New York collective, Beast Coast, ignite on debut album

Jeshua Glover

A collaboration album from New York’s most influential artists dropped this past weekend, and it has all the makings of a classic summer album. 

Joey Bada$$ and his hip-hop group, PRO ERA, headline “Beast Coast” in addition to fellow Brooklyn natives, the Flatbush Zombies. The collaborative Beast Coast album comes on the heels of Flatbush Zombies’ wonderful 2018 release “Vacation in Hell,” which received critical acclaim.

Fans of Joey Bada$$ haven’t been so lucky, as he hasn’t dropped a full-length project since 2017’s “Amerikkkan Bada$$.” Since then it has been a consistent stream of feature-heavy singles. The classic “1999” PROERA mixtape that re-released on streaming services earlier this year satiated a tad of the thirst for new content but didn’t fully satisfy the fan bases’ hunger for new music.

The album truly embodies the “Beast Coast” persona with heavy beats and artfully crafted lyrics. The MCs body every beat with seemingly minimal effort. The legendary trio that is Flatbush Zombies do what they are accustomed to, killing beats and easily switching moods from hardcore bars to harmonious, slowed down ones with a sprinkle of singing here and there.

The hip-hop trio make love to some tracks with passion and emotion while harmonizing with each other and riding the beat like a wave. Other songs feature Flatbush Zombies at their most aggressive.

Joey Bada$$ brings his classic Brooklyn bars to the table in “Beast Coast.” Joey sounds like he’s freestyling on a stoop with only a “boom bap” rhythm. He truly takes makes his mark on every song that he blesses with a verse. He drops many quote-worthy lyrics throughout the project. The Pro Era rapper flows over each beat like the child of destiny with music in his veins. Bada$$ represents the Big Apple well and keeps hip-hop’s roots alive and well with his superb delivery.

“Beast Coast” is definitely a full-fledged summer album with beats that just seem to naturally conjure feeling of a sunny afternoon or a brisk evening in the city. A great deal of the project is pure, unadulterated bars over classic New York beats. This collaborative project only further cements the legacies of these artists.

A few songs to look out for:

1.)   “Rubberband Man (Ft. Joey Bada$$ & Flatbush Zombies)”

–       This one starts out with a legendary verse from Joey Bada$$ followed by pristine bars from Flatbush Zombies (especially Meechy Darko), with an addictive chorus and a great addition from Erik the Artist ending with a sound byte from the streets of New York. The clip features a few women scolding someone in a heavy New York accent.

2.)   “Problemz (Ft. Erik the Artist, CJ the Fly and The Underachievers)”

–       This song gives off an infectious summer vibe that makes you want to run outside and catch some sun while staring at the clouds. CJ the Fly absolutely steals this song with a perfectly sung refrain. Erik the Artist and Zombie Juice of Flatbush Zombies create a hypnotizing vibe on the whole song with a childlike innocence on the tail end of the latter’s verse. A highly positive message also makes the song even more enjoyable.

3.)   “Desperado (Ft. Joey Bada$$, Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Kirk Knight)”

–       The beat utilizes a heavily reverbed twist on a classic Latin bandito tune. Meechy Darko’s wonderful chorus pairs excellently with timely revolver spins to create the “desperado” vibe. Joey Bada$$ offers a stellar verse that makes rap sound just as easy as breathing, while Zombie Juice bring his classic hard hitting bars while representing Brooklyn the whole way. Kirk Knight offers a highly quotable and disgusting verse that could’ve been longer. A word of warning: your ears might ignite during Kirk Knight’s verse.