Some of the best hip-hop songs of all time are those that tell a good story (see Children’s Story, Brenda’s Got a Baby, and Runaway Love). Knowing what works, longtime industry-shenanigan victim Ali Vegas has gathered up two fellow Northeast emcees for an anthology of tales focused on why It’s So Hard in the streets. While Ali shares the story of a young man who barely makes ends meet at his McDonald’s job, AZ talks about a young woman whose dream is to become a baller, and Styles P. details a man’s struggle to stay away from the street life after being released from prison. Brought together by a hook from Danny McClane and classical production from producer L.E.S., It’s So Hard is a rarified gem in today’s musical landscape. Vegas’ Generation Gap 2: The Prequel mixtape is available now at select stores and online retailers.