Kool G Rap Is A 30-Year Lyrical Legend. Listen To A Sneak Preview Of His New Album (Audio)

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Kool G Rap is frequently considered one of Hip-Hop’s greatest MCs. For 31 years, the Queens, New Yorker has helped bring Rap out of an era of simpler deliveries to compound rhyme structures, fast paced flows, and an unrivaled use of cadence. Additionally, he is one of the pioneers of Gangsta Rap, using mafia themes and images in his raps from his rugged Big Apple childhood. In the time since, Nathaniel Wilson has influenced Big Pun, Eminem, and Nas, gone thuggin’ with Pac, been a documented comparison Black Album-era to Jay Z (by Hov himself).

Many of Rap’s most respected lyricists of the late ’80s are no longer making albums. G Rap aims to build upon a rich legacy in Return Of The Don. Produced entirely by MoSS, the Clockwork Music/Full Mettle LP features the late Sean Price, Raekwon, Lil Fame, Cormega, and Freeway, among others.

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While Return shows G Rap’s influence through its guests, “Times Up” proves that Giancana never requires support. While MoSS breaks down some dusty ’70s organ and drums elements, G Rap busts down bars about being a street reigning heavyweight. “Popped Off” is special as well. Sean P (who recorded this specifically for G ahead of his tragic 2015 death) and Kool G wax clever wordplay over more organ vibes. Heads can hear right here three highly technical spitters (also including Ransom) who enjoy humor and authentic street imagery. G Rap, who was cited by Em’ during a famous 2003 Grammy speech, raps some highlight-reel verses with Shady Records’ newest acts: Westside Gunn and Conway The Machine on “Rest In Peace.”

Throughout his career, G Rap worked with Marley Marl, Large Professor, Buckwild, Domingo, and others at critical points in their production careers. From Ghostface Killah to AZ, The Game to Eternia, MoSS has been putting in work for 15 years. However, Return Of The Don shows a compelling body of sound from him, and gives one of Rap’s active O.G.’s a cohesive, new chapter in a storied career. This is G Rap’s first solo album since 2011. It follows a collaborative album with MC/producer Necro, another disciple of G’s rhyme delivery.

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What motivates me to get in the studio is really being in that creative zone that you cannot just enter on demand,” G Rap said in an album press statement. “It is more like an extremely powerful vibe that overcomes you. It’s triggered by hearing a particular track, or being inspired by another artist; or, a life experience that makes your mind and heart open up and lyrics just pour from your soul in the capacity of an avalanche. That’s what The Return Of The Don represents; an amalgamation of past, present and future and a tribute to some of my most favorite spitters worldwide; this is my salute to those artists.

Catch G on the road overseas this month:

June 10 Rome, Italy – Villaggio Globale

June 13 Stockholm, Sweden – Kagelbanan

June 14 Copenhagen, Denmark – Pumpehuset

June 16 Dublin, Ireland – Sugar Club

June 19 Glasgow, UK O2 ABC2

June 20 Leeds, UK – Wardrobe

June 21 Manchester, UK – Sound Control

June 22 Bristol UK – O2 Academy Bristol

June 23 London UK – O2 Academy Islington

June 26 Norwich, UK – Norwich Arts Centre

June 28 Leicester, UK – 2 Funky Caf

July 6 Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Bitterzoet

July 8  Oslo, Norway – Blaa

July 9 Paris, France – Paris Hip-Hop festival

August 18 Orpund, Switzerland – Royal Arena Festival

August 19 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic – Hip Hop Kemp Festival

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Return Of The Don officially releases tomorrow, June 2.

#BonusBeat: Catch Ambrosia For Heads‘ footage from late last year of G Rap, Juice Crew cohorts Big Daddy Kane and Craig G, as well as Royce 5’9, Pharoahe Monch, Freeway, Smif-n-Wessun, and DJ J. Period:

This took place at the first annual New York City edition of The Roots Picnic.