Words like “understated” and “nostalgic” aren’t exactly the first that come to mind when speaking on the man who brought us slobbering AutoTuned messes like “Pop Champagne,” “Arab Money” and “Jumping Out The Window,” and yet Ron Browz’s (pronounced “Browzesez”) latest tape The Christening is just that—all sparse soul loops and classicist street storytelling. He’s grown as a rapper, hinging couplets on awkward rhymes like Stylistics with foul biscuits. Like Roc Marciano before him, Ron recognizes the all too simple key to making good to great traditionalist New York hip hop: trying. It’s about just caring and breaking a sweat creatively. Biggie tried! Nas tried (briefly)! Jay tried (no matter how often he said otherwise)! Even lesser talents like Mic Geronimo or Herb McGruff (the only guest here) worked their asses and pens off as writers and it showed. On party records you can substitute energy for craft but you don’t have the same option with laid back and stripped down head nodders.
Download: Ron Browz’s The Christening mixtape