One of the reasons why I love doing what I do when it comes to doing write-ups and following the culture of hip hop is discovering new and hungry talent. Social Media has been a tremendous platform over the years for new artists to re-establish themselves a name and having their voices discovered.
There be instances where you’ve had artists whom have no position to be near a microphone, Or doing music period. But in this case here, There are artists whom are out here striving and hitting the grind in hopes to restore the feeling. The Underground is usually where you find the diamonds in the rough and your future players who can go on the next plateau.
My introduction to Sage McKenzie’s music was through Bronx Hip Hop Artist Ila Da Sandman(Whom dropped a hot indie album titled First Strike last year). Sage produced every cut on the album and it took me back to where album’s were formatted with just one rapper and one producer. What struck me about these guys were not only their hunger but they LOVED doing hip hop and you can easily tell by listening to these guys that their not using hip hop as just a “hustle”. I also love the fact that these guys aren’t afraid of trying new things while maintaining the trademark East Coast sound.
2 Years Later comes across as a sequel to Sage’s debut 2 Years ago. He seemingly wanted to polish more on his rhymes and his tools behind the boards throughout that whole time period. Sage also decided to name his album 2 Years Later as a progression from their former team and evolving his sound. The first track on the album titled Arsenic may catch people off-balance with the direction that listener known to expect because Sage’s flow is very unorthodox. He experiments with the double time flow and it comes across as a bit choppy at times but its a great formal introduction.
The Production is pretty dope throughout 2 Years Later. It actually sounds like an original indie album instead of a bunch of freestyles over hot beats looped together into one package. Tt flows throughout as if the album was produced behind the lab of a laboratory judging by some of the sound effects used throughout. It’s mixed and produced pretty superb for an indie album.
I’m personally feeling the cuts that features his partner in crime Ila Da Sandman whom is getting much better every-time I hear him. The duo wreck-shop on All I Do, Cutting Chex and Asking 4 where they go out the box and experiment with the more Midwest type sound.
Tracks such as Boom Bap and Rock On sound like they could have been produced in 1999 and that doesn’t come across as a bad thing. 2 Years Later The album also has some hilarious moments such as Drunk-Style where they hilariously mock auto-tune rappers within the Industry.
Overall this is a great introduction for Sage McKenzie, Sandman and their team. I personally would have liked to have heard more straight smack you over the head tracks from the duo like that of All I Do but I believe this was a project for Sage to flex his true skills and to show that he’s not one-dimensional behind the boards.
Vic Rating: 8.0 outta 10
Download the album here: