Rigz & DJ Muggs – Gold (Review)

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If you haven’t been tapped into Rigz and Da Cloth, now’s your chance to correct that. Among the meanest in the East Coast revival scene, the Toronto/Upstate NY crew brings the most vivid tales of dealing and violence you can find. Rigz in particular has a unique, high register which makes him stand out as an assassin on the mic. On Gold, he finally gets his props in the form of a collab with legendary producer DJ Muggs. A cornerstone of dark, grimy hiphop, the Black Goat laces Rigz with some really impressive beats and a strong atmosphere. Muggs and Rigz seem to have set the new gold standard for Da Cloth and the scene as a whole.

The worst thing to do when you hustle is have a pattern

After a meditative intro skit on how we might become the greatest version of ourselves and help others through the grind, the stellar title track bursts right in. With chaotic keys ringing in the background, hard drums and a long synth haunt the listener as Rigz just bars out (“Keep the iron low like I’m anemic) alongside frequent collaborator Mooch. Rigz’ flow is tight and often has a subtle extra beat at the end of his bars to add emphasis. The next track “Every Season” is another stand out. Muggs drops a beat with a dystopic synth placed in such a flawless pattern. Fellow Da Cloth member Rob Gates steals the show though, sounding like an absolute madman on this cut and spitting so cold.

Rigz’ subject matter tends to stick to the formula of cooking and threats, but Muggs provides a couple of slow, lush cuts where he gets more introspective than usual. “Supreme” and the single “Where Ya Soul At” are such examples, with rich keys and epic soul samples. Rigz discusses coming up without a father, wishes to escape from the bullshit, loyalty, and the ills of the street. He shows more range on here than ever; While past projects like Substance Abuse are phenomenal, Rigz brings more maturity and a fleshed out product on Gold.

You knew a n—- like you, you wouldn’t fuck with yourself

Saint Rigz, prolly see him alone, in the zone with a thousand fiends hitting my phone

Gun powder on my sleeve, this a different cologne

Heard a crackle, first shot prolly crippled the bone

“Heads on the Wall” is another standout track. With energetic drums, Rome Streetz features and spazzes; The flow to match this beat is just a pleasure to listen to and not something you hear very often from this subgenre. Rome is among the best rappers in this game and is unstoppable when teamed up with Muggs. “Fools Gold” is possibly the best song on the album. Muggs’ beat on here is so inventive and infectious. What sounds like a very short vocal sample gets pitched to hell and chopped over and over, backed by perfect percussion. Rigz obviously does his thing, somehow finding a pocket on this subtle banger. “24 Karats” is next and another really cool beat, full of lots of different moving parts.

What makes Muggs so special is that while he certainly has his own sound to stick with – especially in a scene which focuses on a consistent vibe – he always switches it up just enough to match his collaborator. He laced Rigz on here with a nice variety, and much of it fits that dark, trippy Futurewave style that Da Cloth loves. The final track “Never Met a Real Gangsta” is a good example of this, albeit a bit slower. Rigz and Mav leave us with one last, dark street tale in which they warn you to know your role and get out while you can.

Listen to Gold on Spotify

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