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The Other Guys
The Other Guys’ Joe Myles and Isaiah Mensah like to take it back to hip-hop’s more self-aware yesteryear. On “Memories Fade,” the first single from The Other Guys’ forthcoming EP, hard drums and a stuttering soul sample set a wistful tone, while guest MCs yU and Substantial reminisce apologetically on their cheatin’ ways: ”She gave me rhythm, but we started out on the wrong foot,” Substantial raps. “Shoulda bowed out, but kept goin’ ’cause the song’s good.” The Other Guys’ EP, The Opposite of Sex, comes out Sept. 10. —-Marcus J. Moore
On PHZ-Sicks‘ new single, “Coming Down,” he wants you to know where he came from: “For four years, I was raised in Mississippi, fried chicken and some collard greens/Ham hocks in a pot, black eyed peas every New Year’s Eve.” He shouts out his uncles and grandfather. And that’s just the opening verse. From there, the Woodbridge, Va., rapper uses a Southern-fried beat (courtesy of Best Kept Secret) and reconfigured OutKast bars to put more “V” in the DMV. “Coming Down” is the first single from PHZ-Sicks’ forthcoming album, The Moment, out in November. —-MJM
Muggsy Malone is one of the most underrated—-and understated—-MCs in the DMV. He doesn’t wax about his ability or bombard us with new songs and videos. He just stays low-key and drops potent rhymes without the hype. On his latest freestyle, Muggsy goes hard over Jay Z‘s “Somewhere in America,” taking shots at shady business dealings and weak rappers: “Youngin, you on that bitch shit like a chick flick … that Jodeci in ya poetry, fuck you supposed to be, Floetry?” You heard Muggsy: no soft shit allowed. —-MJM
Nike Nando (Again)
You gotta respect Nike Nando’s grind. He churns out new music on a weekly basis, and his latest offering is “Monae’.” A follow-up to “Song for the Girl,” this DJ Black Diamond-produced sequel finds Nando reflecting on the good old days with the one that got away: “I just wanna take it back/I just need that lady back/I could be your everything/She say ‘How you figure that?’” Time might not heal all wounds, but it can force us to mature and refine our methods. So Nando hopes his grown man steez will reel in Monae’ and her “Lisa Bonet swag” once again. Look out for his Could Be Worse album (and its first single), coming soon. —-Julian Kimble