Escape From New York
Now, where have we heard this story before? A diverse crew of preternaturally talented New York MCs come together to release music as a unit, on a mission to conquer the world with tales of NYC-specific lifestyle and culture. It’s happening in reverse this time, as the members of Beast Coast (unlike Wu-Tang) were for the most part established soloists or members of already successful smaller groups at the time of their unification. Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, and CJ Fly do, however, sound particularly inspired over the course of Escape From New York by the wild array of vocal styles and perspectives each other provides. And provide they do. The large majority of the songs on Escape From New York serve as high-level cyphers, with each MC, even in the instance of delivering hooks, distinguishing themselves through wily vocal tones, face-scrunching wordplay, and heaps of personality. If listeners aren’t coming into the project with favorite members ahead of time, it’s likely their minds will be made up afterwards—just in time to support the Beast Coast members’ various solo efforts. Whether or not they release music as a collective beyond Escape From New York remains to be seen, but at the moment the only thing missing from the equation is an especially tattoo-able logo.