Your Old Droog – Artist Spotlight
The general consensus amongst the old school hip hop fans, especially the ‘stuck in the 90s’ rap fans, is that the skill level in rap has plummeted over the last 10 or so years and these new rappers are straight ‘trash’. With this particular set of lovely people in mind, I decided to use our Artist spotlight segment, to shine light on a promising newcomer, who stays very loyal to East-coast hip hop scene whilst adding his own spin on the sound. This rapper is Your Old Droog. Many may look at the name and be instantly turned off, due to its weirdness, but I am here to tell you, in terms of skill, he currently one of the best of the upcoming rappers in the scene.
Droog is Russian for friend, in case you were wondering, and when he first came out, many fans and critics alike, were convinced he was Nas and this was an alter-ego! This alone should give an insight into how skilled this young, Brooklyn rapper is and why hip hop fans should be checking him out. He has recently dropped new album, Packs, to critical acclaim and is an artist that is criminally overlooked.
Nutty Bars is exactly what it says on the tin. This track sees Droog flexing with his lyrical ability and provide the listener with straight, unforgiving bars. It is almost as if the Brooklyn-rapper is urging other rappers to step up their game, giving hip-hop fans a reminder of what real skills on the mic sounds like.
Blood was the first track on the rock-themed mixtape ‘Kinison’ and turned out to be a fantastic opener for an impressive project. The sampled voice repeating ‘blood’ in a deep low tone instantly catches the listener’s attention and Droog brings his usual, witty wordplay, whilst flowing effortlessly over the instrumental.
We Don’t Know You
We Don’t know you sees Droog just simply, bragging about how good he is and how bad other rappers are. The instrumental, produced by DJ Shizz, has a very old school hip-hop vibe with a strong piano lead, and compliments Your Old Droog’s deep, husky voice perfectly; making this a highlight off his ‘The Nicest’ EP.
Listen is another track off his ‘The Nicest’ and is one of my personal favourite tracks of Droog’s catalogue just because of his aggressive, unforgiving delivery. Droog sounds so hungry on this track, with a range of wrestling references, which aptly fit the songs hard hitting vibe.
42 (Forty deuce)
‘42’ is probably the closest that Your Old Droog is going to get to a commercial track, however it is still very loyal to the New York, boom-bap rap you’d expect from the rapper. The track features a huge sample from the classic song ‘I Can’t Wait’ by Nu Shooz and it is flipped perfectly for this song by producer Marco Polo.
White Rappers (A Good Guest)
Your Old Droog’s new album, Packs, dropped this year to critical acclaim and the track White rappers is one of my personal favourites off the projects, the track sees Droog respond to comments made by Lord Jamar, on how white rappers are ‘guests’ in the house of hip hop. Ultimately, Droog states at the end of the day it comes down to skill, and while Jamar may have a point; the colour of a rapper’s skin should not be the focus.