There aren’t many emcees that embody the true grit of the New York streets like Raekwon the Chef. Almost twenty years in the game, he has all but perfected that Shaolin slang to the point where even when you’ve heard the verse before, you still feel yourself enveloped in piss-stained concrete, grated metal project doors and fiend flooded staircases. Shallah has been doing his own thing and it’s time to shed some light on his seeds. This video features Rae and his latest high-powered acquisition, Canada’s ice-cold JD Era. I had the pleasure of interviewing era before most people knew who he was (time for round 2 kid) and was happy to see him under the wing of a guy you know won’t stifle his growth.This track was from Rae’s recent mixtape. I’d tell you the name of it, but Rick Ross wiped out the memory of every mixtape that dropped anywhere near Rich Forever. I do remember occasional flashes from Era and a chemistry that was nowhere near as harmonious as Rae and Ghost, but represented a yin/yang kind of energy that was not as potent but charming.
“Just A Toast” is fucking smooth like the butterscotch candies in your grandmas glass dish. This is not the street spittign Rae we’re used to, but a Raekwon that has graduated to talking about the finer things in life without flaunting and styling on you. There is a celebratory feel with the random horn blasts and the pianos that punctuate every other stanza. Era drops an “I’m Here” type verse that both announces his presence and puts his ability on display. At no point do you get the thought, “What is this dude doing on a track with Raekwon?” Seems simple but Era delivers.
Again this isn’t as dynamic as any Rae/Ghost track but the kid doesn’t try to recreate that feeling. He stands on his own two feet and actually brings the boss man a closer to his lane than he does crossing over. And that’s awesome because I don’t know how many people are checking for strawberry ravioli or any of that crazy shit form someone other than Ghostface Killah. Enjoy.
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