Beast Coast! A group I like to affectionately refer to as “The Avenger’s of New York”. They are a super rap group consisting of various members from Joey BADA$$’s Pro Era, The Underachievers, and the Flatbush Zombies. These lyrically gifted artists have come together in the past to create some fantastic collaborative singles, but have finally given the fans what they wanted, in their first collective Album entitled “Escape from New York”. This Juggernaut of an album is a 13 song lyrical trip into the world of the enlightened artists and their struggles and blessings as rappers.
I’d like to first start off by saying I am a HUGE fan of all 3 rap groups; they all individually are fantastic artists and continue to show growth over time. So you can imagine when I heard they were making an album that I went absolutely BALLISTIC. They did an incredible job advertising the album up until. They uploaded reminders in video form every week, dropped singles from the album, and even brought back Big Tigger in an explosive revival of B.E.T’s “The Basement”, which went off the air 10+ years ago. With all this being said, I had the album in the S Tier without even hearing a single second of it. Upon its release, I sat down and listened to it from start to finish.
First Things First
My first thought of the album was that for a group of multifaceted, multi-talented, extremely intelligent men, the album seemed to just be…. good. Not life changing, not prophetic, but good. Each individual group has been responsible for some of my favorite albums in Rap HISTORY (Flatbush Zombie’s “BETTER OFF DEAD”, Pro Era’s “Peep: The aPROcalypse”, and The Underachiever’s “Indigoism”). All these albums were introduced to me at crucial points in my life and that’s why I hold them so dearly; they essentially helped me find who I am, musically.
So for this album to come off as so regular and basic to me made me question if I listened to it at the wrong time. There are obviously some wonderful songs on here such as Left Hand, Problemz, Rubberband, Last Choir, and many more; in which the lyrical content and beats alike were great, but to me, they all just felt like very good singles, not puzzle pieces to the bigger picture that was this masterpiece. An album of this caliber should make sure EVERY song is necessary to get the full experience, and quite honestly I could leave out a song or two here and there.
I absolutely HATE to be so critical of this album because every last artist involved is MORE than capable of producing a classic album (whether it be solo or in their respective groups), and I’ve gone to bat countless times defending their talent. Maybe I set my expectations too high and that would be 100% my fault for feeling this way? Perhaps I missed an underlying theme? There’s a strong possibility after listening to this album over again I will feel different about it. But however I choose to justify how I feel, I know I felt very underwhelmed. It almost felt as if I was the parent of an A+ student, and they brought home a C one day; it’s PASSING, but I know they can do better.