Rome Streetz is one of the most prolific up and comers in the New York underground. A recent Grieselda signee, he comes at you with aggressive flows and frank depictions of street life. Ranging from clever wordplay, to emotional cuts, to dark tales of dealing and violence, Rome makes it clear where his priorities and lifestyle come from. As he spat on last year’s “Lick Da Toad”, “I sold more drugs than music, on the corner slime I’m platinum plus”. Having released four albums in 2021 and a series of strong features, Rome is carving a lane for himself as one of the most consistent and formidable MC’s of the scene.
Death & The Magician (prod. DJ Muggs)
Teaming with legendary Cypress Hill producer (and more recently a staple of the NY underground) DJ Muggs, Death & The Magician is among Rome’s strongest work to date and an album of the year contender. Muggs laces him with eerie, exotic sounding beats constructed from distorted guitars, vocal loops, and off kilter pianos. The project is simply menacing, with Rome documenting dark deeds and warning the opposition. That’s not to say he’s one note on here though; A common theme in his work is the balance between spirituality and morality with street life. He addresses this dichotomy on “Prayers Over Packages”, Islam on “Zig Zag Zig”, and the Devil on our shoulders on “Horn & Halo”. Strong features from Knowledge the Pirate and Rigz of Da Cloth get the assist. The album ends on a strong, introspective note with “Fuck You Know About Me”, with Rome ready to face the game with more energy than ever.
Street’ll leave you poisoned with no antidote
Put me in a group with you n—-s, bet I come out with a shearling coat
Genesis 1:27 (In collaboration with Ankhlejohn)
Linked with producer Rare Scrilla and contemporary MC Ankhlejohn, Rome delivers a dark, dense project. Ankhlejohn acts as a strong match for Rome, with his higher register and choppier flow. The beats are sparse and often drumless, with luxurious vocal loops and keys leaving plenty of room for the two spitters to shine.
Razor’s Edge (prod. Futurewave)
Rome Streetz links once again with producer Futurewave after their strong 2019 collaboration Headcrack. While Razor’s Edge doesn’t quite reach that pedigree, it is a typically strong addition to their discographies. Futurewave’s beats here lean rather traditional (in the sense they are distinctly NY, but do have drums and are not excessively dark) and while not many are particularly standout, they are all high quality and a good match for Rome. They are subtle and give him room to work. Rome deals with his usual content, often returning to that conflict of spirituality vs. darkness (“9’s for Judas”, “Bible or the Rifle”, “Sage or Gunsmoke”).
Westside Gunn – Draymond (feat. Rome Streetz & Stove God Cook$)
Rome Streetz delivers a standout verse amidst Westside Gunn’s sprawling Hitler Wears Hermes 8 (Although Sauce Walka delivers as well, check out our guide!). Bringing his best for this big placement, he flows rapidly and reflects on the come up over a low, short guitar loop and sparse kicks. Contemporary Stove God Cook$ shares the spotlight with clever and commanding bars as ever (“It’s what you do after the brick, bitch I’m Draymond”). As a recent official signee to GxFR records, more collaborations are sure to come, perhaps even the rumored Pray 4 Rome with executive production by Gunn.
With the right I shake a millionaire’s hand, with the left I serve a junkie
Walked the line, a lavish life of crime
Remember them times I had a bunkie on the tier
Now my signature a souvenir
Coup de Grâce (In collaboration with Ransom)
Coup de Grace is a bit of a victory lap for both Ransom and Rome Streetz, coming off phenomenal runs. Frequent collaborator Ransom is one of the few MC’s in the scene that can hang with Rome bar for bar, and has had a similarly prolific and consistent year (particularly Heavy is the Head with Big Ghost LTD and the Director’s Cut series with Nicholas Craven). They compliment each other well with such different voices and attention grabbing flows. Production courtesy of V Don, Craven, Animoss and more, as well as guest verses by The Game and Che Noir make Coup de Grace a fun listen with a lot of lyricism to digest.
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