An Introduction to: Hus Kingpin

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A cornerstone of the New York revival scene who has gone tragically unappreciated, Hus Kingpin’s discography and history in the game run deep. From slick Long Island pimp raps to trip hop and Christmas music, he should be noted for his dedication to variety and consistency over the past decade. A pioneer of the scene’s sound who played a major role in its design (famously the link between Westside Gunn and Mach Hommy), he remains somewhat distant from it today, opting instead to stay loyal to his roots and his collective: The Winners. The Winners are comprised of some of his closest affiliates and tight MC’s, such as SmooVth, Rozewood, and Giallo Point. Here we will discuss some of his best, most essential work.

The Cognac Tape (feat. Roc Marciano) [2013]

Widely known as Hus’ big break, The Cognac Tape is a representation of both the rappers’ roots and prevailing style. Prominently featuring fellow Hempstead native Roc Marciano, this is a straightforward album of slick raps and shit talk in the vein of the perennial Marcberg. While its a little rough around the edges as an early project of his, The Cognac Tape remains a quality contemporary boombap album with that unique pimp image which serves as an easy introduction to Hus’ style.

Listen to The Cognac Tape on Spotify

Cocaine Beach (prod. Big Ghost LTD) [2017]

Recorded once Hus had moved to Los Angeles and begun to forge a new home there (going so far as to adopt the name Wavo), this Big Ghost collab album very much reflects such a change. While Hus continued to grow as an MC and songwriter, Big Ghost constructed a unique vice soundscape to match. Part of what makes him such a dope producer is his ability to subtly create different atmospheres for each artist while maintaining his dark, heavy, signature sound. Some bigger feature names appear here for the grand scale production, including Willie the Kid – a good comparison artist for Hus – and new affiliate Planet Asia.

Listen to Cocaine Beach on Bandcamp

The Threesome Series (2020,21,22)

Comprised of the Threesome EP, Threesome 2: The Art of Sex, and Threesome 3: Voyeur Edition, this trilogy is what brings Hus’ greatest characteristic and greatest strength to the forefront: The pimp persona. Leaning fully into the luxurious atmosphere and player rhymes here, he takes us on a tour of the penthouse, simply bleeding luxury at every turn. Instead of packing his bars full of complex rhymes and technical flows like Roc Marci, he plays things with a lazy confidence and frank imagery; Every line is a throwaway that would be the average man’s deepest, most ostentatious material and sexual desires. Production is predictably smooth and light, but with a subtle, futuristic motif that make things far more modern and crisp than the average project in this lane.

Listen to Threesome 3 on Spotify

Portishus & Bjorkingpin (2020, 2021)

In recent years, Hus has begun to break out of the boombap revival box. Instead, he is placing his own spin on some unexpected classics and passions of his. Portishus and Bjorkingpin are tribute projects to Portishead and Bjork respectively, comprised of samples and references over which Hus does his thing. Diving into these unfamiliar soundscapes, masterfully produced to fit him, he tones the lyrical themes up to something more philosophical and poetic, but still grounded in the streets. These projects are a truly grand artistic statement which represent a new wave of experimentation in the scene.

Listen to Portishus on Spotify

More Dope Music:

Bolio EP (Rezo Pelo Rio):

A direct reference – shot, perhaps – to Griselda, Bolio is a short, sweet project which includes some of Hus’ toughest lyrics over some dope Latin American samples.

The Winners Ball:

A compilation tape featuring Hus and his labelmates, putting some shine on underrated artists and friends in the scene.

Westside Gunn – Project N—–s (feat. Planet Asia & Tristate):

Despite their rocky relationship, Hus Kingpin and Westside Gunn’s histories are intertwined and this Hitler Wears Hermes 3 record remains one of his most popular.

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