Raf Almighty and DJ Brans - G.T.F.O.M.Y. (Review)

Raf Almighty and DJ Brans - G.T.F.O.M.Y. (Review) (Essence of Hip-Hop)

"G.T.F.O.M.Y." is the debut solo album from Dirt Platoon emcee and Baltimore hip-hop artist Raf Almighty. The album features guest appearances from Snook Da Crook, Wyld Bunch, Skanks, Fel Sweetenberg and others as well as production from Mil, Sir Williams (from Union Blak) and Fel Sweetenberg, but mostly all production is handled by DJ Brans (who is a hip-hop producer out of France). "G.T.F.O.M.Y." was released on June 9, 2014 via the Effiscienz label.
 

1) The Intro - Raf Almighty spits a quick verse over an instrumental full of brassy horns and a dope bass riff. The track is short, clocking in at just under a minute and a half, but the shit is real nice and is a good way to kick off the project. - 3.5/5

2) The Slumz (featuring Snook Da Crook and Wyld Bunch) - Raf teams up with his brother and fellow Dirt Platoon member Snook Da Crook as well as NY hip-hop artist Wyld Bunch as all three emcees spit some hard ass street rhymes over a gritty instrumental. The beat is absolute fire, with a crazy vocal sample, piercing strings, pianos and head nodding drums, and the scratching by DJ Djaz makes it even better. This ones a banger - 4.5/5



3) Leopards - DJ Brans delivers another ill instrumental with a mellow piano loop and beautiful vocal sample over boom-bap drums. The beat is real dope and Raf rips it, kicking some rhymes full of religious references and imagery while still coming with his usual aggressive flow. This one is real nice too. - 4/5

4) Emperor (featuring Nutso and Fel Sweetenberg) - This track features Queens emcee Nutso and the unofficial third member of Dirt Platoon Fel Sweetenberg joining Raf Almighty as all three emcees spit bars over an epic instrumental with a sort of intense cinematic feel. The beat is real nice and everyone sounds great over it. Very nice. - 4/5

5) Mama Interlude - Skit.

6) Biggest Loser - So far all of the production on this project has been really great and this track is no exception, with DJ Brans delivering once again on the production tip. The beat has my head nodding like crazy and Raf rips it, rapping about being "fucking miserable, down on my luck" while DJ Djaz kills it with the scratching on the chorus. Another really dope track. - 4.25/5

7) Blow Torch Rap (featuring Snook Da Crook) - Dirt Platoon come together to spit some of their usual aggressive rhymes over a dreary to the point of almost depressing instrumental. The beat is blazing though and both Raf and Snook both sound right at home over it while DJ Djaz kills it yet with the cuts. Dope. - 4/5

8) Myself - The beat on this joint features some swirling chimes, soft piano keys and a nice guitar lick for Raf Almighty to spit over. As you can probably already tell by the songs title, Raf uses this time to kick some boastful rhymes about himself and about his come up in the streets as well as in the hip-hop game. Very dope. - 3.5/5

9) A Statement - DJ Brans delivers another gritty street banger that ups the energy level of the album a bit and should definitely get your head nodding, especially when it changes up a little during Raf's second verse. The beat is real nice and Raf comes correct over it, kicking some knowledge while still spitting in his usual hostile flow. Dope track. - 3.75/5

10 Paris Blues - This song is more of a short interlude than a full song since its only 42 seconds long, but man is it a dope 42 seconds. The beat is mainly comprised of a soulful chopped up sample with Raf rapping about a woman over it, which leads into the next track....  - 4/5

11) Stormy Monday (featuring Elaysha) - Raf Almighty rhymes about spending a stormy Monday at home with his queen over another soulful instrumental with a sprinkle of piano keys and jazzy horns. The beat is really ill and Raf bodies it, with Elaysha rounding out the atmospheric feel of the track with some beautiful vocals on the chorus. Very dope song. - 4.25/5

12) Governors (featuring Skanks and Milez Grimez) - The final track on the album (before the remixes) also happens to be the only song on the project that is not produced by DJ Brans himself. Instead, Fel Sweetenberg delivers an instrumental centered around a chopped up soul sample and stomping drums for Raf Almighty, Bankai Fam emcee Skanks and Milez Grimez to spit over. The beat is real nice and everyone featured comes correct over it. Nice. - 3.5/5

13) The Slumz (featuring Snook Da Crook and Wyld Bunch) (Mil Remix) - The first of the four remix tracks features the same vocals as the original, but this time layered over a dope instrumental by Mil. The original instrumental is real nice and this one is just as dope in my opinion. I'm especially feelin' the horns on here. Very nice. - 4.5/5

14) Blow Torch Rap (featuring Snook Da Crook) (Fel Sweetenberg Remix) - This remix also features the same vocals as the original, but this time with Fel Sweetenberg's take on the beat. I'm not feelin' this one quite as much as the original, but it's not bad. - 3/5

15) A Statement (featuring Kimba) (Union Blak Remix) - Sir Williams (from Union Blak) provides the beat on this cut and its real nice, with a chopped up string sample over hard hitting drums. This one is definitely on par with the original and actually features some new vocals from Kimba. - 3.75/5

16) Governors (featuring Skanks and Milez Grimez) (DJ Brans Remix) - The final remix on the album is actually from DJ Brans himself, with the French hip-hop producer delivering a soulful vocal loop over boom-bap drums. This one is also on par with the original. - 3.5/5

I'm going to rate the album

4 / 5

because its really dope. The beats are pretty much fire throughout, with DJ Brans delivering instrumentals ranging from gritty street bangers ("The Slumz") to more laid-back, atmospheric cuts ("Stormy Monday"). Every beat on here is top notch and keeps with the hardcore Dirt Platoon sound while still managing to sound fresh at the same tim. As far as the rhymes go, Raf Almighty proves that he can handle an entire project as a solo artist just as skillfully as he can as part of Dirt Platoon. His flow is just as aggressive and hardcore as usual, but the lyrics are actually meaningful and not just a bunch of street stories on every track. Although he never really steps outside of his comfort zone on the album, it doesn't really matter when the beats and rhymes are this tight. Peep the full album stream below and make sure to cop the album on iTunes if you like what you hear.



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