That West Florida Burg-Funk.

The 727’s biggest mover and shaker RodXTheXGod captures West Coast G-Funk vibes but with a 100% St.Pete flavor on “The Ricky Spanish Collection…”

Space Age Pimpin

This hands down has got to be one of my favorite projects ever to come out of the St.Pete Hip Hop scene. I’ve always felt since we on West Florida we should have a little bit more of a G-Funk/West Coast feel to some of the music especially being a beach town. “Ricky Spanish” sound like it straight out of Suave House Records back in the nineties on some 8ball & MJG pimp shit.

With DJ IDEA creating the space age pimpin soundscape for Rod & friends to paint lyrical pictures of what everyday live in the city we know in love St.Pete, Fla is like. The title tracks all pay homage to local beaches in the area.

The first track “Vero Beach…” sets the tone for the project. The “ just admit it” hook will get stuck in your head instantly. The Broly and Vlone references on the track from Rod was really dope and relatable. JJ Da Jet snapped on his verse. Pretty much every line is quotable. RIP JJ!

The hooks on the project set up each track so your tuned into all the dope shit the rappers are spitting. “Valrico…” is on some players club shit. Really surprised no one had done a $lugg mix for this project yet, it would jam in the city.

It’s always a lethal combination when you get Rod & Playrunna on a track, “Coquina Keys…” is the perfect example of this. Playrunna sounded really dope on this production on some like B.G. old school New Orleans sounding flow. That hook by Rod might be the best on the project.

“Tierra Verde” featuring $lugged $xund$ member Jerry Nova is my favorite track on the entire project. The beat is a straight banger. That burger line on Nova’s verse was crazy. Rod killed it from both a hook and verse aspect. Not many producers are able to be such a one two punch but would expect anything less.

The final track “Davis Island” featuring the homie Jotta end out the project well. Jot is one of the best spitters in the 727 scene so you know his verse goes crazy. Him and Rod have another track on Jotta’s “Cheap Vacation” project that might have my favorite RodXTheXGod verse to date.

RodXTheXGod and the entire Aqua House, Wynners Circle family has really been killing it lately. I for sure see “The Ricky Spanish Collection…” going down as a St.Pete Hip Hop classic, helping craft a signature “Burg-Funk” sound for the St.Pete Hip Hop scene. to stand alongside the “Slug Rap” movement.

Product Of All Coasts.

Fresh off his set as apart of Slugged Sounds “Slugged Nites”, Tre Butler proves why he is one of the top spitters in the entire St.Pete Hip Hop scene on his new EP “To Whom It May”.

Whole diff type of time

Tre Butler is the type of artists that reminds me that people can still be conscious and lyrical without sounding corny or like they are preaching. You definitely can feel that J.Cole and early Logic influence but Tre still stands on his own as an artist. I am a big fan of when an artist sticks with one producer for an entire project, Tre teams up with Six Ave to bring that lush atmospheric production to set the back drop for his bars.

The first track “These Dayz” is just straight bars over a string heavy beat. The story telling on this track is really dope, you can visualize everything Tre is spitting. Despite not having a hook the track doesn’t drag and starts the project off right. The basketball references were a nice touch.

On “L2L” Tre teams up with one of the burg’s finest Onlyonetwo to make what could potentially be a St.Pete Hip Hop classic. The city definitely needs a video for this one, everyone would pull up.

“Live” featuring Ray Champion sounds like some shit that would be on the “Creed” sound track. That Gemini line Tre dropped on this one was dumb cold. The hook from Ray Champion was a nice change of pace this point in the project. It had a bit of a West Coast vibe to it as well.

I was blown away when I first heard “Guardian Angel” the second verse on this track is one of the hardest I’ve heard this year. The atmospheric beat from Six Ave brings this track to a next level, going all in on that heavenly vibe.

After hearing “To Whom It May” I am really hype for whatever Tre Butler has coming up next in regards to a full project. The city also needs a collab track/EP with Josiah Odin. Be on the look out for another performance from Tre at many of the upcoming “Slug Nites” events.

The Leo, The Aries, and The Sagittarius.

