It can't be easy for an up-and-coming MC to make a breakthrough in the already overcrowded New York rap scene. It seems that every other person in the Big Apple raps as CD-Rs of the latest 'hot' new rappers are thrown around like confetti at a wedding. With so many artists vying for the listener's attention, it's now almost the norm for newcomers to release their albums online for free hoping that it will reach the right person's ears. The internet, much like Manhattan, is absolutely full of rappers trying to push their free goods and it's getting harder and harder to grab people's attention. To quote a post that I read on a forum a few months ago; "everybody raps and my hard drive doesn't care". Maybe that's a little blunt but I do feel that it is a fairly accurate summary of how the rap game seems right now.
Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican rhymer Gees Extortion attempts to stand out from the crowd with his new release "Organized Rhymes: The Original Mixtape". Although billed as a mixtape, this eighteen track release has the feel of a polished album with entirely original production and properly constructed tracks that all stand alone as their own piece of work. Although there is the occasional obligatory shout-out, this is a very cohesive listen. The album opens with an excerpt from Carlito's Way before some moody strings are joined by a kick and a snare to form the backdrop to the title track "Organized Rhymes". While only just under two minutes long, Gees' in-house production team S'pply n D'mand provide a suitable platform for our MC to drop a few bars to let us know what we can expect. Hala-X swiftly ups the pace for "Mainstream Dream" as the frantic horns and pounding drums give Gees the perfect opportunity to showcase his confident flow:
"Gees on the scene, I'm the mainstream dream
They call me the underground king
Rhyme real mean, more bars than Sing Sing
Been dope with the flow since I was a pre-teen
Rap real nineties, spit so eighties
Sick like rabies, clap three-eighties
B-R-double O-K-L-Y-N, E-X-T-O-R-T-I-O-N
That's what I'm repping, that's my fucking name boy
No half-stepping, but no I'm not Kane boy
Trying to push records so I stopped selling 'caine boy..."
Although lyrically it treads a familiar path, the combination of the up-tempo soundscape and Extortion's solid delivery make for a banger, although admittedly I am a sucker for brass-driven tracks like this. On a totally different vibe, Roc Nation's newest beat-making addition, Jahlil Beats, serves up the stuttering and spacey "New Song" for Gees to spit lazy braggadocio on. A trio of good tracks follow in "Life is so Crazy", "Chasin'" and "Anything". While the two former songs are strong, the latter is genuinely outstanding. A heartfelt and sincere tribute to his late mother, you can feel the genuine passion and pain in his voice as he talks to her. Although this is clearly a deeply personal song, the sentiment can find residence with anybody who has lost somebody that they care about.
Hala-X, behind the boards on "Anything", is also responsible for "Gees Inferno" which gives Gees the chance to spit double-time fire all over it. While only two and a half minutes long, this track really showcases another side to Extortion and when it is over you will want to hit rewind to check any of the punches that you missed. "Mic Bust" is another strong performance from both Hala-X and Gees as the BK rapper takes out lesser MCs over the ominous beat complete with a nice Rakim vocal sample;
"Soon as I step in the booth, the mic got clutched
When Extortion start flowing the mic might bust
Try your luck motherfucker, you might get crushed
Act tough on my block and you might get rushed
Verbs, antonyms, nouns, synonyms
Herbs can't handle 'em, words just be killing 'em
I know you feeling him, James Bond flow
Peep the seven on the low, lyrical double O
You'll never find another rhyme or flow like this
Gees but you would think I was the soloist
Just follow the leader, I can make doves clap to this
Microphone fiend, tearing up the map with this"
Guests are kept to a minimum as only Nitty Scott MC, Vin Keatin and Anna share any microphone time while Hala-X and the excellent Clipsmoke are responsible for half of the album's production making for a consistent record. While, for the most part, Gees Extortion is not saying anything new, there is undeniably something about him that will help him to stand out from this crowd of emerging New York MCs. I can't figure out whether it is his rhyme structure and delivery, the emotion shown on "Anything", the beatsmiths that he is working with or a combination of all three but something has got me interested. This album is not perfect by any means as a couple of the beats are a little so-so and a couple of the tracks are maybe a little unimaginative but it does serve as a great introduction to what could be a very promising musical career. "Organized Rhymes" is definitely one free download that IS worth the space on your cluttered hard drive.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: November 8th, 2011