Quartermaine doesn’t waste time on his new single, “War of the Roses.” “This song is specially dedicated to all adults, parents, teachers,” he says at the top of the track. “So-called leaders, stop being elitist.”

From there, the DJ/MC/producer launches into the plight of the urban poor: chronic poverty, a lack of chivalry, the difficulties of holding a job. “I’m right amongst it, the rhyme’s my comfort/To try to deal with all the ills in my life’s circumference.”

The music, composed by Landover, Md., producer Kev Brown, is a scratchy blend of chopped vocal samples and faint acoustic instruments. “War of the Roses” is the first single from Quartermaine’s forthcoming album, Quarter Life Crisis, out Nov. 20. Listen below.