So a few days ago I get an email from Lyriciss asking me to check out his new track featuring Ray-J. I won’t front, my heart stopped for a moment. Could one of hip-hop’s most integral emcees really have recruited Brandy’s brother for a radio ready single? Fear not my fellow hip-hop heads, the inclusion of Mr. J on Stop Scheming (making its world premiere right now!) is purely for illustrative effect. Instead of a polished radio jam we get a lightly piano laced beat from fellow DMVer J-Scrilla and Chop-La-Rok that unwinds slowly like cigar smoke. It’s the perfect outline for Lyriciss to fill in with storytelling flows that cover – what else? – the various people he’s caught scheming on him, from not-so-gangster rappers to thirsty women: “Force me to play Gambit, I’m pullin your card / just focus on being you, and whatever you do, stop schemin.” If the world has stopped its devious ways by the time Lyriciss’ upcoming project, The Balance: Respect EP, drops via The DJBooth on November 7 then we’ll know Lyriciss truly has the power to turn word into action.