General Cream — straight out of the home of hip-hop –hung out at the corner stores and saw the world from his building. On the corner of Gun Hill Rd and Rochambeau in the Bronx, New York, he developed his rap style by painting what he saw visually in his music. The Bronx, of course, has a lengthy history within the timeline of hip-hop, birthing acts from Slick Rick and members of the Furious Five, all the way to legends like Big Pun, and KRS-ONE. In fact, it can be said that the borough is ground zero for the culture, as it was where Kool Herc kicked it all off. General Cream is just following that tradition.

His latest project, Warriors & Kings, is an amalgamation of life in the culture’s Mecca and conscious social sensibility. At ten songs, the album is full of head nodding gritty street hop and tons of gems, and some complimentary features, that help to build him up. His cadence is almost reminiscent of a mid-nineties Pharoahe Monch, which sounds unique enough that it stands out.

From showing love to fallen soldiers on the ‘so NYC’ vibe of “R.I.P” and his family on “Smile,” General does traverse some different things on this release. There’s the injustice in society and the mixed messages of the media on the track “Warriors,” or the ode to his block, Gun Hill, on the anthem of the same name, that features multiple voices spelling out the name.

Standouts for us were two records that both seemed to address some of his vocal naysayers, “Hear Me” and “Spoke On Jesus,” where he laments “They spoke on Jesus, best believe it they gon talk on me.”

Overall, it’s a solid effort from the Bronx-bomber, and worth a place on your weekly playlist.