Hip-Hop has been around for more than 4 decades and a lot of things have evolved. The sound, the way of rapping, the different coasts and areas, the way that rappers dress, the different ad-libs, etc. Many torches of different hip-hop titles have been passed around for years but the problem is new rappers are acting like the veterans are too old to rap and should retire because no one wants to hear them anymore, and some old school rappers are not open to give the new generation of rappers a chance to prove themselves. One man who has been involved in the hip-hop game for years is the mixtape king, the king of all DJs, he can also be referred to as Drama King but if you haven't guessed it by now, I'm talking about the legendary DJ Kay Slay. Kay Slay has never been shy and he has always been very vocal about the status of hip-hop and exposing who's or what's fake, and so much more. One thing we must respect about Kay Slay, he always had the heart and the platform for the hip-hop pioneers, veterans, and new rappers to give them the chance of airplay to rap on Shade45 for the true essence of hip-hop music. For example, a rapper that Kay Slay was always behind and supporting is Papoose. The reason why I'm talking about DJ Kay Slay, it's because he dropped a new album this past Friday, March 6th, 2019 called Living Legend which was released under StreetSweepers Entertainment and EMPIRE Records. The 53-year-old legend gathered great artists like Bun B, Raekwon, Jadakiss, AZ, Ghostface Killah, Papoose, Jon Connor, Big K.R.I.T. and many more but most importantly he also got the legendary Queen of hip-hop herself, Queen Latifah. With all these amazing artists on one album called Living Legend, let's see what they and Kay Slay have to offer.
In the introduction of the album, DJ Kay Slay explains the definition of what a living legend is. "Back to the Bars Pt. 2" is what would I call a savage street cypher that includes 7 dope emcees. On this street and hard instrumental, Kay Slay presents each rapper by where they're from each time it's their turn to spit. The order starts with The Lox members, Sheek Louch and Styles P, then we have Sauce Money followed by Nino Man (nice flow on this), then we have Vado to RJ Payne who also did a good job on his verse. Then the song finishes with Jon Connor who I think is now a wanted man for a 187 murder by killing and decapitate this track into pieces. Connor went on savage mode when it was his turn to rap and when he was done with his verse, I had to pause the album because I needed to breathe because Connor was just on another level. This rapper from Flint Michigan is a problem, don't sleep on him. After this crazy six minutes track, we have the song "Living Legend" featuring Jadakiss, Queen Latifah, and Bun B. Jadakiss starts on a sick first verse where he explains what he has done in his career that makes him a living legend by stating bars like if you would have a verse from him in your song, it's considered a pass to the city of NY and bars like he graduated in the streets of hip-hop after The Notorious B.I.G. who both artists have collaborated a lot of songs together when The Lox were signed under Bay Boy Records. The second verse with Queen Latifah who hasn't rap in ages, explains how she started and helped the female hip-hop movement and she also raps about her acting career resume. I love how she metaphors, in my opinion, one of her best movies Set It Off by mentioning Jada which can be a world play between Jadakiss who's on this song and Jada Pinkett Smith who was Latifah's co-star in Set It Off. I also love it when she mentions that people need to acknowledge the Queen or she will turn back into Cleo (from Set It Off). Bun B who's on the last verse raps about how he and the late Pimp C as the legendary group UGK took over the hip-hop game by doing songs with Jay-Z and Three 6 Mafia, they had Grammy and BET Awards nominations without doing mainstream pop songs which make them living legends. The next song is called "No Permission" featuring Juicy J, A$AP Ferg, and Dave East. The beat starts with a catchy hook on a good beat and then we have the first verse from veteran and Three 6 Mafia member Juicy J who raps with a trap music flow that matches well the instrumental. I honestly felt that A$AP Ferg killed his verse with his style of rapping and his flow, and we have a nice finish from Dave East with his aggressive tone but yet a calm vibe on his verse.
In the second half of the album, we have the song "Give Me My Flowers" featuring Papoose, Joel Ortiz and Sammi J on the hook. On this track, Papoose and Joel Ortiz raps about how hard they've been working as artists and they want their fans to recognize them, love them and give them their flowers while they're still here and not when they're gone because most people recognize and miss their favorite artist or athlete when they're no longer with us. On a late-night vibe type of beat, the song "Growing Up In These Streets" have three of NY's finest MCs, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and AZ doing some story-telling about growing up and living in the streets and how it's a different scene now but things did not change. The song "Dope Boyz" is featuring DJ Paul, Uncle Murda, French Montana, Project Pat, and Gangsta Boo. The beat has a nice bass to it and not one single rapper had a bad verse on the song. I'm not even a French Montana fan and I enjoyed his verse, and it was nice to hear Project Pat rap again. The album finishes with the song "It's a Brand New Day" featuring Jon Connor, Big K.R.I.T., Reek da Villian, and Tre Williams.