Rasheed Chappell’s Latest Kenny Dope-Produced LP Finds Him At Work With The Masters (Audio)

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While New Jersey’s Rasheed Chappell hasn’t dropped a proper album since his Kenny Dope-produced debut Future Before Nostalgia in 2011, he seems to pop up on dope albums regularly. Check his molten lava stanzas on recent projects by Recognize Ali (The Shining) and Napoleon Da Legend (Steal This Mixtape 4). Outshining guest spots aside, he finally gave Heads his long-awaited sophomore, First Brick, on Friday, September 14.

Just like his first studio album, this opus is entirely produced by House/Hip-Hop legend Kenny Dope. Both albums were also released on K-Dope and Keb Darge’s Kay-Dee Records. One half of Masters At Work has played mentor to Chappell for more than a decade now, and he’s still banging out the kind of classic boom-bap beats that today’s new wave of MCs eat up. Slapping break-beat drums laced with tasty loops mined from deep crates is what give these tracks that nostalgic sound. This is the kind of music that fans from any generation can recognize as genuine Hip-Hop.

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Now, the thing about Chappell is that his smooth flow lulls rappers into a false sense of security. However, his metaphors and punchlines can hold court in any crowd. Throughout this none-track opus he goes from a Spoken Word to straight braggadocio bars, to detailed story-telling, to spitting knowledge of self. He is the complete package.

‘Sheed invites some of the most buzzing names in the new wave to flame a couple of posse cuts. Daniel Son and CRIMEAPPLE play Chappell’s co-Ds on “Aiding & Abetting,” while Recognize Ali, Hus Kingpin, Napoleon Da Legend, and M.O.P.’s Lil Fame come through to split wigs on “The Kingsmen.” D.I.T.C. lyrical assassin O.C. also drops by to kick the hook on “Street Corner Sh*t” (video embedded below). As if all that wasn’t enough, DJ Scratch appears on “Banana King On Broadway” and shreds a classic sample to ribbons. EPMD’s former disc jockey previously did the cuts on three songs from Future Before Nostalgia as well. Clocking in at just under half an hour, First Brick is easy to listen to twice, or even three times in a row.

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#BonusBeat: The music video for “Street Corner Sh*t,” featuring O.C. (who does not appear in the visual):