Label: Fat Beats

Many of New York rap's 21st-century resurrections have been unexpected, but perhaps none more than Roc Marciano, a second-tier member of the second-tier Busta Rhymes posse Flipmode Squad. Shit, we could barely have been more surprised if Spliff Star dropped a masterpiece. Just as Roc Marci was the only guest on Ka's similarly acclaimed Grief Pedigree, here Ka has one cameo in what's otherwise a one-man show from the gifted rapper/producer. Most of Roc Marciano's production work is in the crate-digging—once he finds a killer Smoked Sugar or Mighty Doug Haynes loop, he doesn't do much to get in its way, leaving plenty of space for dense, writerly rhymes.