STEPPING IT UP Hank and Reason take a breather between rounds.
Local lyricists Dirty Hank and Reason revel in drunken debauchery all over The Monty Brogan EP (Poorly Drawn Recordings), released just last week and currently up for grabs as a free download through multiple sites (check the end of these words for links). Cop it immediately. Tapping bottles (and eventually your girlfriend) remains the topic du jour with Dirty Hank Chinaski (straight outta Glocester, RI!), as previously heard on a handful of acclaimed mixtapes (streaming at dirtyhank.com), and the partnership with longtime PDP affiliate Reason sounds like a natural fit on the EP.
Members of the extended Poorly Drawn People family have been steadily releasing quality gems over the past few years. Producer Dox recently teamed with Labeless Illtelligence wordsmith ESH the Monolith on The Invisible EP (Labeless co-founder CasUno just dropped a new single as well), and multi-talented rhymer and visual artist Reason (check out his canvas works at artbyreason.com) kicked out two noteworthy full-length albums, Landlords & Lullabies and Gemini Slang.
Reason and Hank teamed up on a song titled "Monty Brogan" (named for Ed Norton's character in the film 25th Hour) on Hank's 2009 mixtape The Class Act and on a few tracks on Dirty Hank's 2010 EP, The Guide to Giving Up, which featured production from Mad Plaid and acclaimed beat conductor Falside. Hot off his heaven-sent collaboration with Juan Deuce on The Mechanics EP (hand-picked by Sage Francis for distribution via Strange Famous Records; check out the piece we ran the first week of February), Falside returns for production duties on six of the Monty Brogan tracks.
Falside's brand of 22nd-century street-corner G-Funk provides the perfect backdrop for Reason and Dirty Hank to rip bars about booze, promiscuous chicks, and head-bobbing braggadocio on the leadoff single "Say Disease." "Size Zero" and "Perfect Way to Die" are standouts, and the remix of "Overslept" (originally from Giving Up) is a personal favorite. The opening cringe-worthy sample on "Funeral Fame" fits the billing, and that riff on "Size Zero" coasts seamlessly with Reason's delivery, as does the woofer-shredding closing cut "Local Press." Producer Mad Plaid also comes through again on "Not That Hip" and "To the Moon." Dirty Hank's half-cocked flow embodies Redman, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and the Alkaholiks. On an interesting, related side note, back around 2006 Dirty Hank was the man behind Riot magazine, which focused on local graffiti and interviews with area emcees — and aspiring porn stars. His keen eye for X-rated talent landed a pretty great (yet unpublished) interview with young starlet Sasha Grey, which finally saw the light of day a few months back on theechochamberblog.com.
Rhode Island native Andrew Martin is a lead scribe for go- to indie authority potholesinmyblog.com and keeps Lil Rhody emcees on his radar, saluting Monty Brogan's "nine tracks of boom-bap madness" with this recommendation: "If you like your hip-hop grimy, a lil' strange, and full of booze-fueled wordplay, you're going to love this."
I followed up with Martin, who offered further praise.
"Reason and Dirty Hank really pushed each other to step it up lyrically and conceptually on their new EP. Plus, they're a great balance to what Falside is doing with Juan Deuce right now."
Dirty Hank is midway through completing his next project — tenta-tively titled Anything Helps — with rhyming over strictly '90s-era instrumentals.
"I'm having fun making this project because I get to go nuts over beats that I loved when I was younger," he said.