Written By Ryan Lyons
It’s exciting to see groups from Baltimore putting out consistent and great music. PhLLFthy has been on my radar for a while and they’ve finally dropped a tape that people will feel outside of the realm of Baltimore. PhLLFthy, a Hip Hop group that recently downsized to 2 emcee’s, Brandon “Urg” Basilio and Chris “Shah Rebel” Smith, tend to mix down south bouncy beats with east coast stop and go flows and addictive hooks. This tape, in particular, mixes Baltimore’s love of southern sound and east coast aesthetic pretty well.
Equally appealing, both emcees put in great work on Free The Massacre. Shah Rebel’s hook game is something worth speaking about. On “Honey”, he showcases song-writing that hits a nerve. It’s also reminiscent of the ballads that Dru Hill used to bring out of Baltimore in the mid to late 90’s. He croons, “ Don’t let another man steal your heart, cause I’m not done I swear. I was glad to say that you’re mine.” It’s a polar opposite from the rest of the tape, which hits the cliche themes of bitches and alcohol. On the contrary, it does feel like only alcohol could be the lubricant behind such swaggy “I don’t give a fuck” hooks.
“Ridin’ On ‘Em” featuring Baltimore’s latest sensation Starrz and “Brolic” featuring Mobbin’ Morty are surefire tracks to get the club poppin’. It serves the “trap music” fans in Baltimore pretty well and introduces Mobbin’ Morty, a short sexually lewd female spitter from the home of The Wire.
“2 Man Band” is another stand-out track on Free The Massacre. A motown-sounding soul sample carries the instrumental. The track showcases their plight as artists and Urg spits a both confident and superb verse.
If this tape gives any indication, it’s the fact that Baltimore won’t stop. Our parade to the Hip-Hop charts has begun, we just need a leader— could Phlffthy be it? While New York and the rest of the world is welcoming their beloved A$AP Mob, we could be appreciating our own artists. Food for thought.
See PhLLFthy’s latest video from Free The Massacre below