Although City of God is not Fred The Godson’s first release, it’s probably the one that’ll get him the most attention, and that’s good. Fred’s voice is mostly a hoarse rasp, and it sits somewhere close to New York’s great history of down-and-out bummer rappers. What if Raekwon and Jadakiss always sounded a little bit unhappy? They would be Fred The Godson. On the tracks that don’t sound like what it must feel like to throw money off a spiral staircase made of crystal in the ’80s (“Doves Fly,” “How You Don’t Know Me”), Fred comes off like a New York rap traditionalist: perpetually unhappy, conflicted and emotionally raw—there’s still plenty of interesting territory to be mined here.
Download: Fred The Godson, City of God