Coming off his No.1 album on my Top St.Pete Hip Hop Albums of 2020, Onlyonetwo is bringing the Leo energy on his latest project “Fire EP”.

This one is for the Fire signs.

The project takes inspiration from the fire signs of the zodiac, Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries. Being a Leo it was only right for Onlyonetwo to start with the Fire signs first, not being biased or nothing.

The first track “Poison” I feel is meant to represent the Leo side. Not sure if that’s because I could personally relate to the toxicity of the relationship, Onlyonetwo describes on the track. The hook on “Poison” might be his best to date.

To me “Streets Of Rage” captures that fiery Aries energy, this one is the anthem track of the project. If Onlyonetwo does a video for this one he should get a group of people just running in the streets on some “The Warriors” vibes.

The final track “Downfall” seems like it was meant to be on more of a Sagittarius vibe. “Downfall” is on some street conscious shit. So many quotable lines that stood out like when Onlyonetwo spits about a dude that “went up the road and turned troll”. That “imma sing to ya bitch like I’m Liberace” line was the coldest on the entire project.

Each time a listen to “Fire EP” my favorite song changes, each one has a different feel and vibe while still sounding cohesive as a project. Can’t wait for some visuals for at least one of these tracks. If you already wasn’t hype for the next album these “Sign EPs” will contain the burg for now.

Local Muzik Dynasty

Local Muzik founder and St.Pete Hip Hop pioneer shows the evolution of the Local Muzik sound on “It’s Not You, It’s Me”.

Local Muzik runnin them hoes wild.

I have been rocking with Mari and the Local Muzik Group ever since I was a Jit. All the way from the “Lake$ide Local” days with Crown and Ameen Spade. Back then Local was the only ones really doing shit in the scene, when it came to music and visuals, the latter blessed by the legend Rob Gallardo.

With “It’s Not You, It’s Me” Mari pins down his sound. The vibe is like a little bit of southern hip hop with a hint of Jet Life energy, while still remaining Local Muzik, oh yeah and a dash of “Seinfeld”. What I like most about Mari’s approach is he always gives off a very St.Pete sound, expanding the one he created on in the past.

The production on the project is all top tier provided by Smoke Dawg, who brings in that wavey Local Muzik sound while still adding in those bangers like my stand out track “Lil Bad Lil Bih”.

“Chanel” brings back those old school Local vibes with super lush production and Mari does his thing on the track. The video roll out for this one was next level with the old “Chanel” ad.

It was cool to see Ameen Spade and Mari link up again on “Embedded”, with only a couple features on the album it was a nice change up to hear a different voice. Plus it’s a nice nod to the Day 1 Local Muzik supporters.

The Ari Chi vocal assisted “YKTV” again brings in that lush Local Muzik vibe but Mari’s flow and rhyme scheme is really impeccable on the track. Ari Chi killed the hook as well. I think they hinted at a video, but the city definitely gonna need that.

Another stand out track is “Off The Shits” that’s gotta be one of the craziest beats I’ve heard in awhile from Smoke Dawg. Mari has huge confidence on this track which shows in his delivery.

You guys are for sure going to see “Its Not You, It’s Me” on my end of the year list. I just really loved how St.Pete af this album was, proving once again that Local Muzik Group are still the top dogs when it comes to this St.Pete Hip Hop shit. This just the beginning!

The Duality Of Garbäj.

Taking influence from RuneScape, Final Fantasy, The Legand Of Zelda, and Card based games, the homies from Garbäj Clothing are back with hands down their most ambitious drop to date. Which route will you choose The Cleric or The Gate Keeper?

The Light
The Darkness

The drop consists of two long sleeves, “The Cleric” one featuring a baby blue color scheme with hits of yellow on the side to represent the “Holy Espee”. “The Gatekeeper” comes in black with hits of purple and red to represent the “tool of sin”. As far as the product goes this is by far my favorite drop from the brand. I am a big fan of long sleeves, you already know the material is gonna be top notch. Plus $5 of each purchase goes to help Suicide Awareness and Mental Health. I personally plan on picking up both of these pieces but the roll out in which Garbäj dropped for the collection taking the RPG video game approach while adding in the environmental aspect is what brings the release to life.

