His name's Grafh, and if you don't know the man behind his new album The Oracle III, your knowledge of bars might not be as in tune as you thought. In truth, the New York rapper has been putting in work on the mixtape circuit for nearly twenty-years, never once moving to alter his sound or vainly chase commercial stardom; it's always been about the bars, and now the game is being rewarded with his most lyrically dense and hardest album this far. If that wasn't enough to tempt you, we've also got Royce Da 5'9" in the mix.
John Ricard/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Backed by an unfairly smooth instrumental from DJ Green Lantern, Grafh sets the tone with a powerful opening bar. "I'm back with the spirit of Nipsey," he declares, embarking on a seamless scheme that puts lesser emcees to shame. "Fuck all the purgery, ya'll should go ring the alarm for the burglary, I'm on a long murder spree," he raps. "Ya'll should be urgently calling emergency, this open-heart surgery, your blood spilling over dark burgundy."
Coming off already deadly chemistry forged on The Allegory's "I Play Forever," Royce Da 5'9" returns the favor with a typically hard verse. "Two of your cronies failed, now you in a coma holding on for dear life like Coolio's ponytail," he raps, on some old school punchline energy. "And all they feel is sorrow, before the semi was auto I was semi-immortal."
Fuck all the purgery, ya'll should go ring the alarm for the burglary
I'm on a long murder spree,
Ya'll should be urgently calling emergency
This open-heart surgery, your blood spilling over dark burgundy