The Product – “I’m A…” video. Scarface’s new group, off his new imprint, with a solid single, where-we’re-from cut. Lots of solid albums have singles like this; understated, signifying respectable and consistent LPs. Not flashy, not really gonna bother the charts too much, and you know the single always ends up being one of the most-skipped tracks. It’s not where yr at, it is where yr from, and The Product are from:
Houston – Scarface spits first, Houston is so real, “so fuck what you claimin’ and fuck where you come from / you gon’ respect it if not you get yr head flung” – draws his finger across his throat, finishing the fronting out-of-towners. Ends with the chorus, shouting out cities across the midwest. Jackson, Mississippi – Young Malice. “Young” = 25 years old, but with Scarface and Will Hen that is young. There’s a reason his verse is in the middle – he’s kindve a blank slate here, generic-ish real talk defined only by the ambition closing the verse – not his best work on the LP. Bay area – Will Hen. 30 years old. Not spitting over trendy Bay beats because a) he’s with Scarface over dramatic strings, and b) he is thirty years old. He sounds like Ma$e if Ma$e was from North Cali, repping the bay with a smooth unbothered delivery. The LP itself reeks of wisdom, experience, the complexity of moral struggle in a dark environment, veteran sound. Slow rolling beats that have mournful female R&B choruses alternating with hopeful pseudo-Mayfield hooks, B Jordan’s creaky voice carrying tragic, weighty intensity conveying inner turmoil and hidden strength. Hen and Malice hold their own, lyricists who understand low-key style, the importance of impressing a certain honesty, the significance of being able to say that THIS is real shit, and no one will question.