The choice is yours.
We need this in the upcoming Exotic Pop machine.

Garbäj released a video game esque trailer, bringing us deeper into the world of Garbäj as well as expanding the lore. In this first person adventure you take a sip of the Garbäj Juice, transporting you to Garbäj mountain, were you choose whether you want to enter the “Recyclical Basilica” or the “Caustic Castle”!

I can hear the castle flutes.
Garbäj saved the game.

The “Recyclical Basilica” is what we all strive for. The structure is built from recycled materials built from clerics who’s mission on earth is to stop pollution. The bonus stats for this card are pretty awesome supporting your stats and allowing resurrection.

Stinky!!!!!!
Chum Bucket vibes.

For those who embrace the darkness I would choose the “Caustic Castle”. The Gate Keeper watches over the stinky almost monster like structure. Pollution spews from the castle spreading death and disease to all inhabitants. Those that dabble in sin will gain bonus attack from the castle.

The Gate Keeper
But what is he guarding?
You triggered my trap card!

If you choose the “Caustic Castle” you will be greeted by “The Gate Keeper” who shall decide the ultimate fate of your soul. Armed with his tools of sin “The Gates Chains” The Gate Keeper will grant you all that you desire or blind you. What lies behind the castle walls?

Shout out to Clergy.
Blessings on blessings on blessings.
Let there be light.

For those of you who choose the “Recyclical Basilica” will be greeted by “The Cleric” the keeper of everything light restoring faith to the earth. Armed with his “Tools of Prayer” The Cleric uses the “Holy Espee” to heal all.

With many cards at play it is uncertain what will happen next in the world of Garbäj. It is up to the player to decide which path is best for them on their environmental journey.

P.W.O

Beyond the algorithm, above the likes and engagement, Pollex World still remains despite a brief hiatus, the gateway is now unlocked enter Pollex World Order!

P.W.O
Still rendering

Taking influence from themes of dystopia and cyber space Pollex World is able to capture the unrendered vibe other brands just can’t grasp. It’s not just about the product it’s about the individual.

Who, what, where?
Pollex propaganda

Pollex spreads propaganda through various outlets such has product, posters, cards, and messages on your feed. The always popular Pollex World TV is when Pollex takes over full control of your senses, mind, body, and soul. It starts out small with just one Pollex World tee, but eventually your entire fit is Pollex Wolrd, it’s best to just embrace this.

The Pollex I Met
One eye above all 👁

It’s comforting knowing that Pollex World is always watching with one eye open. When you embrace Pollex World instead of rejecting it, decisions and actions become second nature. Instead of going for other brands and lifestyles you will be drawn to Pollex, going deeper and deeper into the truth.

Don’t be a drone be a Cowboy!

With back to back drops pretty much selling out in March, Pollex World is showing no signs of slowing down. It is futile to try and escape, so just sit down, relax, and embrace P.W.O.

Permanent Vacation

From the stoop to the suite.

Ever since his days in St.Pete Hip Hop legend Lil Keis’s “Paper Chasers Ent”, BTMVLE Jotta has been a staple in the St.Pete Hip Hop scene. After dropping a few EPs in the past Jotta is ready to stake his claim at the top of this St.Pete Hip Hop shit on “Cheap Vacation”.

Jotta’s style to me are street conscious vibes 100% out of St.Pete, Fla. His rhymes paint a vivid picture of what street life in the 727 is about, but not necessarily on some flexing shit, the flexing is all in Jot’s delivery.

Shout out to my Slugs.

The opening track “10-4” has that vibe of riding your bike throughout St.Pete potentially making a play or two, either way the sun is shining. The production is top notch throughout the entire project.

“Scary Hustle” is for everyone waiting to take that final leap in whatever your hustle is. That “captain clueless” line is cold. Jot said it best “scared money don’t make money”.

“Good Karma” first time I heard this track was in a Balaclava Boys promo video but just the last snippet of it. It all makes sense now. The piano beat is the perfect backdrop for Jotta to put us all on game. “Im backin up and stackin up my good karma!” just hits different when it’s slugged.

