Brooklyn is more than a borough that’s produced a notorious MC or two. It’s a prime location in the land of opportunity that’s known worldwide. See how a crowd responds to, “Is Brooklyn in the house?,” at any big event for proof. But that unique position in culture didn’t stop the borough from suffering the same Hip-Hop ailment as the remainder of the Big Apple.
To be frank, Hip-Hop hasn’t seen a new act represent NYC with vigor since The Diplomats’ were bombarding airwaves in the early to mid aughts (sorry, French Montana). Sure, acts like A$AP Mob have proclaimed their dominance, but their syrupy, southern and sometimes electronic sound is a far departure from what’s associated with the Concrete Jungle. But then, out of the ranks of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section, came a MC by the name of Troy Ave.
With a buzz that’s been brewing since 2006, a bit of consistency, a close relationship with the happenings in his neighborhood, and a lot of hometown pride allowed him to create New York City: The Album. It only released a few days ago (November 4), but the peanut gallery (known as the Internets) are singing Troy’s praises for creating a project that’s true to Hip-Hop’s mecca.
Who: Troy Ave is an independent MC who hails from the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. If you’re ears aren’t to the streets, its easy to confuse the rapper, 28-years-old, for a newcomer, when actually he’s seven years deep in the game. Experience has been the best teacher for Troy, who set himself apart from his peers with an array of mixtapes and a series of remixes on popular beats of the moment coined “Keymixes.”
Before Troy’s close confidant Pusha T began ranting “My name is my name” as a way to remind the public that the cocaine bars would never stop, the New York rhymer made it clear that the streets were, too, his target market. Perhaps a business man in spirit, he used to talents to fill the void of true-to-the guts, NYC street music while others flock to the commonplace southern production. Troy’s vision fully materialized via New York City: The Album.
Credentials: Troy Ave, named after an actual street in Brooklyn, is a prime example of art imitating life. Having allegedly gotten busy in the streets, he took a “rap game reminds me of the crack game” mentality and flooded blocks (and the Internets) with audible blue tops. Listeners and peers alike developed a respect for Troy’s brand of rap due to the Bricks In My Backpack mixtape series. He’s also a member of a collective known as BSB, comprised of himself, Avon Blocksdale, and King Seven. They’ve also delivered a few project, which most recently includes
Fun Fact: Troy Ave had been fiddling with the idea of being a rapper since the early 2000s, but he wasn’t truly inspired to enter the game until he heard 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2003.
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Photo: Instagram, Hot 97