Rome Streetz has been building one hell of a catalog, and is continuing to skyrocket to the top. With the consistency of heat he’s been putting out, it’s evident why he’s easily become one of the most solid and respected lyricists. For this latest project, the street scholar emcee cheffed up a fresh pot with Futurewave, the master of dark and gritty production. For some time, the Wav.God was one of Toronto’s best kept secrets, but now, he’s earned his place as a master of the craft in the production world for his impeccable work. For this release, the album is called Headcrack, and we get a lethal dose of 10 tracks with some serious bangers, straight to the dome.
Going into my favorite tracks, I loved the first joint, “Sniff it Outta C-Note”. Rome wastes no time ripping into the hard edged soundscape with major bars:
“Lord forgive me I ain’t living righteous/ we in Hell’s Kitchen got an appetite for Devil’s Pie slices”.
Next up, I dug the title track, “Headcrack”, which starts off mellow, until the drums come in about 20 seconds in. Rome delivers with an effortless cadence over a multi layered backdrop with a catchy, high pitched element thrown in.
Then there’s “N.Y. Do or Die Slogan” which was an ode to one of my favorite places in the world. This track has some nice drums on it, with a variety of sounds put together in a way that only someone of Futurewave’s caliber can pull off. Everything Rome spits is clever and you keep wanting to go back and hear it again:
“Smif-N-Wessuns in the Bucktown section / Duck Down like a Black Moon record they shoot reckless/ catch 2 where your neck is and get left naked/ slow neck from Alexis in a gold Lexus”
“Fortune Favors the Bold” has a bit of an obscure, foreign feel in the beginning. The beat then switches up halfway through, with a nice addition of trumpets in the background. This is the first joint on the project to have a video drop, shot via Mercenary. This line alone was clever:
“Ayo this rap shit is a backstroke/ Everything I ever spat was crack smoke”
“We Ain’t the Same” was another favorite and had a bit of a glitch to it, which Futurewave incorporates from time to time. The amount of quotable lines Rome has is insane:
“I shine different dog we ain’t the same/ you niggas loose change, full of envy and you move strange/ Felt the vibes yea I been peeped it/ They want every piece of food off your plate watch who you eat with”
On “Foul Lifestyle” there’s no holding back when Rome laces us with heavy street game over a delicate, yet complimentary beat.
My top favorite joint was “She’s Like Keesha from Belly”. This here is the newer, ultimate Bonnie & Clyde, ride or die anthem. The lyrics are deep but in a way that even the hardest G and his female counterpart can relate to. It’s a hood love story but Rome still manages to keep it street. I ran this one through until I memorized all the lyrics.
Futurewave knows how to balance out the different layers of sound he can experiment with, track by track. Rome has a rawness about him that’s authentic, and he executes everything with full force. His delivery is sharp and he exudes confidence over a wide range of styles. Futurewave’s beat schemes are well suited for Rome’s grimey wordplay. This is an outstanding project from start to finish, as these two continue to solidify their positions amongst the elites of Hip Hop.
Headcrack is available on bandcamp, where CD copies are also available for purchase.