“Purple Clouds” is just a bar fest between Jotta and the homie RodXTheXGod. Jotta starts the track off with probably his most spitterific flow to date. I also like how the title didn’t really fit the content of the song, based on the title you would have thought it would be a weed song. It’s rare to get a verse from RodXTheXGod so you know it was gonna be special. From the purple bandana line, to the pay for a verse line, Rod might have verse of the year, and that’s On Godzilla!

Tropicana

“In The Dust” is just on some groovy shit. Jot is definitely repping Pinellas County on this one. For me this might be my favorite hook on the project, every hustler can relate to this one.

“Keep It Goin” is on some story telling shit. The line about the not so great whip was very clever. The talk of 34th St S and 54th Ave are very relatable to me, and should be to anyone who is or have lived that lifestyle. This one for all them I275 road runners. The beat has West Coat elements to it while still remaining West Florida not Cali.

“H.I.T.M” featuring Nasja Mone was a nice change of pace at this point of the album. This one has probably the most conscious feel to it. The hook is really dope and well executed. Really loved the song structure of this joint in general it’s on some early TDE shit.

You know there had to be some Slug Rap on a Jotta project and “Lolo” is just that. One of the coldest lines is when Jot says “Made my dream girl my baby momma”. This might be my favorite track on the entire project, I am a sucker for airy production. Jotta’s flow is next level on “Lolo”.

GF2

To hold y’all over til that “Good Fellas EP” drops, Jotta and fellow slug Jerry Nova team up on “Yesterday”. The beat has a very triumphant feel allowing both Jot and Nova to do their thing. One of my favorite lines from Nova was “we rollin up for all them rainy days, we stackin paper but can’t take the pain away.”

“Run It Back” was a perfect way to end out the album, plus that campfire introduction was pretty dope. This one is kind of on some spoken word shit at different moments, that rugrats line was super dope. What really makes all these songs feel genuine is the confidence in which Jotta delivers his lines. The mellow beat is one of my favorites on the project.

“Cheap Vacation” is a great introduction project to get people familiar with Jotta’s vibe. This project was only the initiation of what’s to come, having you on the edge of your seat waiting for the “Good Fellas EP”, and whatever the Slugged Sounds movement is has up its sleeve.

Butterflies, Pins, and Needles.

Bridging the gap between street wear and high fashion, shit at times high art, Pins&Pluses is cementing itself as one of my favorite brands in the scene.

Honor is born amongst thieves.

The inaugural drop for Pins&Pluses was 2019s “Time To Breathe” t shirt collection. Focusing on the themes of unity, reflection, and creativity. The photo shoot and accompanying video is what really captures Pins&Pluses vision and vibe for the brand. It’s on some high fashion shit without feeling like it’s doing to much. Def wish I would have picked one of these up when they dropped.

Have fun outdoors

The white logo t shirt is a simple design for the brand but sometimes you just want to rock a straight up logo tee of your favorite brand. The aspect I like the most about Pins&Pluses vibe is their minimalist approach to design.

A night in the country.
Shout out Garbäj.
The brand with three pluses.

Following up the pair of summer releases the brand rolled out their most ambitious collection to date for Fall and Winter “A night in the country”. The gray hoodie is my favorite piece in the collection, working as a piece both man and women can rock. The gray color palette was a nice touch. This was a necessary evolution for the brand moving out of just the straight up logo tees into more of a lifestyle brand, while still keep that high fashion esthetic.

The Abstract
Collage

The brands last release at this moment is the “Pink Sky collage” t shirt that dropped top of 2020. Yet again another home run from the brand. Since it’s Florida most of the time all I’m rocking is a t shirt, so this collage design shirt was made for sunny spring days.

The brand has been on a bit of a break over the last year but that is understandable with the virus and everything. I’ve been hearing rumblings that Laurent and Chadddy.p are back in the studio work on some next level product. Now a days if it’s not Tampa Bay Sports gear, I’m only rocking product from homegrown designers. Pins&Pluses is definitely apart of that select few.

