Being from Philly, one of the dopest rhymes I ever heard was when Rakim spit “It ain’t where you’re from it’s where you’re at.” For the simple fact that back in the day, if you weren’t from NY, nobody paid you no mind. But nowadays the blessing is that nobody cares about where you’re from as long as you’re dope. I mean, when you think about it the most anticipated hip hop album for the past 8 years is coming from a MC that’s not outta NY, LA or ATL but outta New Orleans. And that right there is dope as hell to me. So since hip hop ain’t all about being from NY anymore, cats really need to start paying attention to some of the heat that’s coming outta the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia) and one of the dudes at the forefront of that heat is J Scienide with his album The Actual Heat.
The album starts off with “Open Letter” which blazes from the door freaking the same Lee Michael sample Busta used for “Abandon Ship” and Scienide is going in, “fresh baldy illuminates the sun, bless the concrete bite the native tongue/safari expedition party with the thunder god, told the pyramids Zeus with the power rod/played out lexicon shine on the don, drop the napalm bomb son I was calm/ring the alarm white flag wave your arms, fried like royal farms lit like tron.” “Power of The Holy Ghost” got nuthin but that boom bap knock to it, “The Jux” and “The Ghetto” featuring Kev Brown are both dope as hell and the latter has something I haven’t heard in hip hop in years which is an actual DJ scratching…yeah I know, sounds crazy right? “Chasers” brings the BPM’s uptown while letting ya’ll know he don’t chase these sluts. “What’s The Odds Part 1” is a dope posse cut (something else we don’t see in hip hop no mo’) featuring Kenn Starr and Grap Luva , EVERYBODY killed their verses. Grap sounding like he’s back on the block in Mt. Vernon, “the budget ain’t low no more, we getting paid now/these rappers don’t stand a chance they’re getting slayed now.”
“What’s The Odds Part 2” finds Scienide & Kev Brown going back and forth a la EPMD while “Directions” he explains how he feels about these no talent rappers. “NYFW” and “Vanity Flair” are both bangers, “Spike Nolan” has that golden era braggadocios vibe to it with lyrics like “glamorous life change the ice rock the chain, hard to explain when I’m swerving in the lane/king hercules pull up the sleeves in the keys, Apollo Creed steez limousine in the wings” and “Chorus Line Part 4” featuring Nolan the Ninja, Supastition and yU is another posse cut banger that ends the album on a dope note with waaaaay too many quotables to mention. The majority of the production on The Actual Heat is handled by J Scienide himself and reminds me of some Roc Marciano type ish which nobody in their right mind could be mad at and will mos def have your head nodding from beginning to end. And with the way the game is right about now, who in their right mind couldn’t use some head nodding boom bap in their rotation ASAP!?!?