Brooklyn emcee/producer Your Old Droog is a busy man. Though his cadence and rhyme schemes have garnered him numerous warranted comparisons to seminal rapper Nas, none of that has slowed YOD’s engine down. With that said comes the release of his latest album, “Yod Stewart”. A seven-track EP, the songs are tied together by a very loose narrative: A musician finds a wig resembling pop star Rod Stewart, takes it home to try it on, falls asleep, and then dreams of pop success. Though that’s the stated narrative in the press release, the tracks only somewhat tie in to said concept.

There’s a different producer for each of the seven tracks. To start things off, Conductor Williams laces the opener “Nightmares & Dreams”. YOD emphasizes that “Nightmares don’t hit the same when you livin’ out dreams”, but Conductor’s beat sounds cluttered and the drum snares sound clunky. The Lee Scott-produced “Mind Your Business” is comprised of an organ sample with no drums. YOD adds some trademark humor in his lines such as “I hate you like how White rappers hate other White rappers”, but the message is simple: Do you and don’t worry about others.

YOD gets gutter on “I Knew You Was a Bitch”. Produced by Roper Williams, this is the first consistent beat presented, it’s got piano samples and consistent drum programming. Here, YOD tells you that you find out who a person is when they can no longer make money off of you with lines like “I couldn’t stand fake shit / Got set up by people I had handshakes with”. “Toxic Love” has YOD presenting the old female stock character: She’s hot and smart, but she’s ultimately not good for him. Produced by Wino Willy, the sonic backdrop has a lo-fi sample and a guitar riff.

“Love & Basketball” sort of takes its cue from the movie of the same name. Produced by Nicholas Craven with a smooth R&B guitar riff, YOD spins a yarn about a tomboy chick who he likes. They hooked up, but he treated her like a one of the guys, so she left. He makes references to basketball players (Mutumbo and Ben Wallace) about not throwing something good away. “Go To Sleep” is a reunion with Tha God Fahim, who gifts YOD with the best beat on the album. It’s mostly boom-bap with dusty drums and a well-tailored jazz sample. With lines like “That’s just a bold lie my scared brain told / I’m so fly, I put phone on Airplane Mode”, the message is simple: “Do Not Disturb”. Check it out:



Lastly is the Argov-produced “The Ballad of Krutoy”. There’s an atmospheric organ sample in the background as YOD raps, “They can’t stop what’s pre-destined / And sometimes, you can’t understand happiness without deep depression”. Though some dream studies theorize that images in dreams are merely disguises for feelings, I think that YOD conveys that idea in “Yod Stewart” as the raps seem from him and not the album concept’s character. The stated narrative is intriguing, but would’ve been even more so had YOD seriously ran with it.


Your Old Droog :: Yod Stewart
6Overall Score