Album: Lillie Street is the Street
Spread across America's Midwest, there's a thriving cottage industry of traditional gangsta rap whose lexicon and sound was codified by northern Californian rappers like Mac Dre, C-Bo, Messy Marv, and Mob Figaz's marquee artist The Jacka.
Fort Wayne, Indiana's Murdergang/1500blockmusic collective have cranked out local CDs in a vacuum for the last couple of years. 2013 saw the crew's main rappers, Stu Hustlah and Feddy Da Sneak, cultivate a YouTube presence with a slew of distinctively bleach-tinted no-frills videos for tracks like "Make Me Rich," "Same Position," "Grind Wit' Cha," "Let Off Da Strap," and "Respect Life." Last year the crew also began appearing on albums by Ohio mob music kingpins Ampichino and Young Bossi, and subsequently, their music began to appear on specialist rap blogs and message boards.
Last fall, Stu Hustlah announced he was dropping an album with Lil Juu (another of the crew's members) via a jpeg of an album cover which has to be seen to be believed (see above), and a new single, "Mobbin," the hardest, nastiest song the crew had recorded to date. The album finally arrived on iTunes/Amazon/Spotify last Friday, and it's back to business as usual: Stu and his cohorts return to their stock stylistic tics of raps about selling drugs, sending slugs, and needing hugs over beats which generally tend to consist of 80s R&B samples, cheap 'n' nasty chipmunk-soul, and synthetic acoustic guitars straight outta some Bolivian telenovela.
Today's featured Deep Cut, "This Is Me," stands out as both a good representation of Murdergang's regional variation on melancholy mob music (see also: tracks like "Oooooooooo," "Oh Soo Hard," and "Family Ties"). And a slight evolution in tone for the crew, as they begin to operate on slightly bigger budgets and let a bit of light into their otherwise unremittingly joyless bubble.
"So much in my life, dope in my pours/tryna find a way out, spittin' raps 'til I'm hoarse..."