Though they have yet to release an LP, La Coka Nostra have already established themselves as A Brand You Can Trust—composed of House of Pain alumni Everlast, DJ Lethal, and Danny Boy, Non Phixion vet Ill Bill, Special Teamz emcee Slaine, and Big Left, the quintet has a hella fide pedigree and connects to match. For their Booth debut, the collective team up with another proven quantity, UGK‘s Bun B, to issue a hard-hitting hip-hop ultimatum. Though Alchemist‘s infectiously laid-back sample work gives Choose Your Side a Middle Eastern flavor, this cut’s battlezone theme is more a springboard for lyrical ultraviolence than an opportunity to discuss foreign policy—with rhymes this razor-sharp, though, it’s hard to care. Everlast’s middle verse boasts both some of the coldest lines I’ve heard in weeks (see: his flawless first eight) as well as some of the most questionable (“Pope John Paul Wall”? Seriously?), but Bun’s solid opening verse and Ill Bill’s allusive closer (inspired by Ishmael Beah’s Memoirs of a Boy Soldier) add up to a record that bangs all the way through. For more of the collective’s raw and uncut product, grab a copy of their debut album when it drops July 14th.
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