I’m Rockin With REACH!

Originally planned on including the homies at REACH in my “Across The Bridge” series but love everything they are doing so much I was like why not give them their own shit. Yes they are the premier Vlone location in all of Tampa Bay but it’s their own brands product that I vibe with the most. Everything is within REACH.

Be careful what you REACH for!
This how you roll out a drop.
Just Reach.

For me the essential REACH drop are the Air Forces 1s they blessed us with last year. These joints receive the highest complement I can give, feeling like they are an official collab directly from Nike. But that doesn’t really matter. The “Just REACH” ad campaign is what ultimately sets this release apart from pretty much anything else in the Tampa Bay Area.

Next level box design.
It’s the subtle details.

From the hang tag to the REACH design on the tongue, the brand really pulled no punches. These small deatails as well as an incredible box design shows the love the brand really has in their product. These are super limited so I hope I am able to snag a pair on a restock.

Motel REACH!

REACH also drops limited pieces featuring numerous themes and designs. Has a horror fan this “Motel Hell” styled piece is a must have for me. They also dropped a few Tampa Bay Sports capsules featuring the brands take on some vintage Rays,Bolts, and Bucs pieces. We need a Rowdies and Raptors one for the summer.

Game changer.
Reppin 813
Lotto Boyz

This is the piece that started it all for me. After seeing Famous Kid Brick rock this piece in various pictures, as well as seeing it at almost every pop up or event I went to on both sides of the Bay, I had to find out what brand put out such a next level piece. From the Reach logo, to the palm tree, to the FL lotto sign on the side, this piece is essential for any Florida Jit. They go fast so don’t sleep on the next drop.

Vlone family.
Panther Party.

Besides their own product REACH is the main hub for everything Vlone, Supreme, and BAPE. They are really the only shop I know that has a good amount of vintage BAPE that is pre Nigo’s departure from the brand. The shops hosts a bunch of Vlone pop ups featuring exclusives from the brand.

Nothing over the infantry.

Keeping it in the A$AP family, “Marino Infantry” YG Addie aka A$AP Ant’s Skate Team and brand is on the rise becoming one of the most sought after brands in the culture. Be on the look out for some big things to come between REACH and Marino Infantry.

YKHIR!

Keep it locked to Jit Camp for everything REACH. The brand is doing some next level shit so tap in 727!

Across The Bridge Vol.1

As the St.Pete Sommelier, I decided to start a series were I check out some of the dope stuff the 813 has to offer. From food, to boba, to dope shops, the Jit has got you covered.

The signature.
What’s in my cup is in my cup.

Wicked Oak BBQ is a spot I’ve been waiting to try ever since football season started. Due to only being able to attend games my trips across the bridge were shortened to only 2 games so now was my opportunity try Tampa’s best BBQ. I got the combo plate with ribs and pulled pork. The plate comes with two sides so you know I had to get the tots and greens, us Florida boys like our greens. The ribs were super on point falling off the bone, especially drenched with that Apple BBQ sauce. Everything at Wicked Oak is made to order so once they run out they out. Id highly recommend picking up a styrofoam cup of that “Wicked Juice”.

Wall to wall sneakers.
Plenty of heat in the shop.
Statement piece.

Next up on the hit list was Soleciety found in the heart of Down Town Tampa. What I liked most about Soleciety was the variety of items on display. They had your heat pieces as well as your general stuff anyone can pick up. They also had a nice vintage and Supreme rack to pair well with the kicks. Doesn’t hurt that they have a dope Tampa Bay Raptors shirt that they made themselves.

New Boba spot DT.
Tons of great options.
Taro for the win.

While in the DT area I decided to stop into “Fusion Bowl” a boba tea spot. Fusion doesn’t just have boba, they also feature a menu filled with some Vietnamese favorites like pho and Bahn Mi.

Can’t wait to try “Haiku”.

Haiku is one of my most anticipated new spots to check out in Tampa. Unfortunately I got their to early so they were not open yet, but their dinner menu and craft cocktails look life changing. Check back for a Haiku review on the next installment of “Across The Bay”.