Hip-hop 'em dead

New Jersey’s Outsidaz brings a much-needed bit of perspective to East Coast hip hop with its pared-down, percussive beats and spitting, battle-style delivery. The MC collective (which at one time included Detroit’s own Bizarre, now of D12 fame) never gets into the "yeaah yeaah" / "knowhatI’msayin’" sameness of their East Coast brethren, but instead reignite primal hip-hop fury in all its hungry, gory glory.

The opening, "Don’t Look Now," rewires an action-series theme for its beat while MCs trade verses about blowing up and showing up on magazine covers, sounding more like they’re daydreaming out loud than just boasting and toasting. Similarly, "Money Money Money" is as much about not having it as, more predictably, getting paid: "I’m trying to keep money" is the chorus.

The Rah Digga-featuring "Fuck Y’All Niggas" is TLC’s "Pigeons"-"Scrubs" debate regressing back to its Jerry Springer Too-Hot-for-TV roots; it won’t win points for social consciousness, but it still rocks. Utica’s own Eminem even shows up on "Rush Ya Clique," which shows the Outsidaz busting its own version of the Em-one’s internal rhyme flow, then it pays homage (about time somebody did) to Kool Keith with the "Dr. Octagon" chorus of "Night Life."

Smart enough to make tracks that can get on the radio, but good enough that that’s not all they’re for, Outsidaz is a bitch-slap to the face of all that sing-sing, bling-bling sameness.

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.