I have to admit, as I sat down to write this, I contemplated opening up with a straight out Jersey meme, but thought that may come off a little too cliché. Granted, it would have been fine if I had reviewed this album when it first came across my desk. I admit it, in a sea of releases over the past few months, I completely slept on Everything 050, by the Jersey natives, 050 Boyz – a trio consisting of Prince AK, Tru Trilla and Riq da Kid. I get a lot of promos in my inbox, and for some reason this one just didn’t jump out at me. I dropped the ball. Having given this project a few listens, I can definitely co-sign these guys. Here’s why:

They are co-signed by legends

The group has deep roots and connections in Jersey; however, as a “group” of sorts, they first worked together as part of the (shelved) super-group Garden State Greats. The failed group was the brain child of Naughty by Nature frontman Treach. As the 050 Boyz, a group whose ideology is based on the original Garden State Greats concept, they’ve been guided by DoItAll, one 1/3 of the Lord of the Underground. Now, not sure about you, but Naughty and Lords are definitely in my top 25 groups ever – in fact, The Lord’s Keepers of the Funk was one of my fave albums growing up. I know co-signs aren’t everything, but having someone who helped shape your love of the culture put their stamp on something should make it an auto-cop.

They are consistent with their production

I’ve said it a million times, I’m a sucker for single producer album. This project was produced entirely by Clinton Place who have it’s boom-bap charm. This direction keeps the project sounding cohesive, rather than a series of loosies.

They don’t take chances – in a good way

This album fails to really break any creative ground, but that’s not a bad thing. Rather than try to fit themselves into any contrived roles, they just drop bars with a golden era aesthetic – and obvious street logic and sensibility.

Sonically, the group have great chemistry. They almost put me in mind of State Property (only slightly). From the album opener Hot Damn, the posse cut Concrete Combat – which features the hottest Onyx sample ever – to the introspective What Happened, they sound like vets; although, they still have a spark in their overall demeaneor. Standouts for me were also the Treach assisted DNA, and DoItAll assisted Pay Them No Mind. The album is definitely worth a spin. I’ll definitely keep my eye on these guys.

What’s next?