Mar 21, 2016

#ICYMIMonday: Sip The Nectar - @AgdaCoroner; A Niles P. Joint

There’s a section of modern popular hip hop that is a haze of Xanax and lean and men’s leggings and overproduced beats and vocals. Somehow this plague spread to the East Coast. While it may be cool for the whippersnappers, the old guard is being underserved by the current climate in the culture. Enter AG Da Coroner. The East New York emcee finally delivered his long awaited album Sip The Nectar not too long ago and immediately threw a layer of much needed grit on top of the sweet shit that’s been out lately. The game was missing hip hop that sounds like funeral music, but Coronelli is here to fill that void. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

One of the most powerful songs comes early.  My Truth details Coronelli’s hardships growing up. In an album full of some of today’s hardest raps and threats, you have to give him props for opening up about his own personal struggle. The beat is appropriately grandiose for such a compelling track. The title track keeps it short and sweet. Over a masterful Adrian Younge sampled instrumental, AG Da Coroner spits daggers in his unique raspy baritone, commanding your attention automatically. For a change of pace, I95 is a pensive yet coarse song about drug trafficking on the interstate.  It has a real nighttime vibe, which makes sense because you’d assume that’s when you'd do the most coke moving. Bodega Bamz provides a hushed hook and a great guest verse. He’s best when under the tutelage of a veteran.

There’s not much in the way of levity on this album, but Church is pretty close. It showcases what might be the most extravagant beat on the whole album. Coronelli pines for the old days of music, and cringes at modern wack rappers and 360 deals. Serious subject matter, but on a neck breaking beat that’s the most positive sounding thing on the project. Conversely, Alchemist provides a more sinister instrumental with The Stick Up. The twin guitars fit AG Da Coroner’s rugged flow like a glove. As far as guests go, previous collaborator Meyhem Lauren lends his lyrical talents on two different songs.  The latter of the two is Blades in the Wind, which takes it back to the old school with a cut and scratched hook featuring some old 50 Cent vocals. Instrumentally, the album’s customary organ and electric piano provide a bleak yet engrossing base for the tough guys from BK and Queens.

This project, with the exception of a couple songs, has one speed and one speed only: grimy. Yes, grimy counts as a speed in this review. Nearly every track has an ominous tone both lyrically and musically. If you're into the darker side of hip hop from the golden era, you’ll love it. If you like things a little more cheerful and poppy, this isn’t for you by a long shot. While I delivered the highlights, there’s other quality production from the likes of Statik Selektah and Harry Fraud to be found.  There are only a couple of cons. Firstly, the album version of Park Ave with Action Bronson & Roc Marciano has a different beat (possibly due to sample clearance issues?) than the single which I reviewed and fell in love with. The new one isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as the original.  Also, at 18 tracks, the tracklist was somewhat crowded. It would have been more concise at around 13 or 14 songs, especially when some of the musical themes repeat. It’s a niche album, but it represents a demographic that’s been largely ignored and will really appreciate it. Sip The Nectar was a long time in the making and despite its hitches remains solid. Hopefully we hear more from AG Da Coroner sooner rather than later.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5



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