Kev Brown and Hassaan Mackey - That Grit (Review)

"That Grit" is a collaborative EP between Rochester, NY rapper Hassaan Mackey and Washington D.C. based hip-hop producer/emcee Kev Brown. The EP features guest appearances from yU, Toine, Kaimbr, Eye-Q, Asheru and others and is fully produced by Kev Brown himself. It was released on November 4, 2014 via Ill Adrenaline Records.

1) Intro - A quick intro with Hassaan Mackey spitting a few bars over an ill instrumental. Too bad this isn't a real song since the beat and rhymes sound nice.

2) Git Em’ (featuring yU, Toine, Kaimbr, Eye-Q and Kev Brown) - The first real song on the album finds Hassaan Mackey, Kev Brown and company spitting fire over a crazy chopped up jazz sample with dusty drums. The beat is real dope and everyone on here sounds great over it. Hopefully the rest of the project is just as strong since I'm really feelin' this one. - 4/5

3) Dope (featuring Kaimbr and Kev Brown) - This cut was one of the singles released in promotion of the EP and it's real nice. The beat has a jazzy feel to it, with a soft piano loop over gritty boom-bap drums, and both Hassaan Mackey and Kaimbr rip it while Kev Brown just provides the chorus. This shit hasn't left rotation since it dropped a few weeks back. - 4.25/5

4) Money Mike (featuring Kev Brown and Kenn Starr) - This song features Hassaan Mackey, Kev Brown and fellow Low Budget Crew member Kenn Starr doing their thing over a mellow guitar loop that has a sort of somber feel to it. As on the past two tracks, the beat is real nice and everyone sounds great over it. This EP is fire so far. - 4/5

5) Yatti (featuring Kaimbr) - Kev Brown comes through with what might be my favorite instrumental on the project so far, with a moody strummed string sample over stomping boom-bap drums. At least I think it's distorted strings of some type, but I may be way off on that. Regardless, the beat has my head nodding like crazy and both Hassaan Mackey and Kaimbr body it while kicking some reflective street rhymes. - 4.25/5

6) Hassaan Be Rappin’ - This joint was the other half of the video above and was also released as a single a few weeks back. The beat is real ill, with an upbeat string-based sample over lively drums, and Hassaan Mackey just goes off over it. Yet another very dope track. - 4.25/5

7) What You Got (featuring Kev Brown, Asheru and Grap Luva) -  This song finds Kev Brown delivering another one of my favorite instrumentals on the EP, with a sort of peaceful, calming chime sample layered over head nodding boom-bap drums. Lyrically the song is just as strong as the production, with Hassaan Mackey, Kev Brown, Asheru and Grap Luva showing some great chemistry together on the mic and ripping the instrumental. - 4.25/5

8) Simone (Louder) - Hassaan Mackey goes solo on this track and raps about a variety of topics, from corporate vultures in the rap industry to how he was born to do this rap shit. As for the production, you know its going to be dope, with Kev Brown chopping up a soul sample and mixing it with an ill guitar riff. Nice. - 4/5

9) War - The final song on the EP (before the instrumentals) finds Hassaan Mackey rapping about some of the more negative aspects of the world today over a kind of gloomy instrumental. The beat and rhymes are on point and act as a nice way to close out the project. - 3.75/5

I'm going to rate the EP

4.25 / 5

because it's really good. The production is fire throughout, with Kev Brown providing a constant supply of head nodding boom-bap instrumentals grounded in that 'golden era' sound. Kev has always been a beast behind the boards and he continues that trend on here. As far as the rhymes go, Hassaan Mackey also continues his run of solid releases and rips every beat on here. He changes up the subject matter on almost every track, with some songs finding the Low Budget Crew emcee tackling socially conscious topics ("War") while others find him just straight up spitting ("Hassaan Be Rappin'"). The guest verses (many by Kev Brown himself) are all just as strong, with not a single guest appearance coming off as weak dragging the quality of the EP. All in all, the project is really good and is one of my favorite releases of the year.


Post a Comment