Brooklyn’s Troy Ave. releases the ambitiously titled New York City: The Album, led by a video for the title track, “New York City,” which features fellow Big Apple journeymen Raekwon and N.O.R.E.
Right from the jump, New York City proclaims a “Classic Feel,” with the initial song riding a smooth-but-gritty string-and-piano track, certainly hearkening to a New York street-rap vibe. Few joints stray from this updated boom-bap/soul-sound DNA, and while Troy Ave. isn’t the most complex lyricist, he sits well in the pocket of the musical selections, which generally works because there are more good beats than bad ones.
Mostly braggadocio, Troy Ave. does take time to tell some (purportedly) auto-biographical stories and shed light on his opinions regarding certain situations, such as coming up in the rap game/street life (“Mama Tears”) and past relationships (“Regretful”).
Production is generally tight and cohesive throughout, with some notable beatsmiths popping up, including Harry Fraud, Scram Jones and AraabMuzik. Aside from the aforementioned, features are few, but include well-known names like Tony Yayo (“Show Me Love”) and Pusha T (“Everything”).
At first glance, New York City sounds very New York Cityish. Worthy of marinating with, for sure, and definitely worthy of adding fuel to the not-all-NY-rappers-are-trying-to-sound-like-Southerners argument that too many still stick to.
Watch Troy Ave. – “New York City” featuring Raekwon & N.O.R.E. below. Stream/Download New York City: The Album below that.