Grandmilly & Shozae

Stones Throw Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Now here's a collaboration worth talking about. Long Island based rapper Grandmilly (of Raider Klan) comes together with Shozae (a producer who is an integral piece of Midnite Society) for an album of giant talent after a couple of very well-received EPs from the duo. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Cyber Tech Suits” gets the record started off with a soundbite before hazy rhythm and quick rapping from Grandmilly settles in. “Street Life” follows with fast paced vocals that are met with soulful singing in the background as a strong beat guides the way.

Elsewhere, “Graffiti” finds the pair cultivating a dreamy, irresistible groove, while “Pleasant Times” carries an ominous backdrop as Grandmilly provides insightful lyrics. Deeper tracks bring in plenty of guests: “Ferris Wheel” with Dunny Cold Facts (Midnite Society) and AJ Suede (Freeminds Collective) contribute to one of the most playful tunes with xylophone acrobatics, and “Army Of Kings,” featuring Sageinfinite of The Winners, is a lush, melodic high point with flowing vocals.

Near the end, “The Man Show” recruits some pop influences and “Chancellor” with Petey Max (Midnite Society) is one of the most eclectic tracks on hand, carrying a slight R&B influence amid the hip-hop template. “Phillip Lim (Grand Closing)” is indeed a grand exit, bursting with grooves, backing female vocals, and an infectious beat.

The pair recorded this debut LP in Shozae's basement, and vocal samples help steer the listener through stories about living in New York City. The dynamic chemistry between Grandmilly and Shozae is undeniable here as the subject matter about struggles and the darker side of life is something both have lived through, and they use their art for an authentic and expertly crafted journey that any fan of hip-hop and rap will be enamored with. Another impressive album from the Stones Throw label, indeed.

Rating: B+

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