Vic Mensa & Joey Purp Smash A Rhyme Routine Like Vintage Run-D.M.C. (Audio)

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Beyond hard beats and tougher than leather exteriors, part of what made Run-D.M.C. so great was the way they delivered their lines. Run and D each had their own distinctive styles, but rather than simply adhere to the verse/chorus/verse formula to which most MCs are rigidly bound these days, the two often mixed it up. They would trade line for line, word for word, combine vocals over certain parts, and often pick up and build from where the other left off. Their songs weren’t just raps. They were fly rhyme routines.

Two weeks ago, Vic Mensa and Joey Purp lit up the Sway In The Morning show when they delivered a freestyle in the spirit of those vintage Run-D.M.C. verses. Clearly prepared, the two men bounced back and forth, with one starting his line or phrasing where the other had just ended. The moment was electric, and, by the end, Sway declared “That was one of the illest I’ve heard in a long time…Oh my God. That was great!”

Now, it appears that as powerful as their verses were, Vic and Joey were holding back. They’ve released the full version of their song, titled “773” an area code for their hometown of Chicago. The lyrics to the song are as stronl as their deliveries as they touch on a number of socially relevant topics, including the violence and other ills that have plagued their city for decades.