By Jhantu Randall
*Originally Published with Word On The Beat Magazine
It has been almost a full month into the new decade and while things seem to be going in cycles with threats of potential pandemics, rumors of wars abroad (and just a general sense of increasing paranoia amongst the public) the question remains, in which direction is music going? Will it stay stalled in the lane of codeine and dope fiends or is the art of storytelling about to re-emerge?
With the unnerving energy that is propelling a sense of uncertainty, once again, the music finds itself being both an inspiration as well as an escape. With that being said, around the first part of the month, Tacoma, Washington-based rappers, J.Esco A.K.A. King Prime and Seven Da Pantha have linked up and given us an old school collaboration with a uniquely fresh spin. Both artists hailing originally from New York, the birthplace of HipHop, it is only fitting that these two musical talents come together to kick off the new year.
Their song, titled “Ghetto Luxury” gives a throwback to the golden era of the mid-’90s while lyrically showing the progression of hip-hop’s maturity that is finally being embraced as the genre itself is looking towards its 45th year in existence. Both Esco and Seven give a grown man perspective as they speak upon their ills and successes while proudly representing their East-Coast roots. The pleasing production, orchestrated by J. Esco is only further appreciated as he flips Ahmad’s classic chorus “Back in the Day” while giving it new life and a different perspective. With quite a few quotable verbiages, Esco definitely shows the influence of his idol, the King of Queens-bridge and sharer of his surname, Nas. While the influence is obvious, King Prime still gives the listener his life story in each verse as every track is adding to a new chapter in his book of rhymes.
With all that being the foundation of the track, it can not be too overstated when I say Seven Da Pantha comes in and pretty much blacks out. Hitting a rhythm that allows his unique cadence to not only get loose but allows the power of his delivery to strike and wreak havoc on the third part of the song. Seven and J. Esco have linked up in the past but this may be their first time collaborating on a track. If so there is a particular energy that exists when these two do any sort of collaboration. Together, they sound as though they have been putting in work together for years. Lyrically and sonically, this song reminds me of a Primo track laced with 9th Wonder and a dash of Little Brother, as strange as that sounds it is the best way to describe this sound.
If “Ghetto Luxury” is a precursor to what the look forward to this decade, then not only are we as listeners in good hands but fans will be eased by a rather familiar embrace that allows our souls to speak our inner thoughts and passions openly into existence. So here’s to raw honesty given to you in weed-packed, smoke-filled rooms with an appreciated prestige that only comes from experience and veteran honed skill.
Check out the audio below and be sure to keep a lookout for the upcoming music video. Follow both artists at the links below.