East Coast hip hop has been experiencing something of a crest in the last several years. Not that it ever wasn’t present in the most bustling city in the US, but there was a point where it was a task to locate some grimy, sour-in-the-dutch hip hop. Thankfully, cats like Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Ka, and many others have bubbled up with a sound rooted in the classic spirit of NY.
I was not familiar with East Coast producer Ray West before his LUV NY project, but after this, he’s certainly another torch-bearer to keep an ear on. “Pressure Up” is the best cut from the album to me, and the rest of the LUV NY project carries the aesthetic and ethic of “Pressure Up” with reocurring MC guest appearances from A.G., Kool Keith, Roc Marc and O.C. among others.
A combination that I had not imagined before but works perfectly, Roc Marciano and Kool Keith deliver verses as cold, bizarre, haunting and mesmerizing as Ray West’s brick-cold production. The lonely piano loop thinly veiled with weed smoke and dirty snow has the makings for one of my personal favorite moods hip hop can create.