DMV Beats: OneWay Nooch, X.O., Yaddiya, Alli the Abstract, Lyriciss, RAtheMC
OneWay Nooch's Rookie Season
OneWay Nooch isn't the only rapper in his family—his dad is OneWay Boobe of the Oy Boyz crew. So the quality of the teenager's debut mixtape, Rookie Season isn't surprising, given that pops certainly knows how to break off some professional-sounding product. And the tape's overall shrewdness—from its RGIII-themed cover to its guest spots by DMV studs Fat Trel and Shy Glizzy—fits with a DMV scene that seems to get more sophisticated by the week.
The real fun comes from hearing Nooch work out who he is. I like him best as an older-than-his-years wiseacre ("Gotta Go," "Wit A Nigga"), a woozy storyteller ("She Loves Me") and a stoner wordsmith ("Right Back In It," where he raps "You's a joker/I'm not laughin'/You's a choker/Why you actin'/Like a nigga that you ain't/You ain't no smoker, nigga, pass it"). I like him less as a trap-influenced braggart; the tracks with Trel ("Too Many") and and Glizzy ("Tools") will probably attract the most attention, but they seem more like careerist tactics than artistic coups. And when he raps over soulful beats ("Dream Killers, "My Moment"), he's hardly subtle, but it's definitely clear that he's aware of hip-hop's finer things. Rookie Season can be downloaded free at DatPiff.com. —Joe Warminsky
X.O.'s Needs and Wants
Is it me, or does Uptown X.O. drop a new video every 10 minutes? Just last month, the gregarious Diamond District MC released visuals for "Evolution," in which he and collaborator AB The Pro spit rhymes in glitchy black and white. X.O.'s new video for "Needs & Wants" depicts a tumultuous relationship. It appears everything's all good for X.O.—the turkey bacon was a nice touch—until his girl checks his phone. Maybe he should've locked it. —Marcus J. Moore
More From Yaddiya
About a month ago, we dug into Yaddiya’s playful “Cake,” the lead single from Hucci by Yaddiya, his collaborative EP with London-based producer Hucci. On Tuesday, the Maryland MC delivered the full project as promised. Consisting of just five songs, Hucci by Yaddiya offers a little taste of what the rising talent has to offer, and Yaddiya does his best to show the full range of his abilities over Hucci’s dance-ready beats.
Yaddiya enlists a lot of help on the project. After being joined by Pimp Slim on “Cake,” he’s accompanied by Phil Da Phuture on “Taste Good,” where the two trade rhymes about their superior eye for the exquisite. “I say that’s flavor, hoes say my taste good,” chants Yaddiya on the song’s hook. “Capitol” finds him and Uptown XO reflecting on achieving success in D.C. over Hucci’s rendition of one of those ubiquitous “army beats.”
The project’s gem is “I’m Ready,” the final track and the only one without a feature. Over a chopped up sample of The Temptations’ “Get Ready”, Yaddiya announces his rap-game arrival, boldly brushing doubters aside: “I told my old boss don’t be surprised when a nigga on TV.” Overall, Hucci By Yaddiya is promising enough to have us watching out for more than five songs from him. —Julian Kimble
Alli the Abstract
Leave to it youngster Alli the Abstract to get lyrical on a song about a cookout. “The CookOut Song” is prefaced by a brief anecdotal story about “that one aunt” who always two-steps to “that one song” at family cookouts. The young MC attacks a jazzy sample like a plate of food, spewing witty bars like “Broads tryin’ to pull off a two-piece should never ate that three-piece meal” and “We need more lessons and less morons/My word is Bond, James...”
Abstract gets a call from his favorite uncle—Uncle Dusty—who offers to pick up forks and plates for the cookout when he heads to the store purchase a 40. It’s Cinco de Mayo weekend, and this breezy track is the calm before the tequila. —JK
Every so often, New Carrollton MC Lyriciss shrugs off the "backpack rapper" label. On his new single, "Vent," Lyriciss uses a haunting Numonics beat to review his personal struggles. He references D.C.'s affinity for Nike Boots and bemoans the Trayvon Martin case. Overall, it's a nice showing for Lyriciss, who's known for his common-man rap approach. —MJM
DMV on the Road
Speaking of Lyriciss, he, X.O., and RAtheMC recently visited Sway's radio show for a DMV MC showcase. Here, the rappers take turns spitting their best verses for the influential MTV veejay. While we wonder who's next to blow from the city, it's good to see these dope lyricists get a moment in the national spotlight. —MJM