Song of the Day: May 1, 2017

“Pizza Party,” the 12th installation in a series of monthly singles from Pig Food Records co-founder Dezmatic, is a great example of Albany’s hip hop style.

The video is light-hearted and fun. Featuring a muppet in various mischievous situations, reminiscent of El-P’s Mr. Kilums, “Pizza Party” exhibits Dez’s typical poignancy brilliantly. Dressed in a yellow cardigan and an off white turtleneck, featured rapper Mic Lanny has some fun as well.

The track itself also has its comedic moments. However, the pizza party isn’t all fun.

The beat is very modern boom bap: a reverb guitar sample rings out every few bars, but the heavy drums are given room to breathe. There are few other pieces to this beat other than another twinkling sample and some jazzy sax.

Dez takes the first verse, using assonance and multi-syllabic rhymes at an expert level to deliver his hard-hitting and aggressive punchlines. After mentioning a former foe, Dez says, “Now his girl be turning speech reciters into semen geysers,” using a total of eight rhyming syllables in a bar to pour salt into the wound he creates.

He doesn’t stop here though, preceding to finish the verse with little time spent on setting things up. Like Mike Tyson, Dezmatic throws jab after jab at your ears until his verse ending feels less like a pause and more like time for you to breathe.

Mic Lanny refuses to give you much time, though. Inspired by technical greats like Big L and Mos Def, Mic spits rhyme after rhyme, abandoning flows as quickly as he can think of new ones.

Like Dez, his punchlines alternate between funny and antagonistic. Mic tells us that he’s “your favorite rapper’s least favorite rapper, because I feast and don’t leave scraps after,” before letting you know that you’re a “free range, farm fresh fart dressed in bling.”

As a fledgling member of the Albany hip hop scene, seeing Dezmatic and Mic Lanny rap so well is often inspiring. As Mic put it, seeing local guys put out quality music makes you feel the same way Larry Bird made every white kid feel in the 80s.

This song is an outlier, however. Very rarely is a song released that makes rappers want to quit. The last notable occasion was when Kendrick’s verse on “Control” dropped. At least for me, “Pizza Party” is the next inductee to this particular branch of the hip-hop hall of fame.

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