In three years Your Old Droog has gone from an unidentified enigma to the top of his class, and he’s gunning for your top five. Bold statement, but following his excellent debut record and two strong EP’s, there’s absolutely no sign of slowing down.
His latest offering, Packs, is another slice of high-brow hip hop glory stuffed with calculated bars and simmering East Coast mood; just nostalgic enough for the gatekeepers and slick enough for the young guns stomping around NYC in half-laced Timbs and bomber jackets.
Once the buzz fizzled out on whether or not Droog was actually Nas (settled thanks to a sold-out debut show at Webster Hall), the conversation finally centered on how nice this kid might get. Packs arrives in 2017 to answer that question and just in time to cement Droog alongside cream of the crop new school traditionalists like Wiki, Remy Banks, and Joey Badass.
Dap Droog up or keep it moving. Whether you’re on board or not, he pushes through Packs with an effortless dexterity on tracks like the savage “Bangladesh”, featuring an ice cold verse from Queens native Heems, and “White Rappers”, where he coyly discusses the notion that pale faced MC’s are guests in the house of the game.
“Help” will contend as 2017’s finest posse cut with Wiki, Droog, and Boston underground legend Edan trading nimble verses over a frantic cacophony anchored by a historic Rob Base sample. “Help” is live from the barbeque for a modern summer brimming with the energy of past greats without losing sight of this decade’s sensibilities. Along with 11 rock solid tracks produced by Droog, RTNC, Edan, and The Alchemist, the choice to pepper interludes throughout Packs is a nod to the concept of the long playing record we often forget in a world where our bloodlust for the next hot single undermines the traditional album feel.
On “I Only” Droog claims he only plays the games he can win at. Thankful for us there’s not an L in sight. It’s straight clinical hip hop from the opening scene to the closing credits. Packs plays like a day off in the city mobbing with your people. Maybe you make some bad choices, maybe all is well? By midday there’s a clip in the ashtray and someone’s feet are on your Mom’s couch. Relax. Sit back and let YOD, aka modern day Rapman, create the soundtrack for 2017’s return to reality.