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Friday, October 5, 2012

Top Five Tracks From the New Darkest Before Dawn Bay Area Rap Compilation

Posted By on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM


Yesterday, Atlanta-based production unit SMKA released Darkest Before Dawn, a 10-track album compilation that showcases the best of the Bay's MCs spitting over their beats. Featuring a roll call of rappers that includes Shady Blaze, The Jacka, Mistah FAB, Richie Cunning, and MC Zumbi, here's our primer to the five freshest collaborations on the project. You can download the whole thing for free, or stream it on Soundcloud.

5. "Know About Us" feat. DB Tha General and DaVinci

The opening track on Darkest Before Dawn, "Know About Us" gives the album a fierce and brooding kick-start. As expected, DB and DaVinci air out their top-notch rap chops.

4. "Magic Spell" feat. Erk Tha Jerk, Symba and Nio Tha Gift

Remember Erk? With his malleable flow and ear for a catchy melody he dropped a great if overlooked project back in 2010. Now he's back with Symba and Nio Tha Gift for this good-time soulful workout.

3. "Higher" feat. The Jacka and Amaar

The Jacka's endearingly slurry flow pairs perfectly with SMKA's spaced-out production here, as the song holds down the mellow midpoint of the album.

2. "Greatness" feat. Young Gully and Shady Blaze

Another savvy pairing of rappers, East Oakland's Young Gully and Shady Blaze drop high-octane raps over a beat that's positively breezy. A full-length collabo would be a treat.

1. "Ain't A Thing" feat. Roach Gigz and IAmSu!

What's not to like about two of the Bay's most charismatic spitters doing their thing over a relaxed and funky beat? Gigz, for his part, plays something of the mack, bragging about how he's "getting so much pussy I'm hearing cats meow."

-- @PhillipMlynar

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