New York Hip-Hop has a reputation that proceeds itself, because authenticity, braggadocio, and lyricism serve as its main ingredients. In talking to Troy Ave, an avid purveyor of street culture and the principles it’s founded on, it’s clear that he’s taken what it means to be a true NYC rapper to heart.

Representing Crown Heights, Troy has put the entire Brooklyn on his back rather than limiting the set he’s represents to his hood. “I look at it like Brooklyn is my hood. I be all over,” he said. “I’m from Crown Heights. I named myself ‘Troy Ave’ to represent  that, but I’m really all over the place. I’m not a local n***a, who never left the block.”

Mind you, he made that clear after quizzing me on my top three tracks from New York City: The Album, a boldly titled project for a MC at any point in their career. But then again, that was oh so Brooklyn of the rising MC to select that name. Not only did it give him a goal to rise up to and pique the interest of listeners near and far. It most importantly set the tone for Troy to create a body of work that appeals to rap fans who miss that NYC sound.

That’s a topic Troy happens to be very passionate about, too. “N***as from New York stopped making from they environment,” he explained. “In our environment, we don’t have all of that tight pants sh*t; not in the hood. That weirdo sh*t and that other sh*t, we don’t represent that. That’s why I put out a classic for these n***as man.”


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