2016 has been the year of the super groups; straight out of NYC comes No Panty. More than just a catch phrase that Hot 97’s Ebro has been saying daily on air, the legit group, which consists of notable Hispanic rappers Joell Ortiz, Bodega Bamz, and Nitty Scott MC, recently released a full-length gem full of Latin flair, bars, and good old fashioned NYC hip-hop. WestSide Highway Story hit the net about 30 days ago — and may have been lost in the sea of higher profile drops, such as the chart-topping Birds In The Trap Sing Brian McKnight by Travis Scott, and Campaign by Ty Dolla Sign. For those that indulged, though, it’s a dope ride.
The project is produced entirely by Salam Remi, who is both iconic and underrated at the same time — his catalogue includes records with Nas, Alicia Keys, and more. He creates an interesting blend of traditional Latin instrumentation and classic golden era breakbeats; it’s not a question of whether the joints are good, as all three of the artists have a reputation for quality. Besides the obvious sonic difference, it’s crazy how much the trio reminds me of The Firm, the ill-fated group that [most memorably] included Nas, Az, and Foxy Brown — and production from Dr Dre.
The songs run the gambit and vary regarding their actual subject. A few of the joints are just to the point punchline driven heat rocks, like the “Welcome To The Mardi Gras” sampled “Hola.” Then there’s my favourite track, “Iceys On Deck.” The album has some more ‘real’ moments, too. “Mother’s Mark,” which has Papi describing his birth, and Nitty Scott getting so deep you can [figuratively] hear her tears soaking the page as she writes, is a great exmple. Lastly, there’s the no-brainer “No Panty Anthem,” which is sure to be a party staple for the next few summers at least.
More than worth a spin — even if you have to overlook the over abundance of the 80s echo chamber effects. Levántate for the realness!