I can’t stop listening to Mighty Joseph. Vast Aire and Karniege throw down together on Empire State, and have created my favorite Hip-Hop album so far this year.
There has been plenty written about Vaste Aire’s chunky chew delivery and talent for double take rhymes, while Karniege brings his own flar to a more traditional bark. The lyrics are straight up bananas, no joke*. Ranging from the home front, “Kidz (N.Y.C.),” to the party scene, “Night Life,” to gangland on “Anything Can Happen?,” these two MC’s rule the scene from behind the wheel, while keeping respected friends in the back seat throughout, with the likes of M.U.R.S, Genesis, and Vordul Mega.
As ridiculous as the lyrics are, the production is what keeps pulling me back. The synth drenched beat on “Legend” opens with a country sample and comes courtesy of master producer Madlib. The vocal samples on “Out the Gate” and “The Dark Ages” light up the place, while creeping piano keys on “Criminal Tales,” lurk in the shadows. On Empire, the sun never sets, and there is nowhere to hide.
It doesn’t really matter which reason you choose to listen to Empire State, just listen to it now! It has not left my rotation since I got a hold of it and I hope more people start to recognize the Mighty Joseph. Bananas.
*My favorite verse is Vast’s closer on “The Dark Ages.”