Like all brand new soundscapes, Bay Area rap duo Main Attrakionz gives the listener that initial resistance, and the very humble, firmly grounded type of lyricism that Mondre excels at, even more so than rapping partner Squadda B, makes the digestion process even more time-consuming. But the reward is greater.
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I didn’t think much of this release at first – it sort of got lost amongst all the other tapes from Greenova this year – but I find myself coming back. It’s brilliant in a lowkey, understated sort of way (business as usual for this camp). Mondre M.A.N. (short for Main Attrakionz Nigga) does everything right, from opening up over a Chronic 2001 classic, to the Lex Luger-like trap slaps, to the soulful boombap throwbacks (the one above and three more provided by internet producer EPMDenny) where the young rapper just very calmly pours all of his heart out.
That a twenty year old independent rapper without capital and connections, who usually looks uncomfortable on camera and seems to care little for trends or making friends in the industry, dominates my playlist like this, talking about little else than weed smoke and looking out for his crew and closest family, all in a very laidback and dead serious tone of voice – all that just feels heartwarming and inspiring.
When you speak from the heart all the cars and diamonds and bitches and industry bullshit and media hype disappears. It doesn’t have to sound too futuristic. The rhymes don’t have to be that complex. That gorgeous piano sample has even been used before (by Ro Blvd for his remix of Nas’ Hope – which can’t even be found on the ‘tube so I might as well do the world a favor and make it available for you by clicking this link right here). It’s still the best rap music out right now.
“We aint got shit yet, I give a shit less. Compared to where we’re going nigga, we aint shit yet“.
Squadda Bambino stops by and decidedly annihalites this one, with simple and damaging lines, spreading his naked soul all over the dusty instrumental. No fancy swag, no clever wordplay, no trendy catchphrases, just one hundred percent heart.
If you are very talented, have rapped together for the last decade, have learnt from all the greats before you – from all over the country – and work their influences into your music in innovative ways, and at the same time stay very true to where you come from, then this is what it might sound like.