Over the course of hip-hop’s history, countless rappers have made it their mission to convey the hidden poetry of inner-city life, turning poverty and struggle into transcendent art—and on his latest single, Skyzoo hits upon the perfect phrase to describe this dichotomy: Beautiful Decay. Over former Little Brother producer 9th Wonder‘s old-school, nostalgia-drenched boardwork (anyone know where that sample came from?), the Brooklyn emcee puts his wordsmithing skills to the test, recounting his own rise from the bottom the the top as he explores the ways in which beauty and ugliness are inextricably linked. Skyzoo’s artful mix of biographical detail and abstract reflection comes complete with some impressively vivid lyrical imagery; “Dollar shots of Henney and chicken wings and fries for $3.75” may not be the kind of poetry that’ll get starry-eyed English majors to lift their shirts, but it’s the perfect word-picture to illustrate the emcee’s point. Though less aggressive than many of Skyzoo’s recent features, Beautiful Decay contains some of the Brooklynite’s sharpest rhymes yet; and those who appreciate the single’s wistfully down-to-earth vibe are sure to find more to their liking on The Salvation (due out September 29th via JamLa/Duck Down Records).