Thug Matrix

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Emcees of out Queens-bridge write gritty street tales better than any other lyricists in the game, as if it’s a natural birthright. And old school alum Tragedy Khadafi isn’t about to let the ball drop on his latest, where he and a host of neighborhood friends like Havoc, Cormega and Nature all get on the mike and keep shit hotter than Mississippi in July.

Thug Matrix ain’t for the faint; Tragedy paints hood life more vividly than Donald Goines, which will kill his commercial chances with suburbanites, but who cares? Hip-shooting like “Gorilla Rap” (featuring Raekwon) could give old ladies heart attacks; others, like “The Game” — featuring Havoc — are smooth and don’t bang out like your typical QB track, but are perfect for splitting a Dutch.

Corny as it sounds, the beats on Thug Matrix are a big part of what makes Tragedy’s new album stellar. And between the Alchemist, Havoc and Scram Jones, the head-nods come fast and furious. If you’ve not copped a Khadafi album yet, this one is a hell of an introduction.

Jonathan Cunningham writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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