Spelling your stage name with an arbitrary assortment of lower-case and capital letters isn’t the best way to score points with me but, you know what? I forgive Booth newcomers HeAtHeN and iLL cOsBy for forcing me to use copy-paste whenever I mention them, because debut feature Y Me is just that high-quality. The latest single off the Jersey emcee-producer duo’s recently-released joint EP, this record juxtaposes strife-ridden rhymes with boardwork befitting a breezy summer jam. Over his partner’s soulful, slow-rolling sample work, HeAtHeN looks back on the traumatic events of his childhood, from losing his mother to suicide at the age of seven, to watching his homies get locked up on minor drug charges. R&B singer Mr So Real provides backing vocals throughout. Heartbreaking but ultimately triumphant—and, thanks to the production, always ear-pleasing—Y Me is just one of many fresh cuts to be found on the collaborators’ Needle in a Haystack EP, available online as of April 17.
Goon Toonz Ent./Squeeze Play Records
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