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…”
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.
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”.
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.
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”.
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.