now is track 3 Out the Gate, which features an amazing verse from Vast's dude Genesis, whose booming delivery seems to come  from behind a distant thundercloud:

"I don't dance, but it's not from a lack of practice
but when I do the running man, the Earth spins backwards..."
There's tracks with Poison Pen, Murs, and Vast's CanOx partner Vordul Mega. The posse cut Pandora's Box is another winner, with a lead verse by a cat named Double A.B. that may just be the gangsterest verse on the record:
"...chicks won't back off us,
Guess we that gorgeous.
Flawless and lawless, they swarm us and maul us
The boss of the bosses get tossed in a tournament.
Born-again Israelite like Saul an'nem.
King Solomon. Peasants leave hollerin'
Don't wanna see trial again, better bring Cochran in.
What you mean, Cochran's dead?
What, he fell, knocked his head?
My bad. Heart attack? Guess I got no options, then.
Call Karniege and I'm in my car sippin' Gin.
I'm what you call calm inhalin' carcinogens..."
But like I said, Vast and Karniege don't get overshadowed by all the fly guest spitters. Vast holds court on verses with his punchy delivery which is equal parts imposing tough guy, wise sage, and lyrical prankster. He's playful and gritty on Pandora's Box"
"...You can call me Santa Claus.

I'm good with the gift and I use my claws
and if I don't like the contract, I rip up the clause.
{why you hurtin' my arm for}
Just because..."
Vast gets reflective on NYC Kids 
"...It takes money to make money,
and we need that momentum
In fact it ain't funny.
And f*ck Al Queda...
cause I could'a died getting a candy bar from a bodega..."

 I haven't said much about Karniege, but he's dope on the record, too. I always cut for Vast Aire, but in the last few years, I have really gained a ton of respect for Karniege as an emcee. His rhymes are infused with pride and confidence. He's so full of New York, it's oozing out:

"C'mon man. Shit's got realer.
Buildin's fell down and it's wasn't Godzilla.
More like reality son, quoted from scripture
not tryin'a be preachy but peep the picture..."
Like Vast, Karniege loads his verses with videogame, movie and comics references that reveal the nerdcore lining of street cats that tends to go unnoticed unless you're talking about Madden.

Empire State came out in '08 I think. I wouldn't say I slept on it, but I'm way more impressed with it now than when I first heard it. I could go on and on... Guess my point is this is a nice record. If you like Empire State, hit Karniege's bandcamp for more.



Robert Trujillo/Tres said...

I feeel you dude. This LP is hella slept on! Love that song "Rocket Science".

samax amen said...

Yeaaaah! That's a GOOD one!

"You got beef, let's settle it then!
But you won't cause you square like tiananmen..."

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