With a special $GREY edition of the “Bonfire Podcast” dropping later this week, I felt it was the right time to finally give the foundation of St.Pete Hip Hop the immortal classic status it deserves. In my city the 727 we treat this like our “Diplomatic Immunity”. If you ain’t local can you really relate?
At the time only a few people were out here really putting on for the 727 when it came to Hip Hop. You had pioneers like Skroodle, Famous Kid Brick, Smooth Hines, DJ Shurefire, and Lil Keis ( R.I.P. to the legend) all doing their own thing making it shake for the city. When Local Muzik came onto the scene their style and sound painted the picture of what life in the St.Pete was really like. With Crown Marquiss, Mari So Dope, Ameen Spade, and Robert Gallardo bringing the rhymes, style, visuals, and local lifestyle to life. Shout out to the homie King Quel.
The project is a compilation of songs from the collective, some featuring all the members some are just solo efforts. A majority of the videos for this project are directed by Robert Gallardo, as well as the iconic cover art. Down the road “Honcho” should be added as a bonus track but for now it is just a rvre CyberMonk artifact.
The project starts out with “Juicy Freestyle” featuring Mari So Dope. This was the best way to kick off the project taking us back with some old school shit while adding in that local flavor. Someone told me this is their favorite track from Mari and that’s hard to argue. The video by Rob is the perfect companion piece.
The next track “Changes” featuring Crown Marquiss is a perfect example of the experimental style Crown and the other Locals dabbled with. Who else back then and still to this date is rapping over this type of production. Crown always kills it with the slow flow.
“Dream on” featuring Ameen Spade for me perfectly captures the St.Pete Hip Hop sound. Spade is one of my favorite lyricists of all time so anytime he graces a track you better listen up. This track is super nostalgic for me.
“Badd” featuring Mari So Dope is on some “Fear and Loathing in St.Pete” type shit. Mari needs to perform this at a festival or something all the jits would go wild.
“Trippin” is the first posse cut off the project. Crown, Mari, and Spade all spazzed on this one. Big shout out to FAF on that Spade verse, that’s another potential classic review down the road. Not sure if Hit Wonder made the beat for this one but it definitely has that vibe.
“I’m Preferred” is another posse cut with all three going brazy over some jazzy production. The storytelling approach each one took with their verses was a really dope touch. The way the beat changes after each verse is on some futuristic shit. Definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album.
“Gameboy” by Mari So Dope is one of the most important tracks in all of St.Pete Hip Hop, if this shit ain’t classic than I don’t know what is. This song is super nostalgic for some many jits in the burg, whether it’s the brazy beat made by Goodie, or the iconic video directed by Rob. Not sure if this is my favorite Mari song but it hands down is my favorite track on this album. “ I Got Game!!!!!!”
“Early Bird Special” features Spade and Crown on one of the more chilled out vibes. To me this track has more of a west coast influence, something that has always been a fixture of the Local Muzik sound.
“Searching” by Ameen Spade is a classic in its own right. So many quotable to mention but if you understand “Searching for the Goodie like the Mob in the building” I’ll shout you out lol. The beat by Hit Wonder fits Spade’s style perfectly. The video by Rob brings the song to life. It’s always a treat when Rob and Spade work together.
“Avenue” featuring Crown and Mari is on some grungy Southside type shit. Like I said before the experimentation when it came to a production stand point is still not being touched today. Crown and Mari snapped on their verses with some of the hardest lyrics they had spit at the time.
“Local Muzik Houseparty” is what we are jamming at all the upcoming functions from now on. It was only right to make this one a posse cut, and you can definitely feel how much fun they had recording this track.
“All Wood” is one of my favorite Crown Marquiss songs of all time. The abstract beat and style he had on this one is still timeless. I will never forget when this video first dropped from him and Rob, iconic.
Anytime Spade jumps on some boom bap shit I am all for it. “Still Searching” features a sample from my favorite Pac song of all time “Temptations” so the love was there off rips. Honestly I like “Still Searching” more than its sequel. The way Spade rides the choppy beat is unmatched.
“Splitem” is also an essential track. This one is on some video game shit, with spade flowing over a futuristic beat from Krikkes. The video from Rob brings it all together with all the “Space Invaders” vibes. I love of Spade can go from being on his introspective shit to just spazzing out on a track, that’s what makes him one of my fav artists.
“Pam Grier” is on some 2000s rock type shit. Crown always snaps when it comes to the storytelling, painting visual pictures with his words, allowing the listener to understand the St.Pete vibes. I’ve said it enough but I’ll say it one last time, who was or still is rapping over this type of production.
This project is so important to me, to the city, and to St.Pete Hip Hop. This project is one of the reasons I do what I do, and I want to thank Crown, Mari, Spade, and Rob for everything they do and have done for the city. The Local Muzik Dynasty lives!