DJ Muggs Puts A Full-Length Spotlight On Underground Phenom CRIMEAPPLE (Audio)
DJ Muggs is the definition of longevity in Hip-Hop. From his early days with 7A3 in the late 1980s, to Cypress Hill’s epic run that started in the 1990s, to his cult-lauded Vs. series throughout the 2000s, this California-based producer/DJ has continued to serve up quality music for more than three decades. Further, the native New Yorker has always had an ear for talent and is responsible for a number of artists getting their start.
Well in the last couple of years he has returned to doing full albums with the most buzzing MCs in the underground—especially for hardcore Hip-Hop purists. Although these projects don’t bare the “Vs.” title, they are the spiritual successor of that coveted series which featured names like GZA, Planet Asia, Ill Bill, and Sick Jacken. Since 2017 he has released LPs with Meyhem Lauren, Roc Marciano, Eto, Mach-Hommy, and now CRIMEAPPLE. The latter is a bubbling lyricist out of northern New Jersey who is known for incorporating his Colombian heritage into bilingual verses, and punchlines that leave scars.
CRIME’ has dropped several EPs and full-lengths since coming on the scene, and each and every one has been entirely produced by a single producer. The most notable would have to be last year’s Aguardiente with Big Ghost Ltd. and Wet Dirt with DJ Skizz, which dropped at the top of this year. He also appeared on Westside Gunn’s Supreme Blientele, named one of Ambrosia For Heads‘ top albums of 2018. Always a traveling musician (much of last year’s Cypress Hill Elephants On Acid album was made in Egypt) Muggs suggested they head to Medellín, Colombia to record their collab.’ One of only two guests on the project, Primo Profit, also traveled to the South American country to record his verse.
The outcome of this recording trip is an album that is dark, ominous, and menacing. While there are a couple of exceptions, the sound on Medallo is downtempo and heavy. Highlights include the piano-driven “Camisas,” the anti-love song “Prescription,” the Conway The Machine-assisted “Acetone Wash,” and the smooth stylings of “Villa Hermosa,” on which CRIME’ harmonizes on the hook. This is that authentic Latin American flavor inspired by the exploits of cartel kingpins like El Chapo and Pablo Escobar.
From B-Real to Alchemist, Mach-Hommy to CRIMEAPPLE Muggs’ seal of approval is everlasting.
#BonusBeat: The music video to “Just Because”: