DJ Pain1 ft. Smokes, Joell Ortiz & Rain - Roots
While I think we can all agree it’s a good thing that hip hop did take it this far, the downside of the genre’s enduring appeal is that fewer and fewer artists remember where it all started. Good thing we have artists like DJ Pain1 and his coterie to carry the torch for the old-school. On his first feature and latest single, making its world premiere here in the Booth, the Madison native takes it back to rap’s Roots in form as well as content, crafting a soulful boom-bap backdrop (complete with the obligatory Biggie-sampled hook) for some no-nonsense rhymes from three of his most dedicated homies. Booth newcomer Smokes, Slaughterhouse emcee Joell Ortiz and freestyle series alum Rain handle mic duties, rapping “with finesse, success and multiple steps” as they pay tribute to hip-hop legends from 2Pac to Guru – as well as, of course, talking up their own skills. So, have Pain and his collaborators done their forebears proud with this one? I think I know the answer but, as always, I leave it to the readers to issue to final verdict. If you’re craving more “real-hip-hop,” keep it locked; The Waiting Game has yet to receive a solid drop date, but you’ll be the first to know when that changes.