Label: Mercury

Some records are about Brooklyn, and some records sound like Brooklyn. Jemini The Gifted One's disaffected and dark B-Side—and counterpoint—to his debut single "Funk Soul Sensation" was both. Over Minnesota's groaning organs and trotting drums, Jemini reflects with unusual candor and detail on his rugged childhood and adolescence growing up in Brook-Nam during the '80s and early '90s. In one of the song's most honest moments he even admits to bursting into tears as a 15-year-old caught up in the stress of drugs, crime, and violence. Of note to BK's new cheer squad (Go Nets! Swiiiiiish!), he describes neighborhoods that now sport coffee shops called Connecticut Muffin and suave #menswear boutiques called Brooklyn Circus—Fort Greene and Gowanus, respectively—which were better known in '94 for brewing Decepticon gang violence and relieving denizens of their fresh gear. But that's how it was, and this how it is. You gotta keep it real when you're a Brooklyn kid. —Noah Callahan-Bever