A-F-R-O, R.A. The Rugged Man & Gift Of Gab Put On 1 Of The Year’s Best Lyrical Displays (Video)

Three MCs, united by a spitfire, rapid delivery, as if sped-up on steroids, make this release from Bay Area’s Gift of Gab (one-half of Blackalicious) a masterclass in the art of rhyming. “Freedom Form Flowing.”

Blackalicious’ Gift Of Gab Tackles Gentrification With Artisanal Rhymes (Video)

The mellow beat produced by Jumbo of former Quannum Projects group/Blackalicious label-mate Livesavas with its a slowed-down groove made up of syncopated piano stabs, and a hand-clap beat offers a sweet contrast to the hyper machinations of the three. Gift of Gab’s opening verse is all fire and brimstone, with him stating that he is “ready and able to murder and tear MCs.” “Chill it easily comes like breathing / From deep in the seat of your lungs / I creep to the beat of a drum / That’s unique to me / As I keep it a hundred / Leaping through regions and leading the dumb …”

In the video, the rappers groove about in a desolate landscape with cardboard masks obscuring their faces, for some of the time. Draped over their shoulders are tawny blankets, giving them the look of extremely eccentric Native sons.

Pharoahe Monch, A-F-R-O & Marco Polo Swarm Like Some Killer Bees (Video)

Nineteen-year-old A-F-R-O’s contribution is typically impressive with its heightened sense of urgency and truncated wordplay, overflowing with  bravado: “I rap, you rewind it …” He continues, “The speakers ain’t working / I clap in the night at your Jeep and you swervin’/ I’m black with the eyes of a serpent / Back with a knife of purchase /  Immaculate rhymes and the heat is conversin‘.”

In contrast, R.A. The Rugged Man’s verse is pretty out there, a mix of XXX-rated boasting, references to civilians being killed in Yemen, Harry Potter, Eric B. & Rakim, and James Brown, among others.

R.A. The Rugged Man Remembers Watching Biggie Write Rhymes In The Studio (Video)

Rakim gets name-checked twice in “Freedom Form Flowing”: R.A. The Rugged Man calls out for him to “check out his melody,” while A-F-R-O claims he’s “a little brother” just like the famed Long Island legend.

“Free Form Flowing” is the second single released from Gift of Gab’s Rejoice! Rappers are Rapping Again.

Past Ambrosia For Heads Ready Or Not features.

About Ready Or Not: “Ready Or Not” is Ambrosia For Heads’ platform for showcasing new videos and having you, the people, decide whether they are ready for primetime. Each week, AFH will showcase music from artists on the verge, looking for their seat at the table among Hip-Hop’s elite.