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“There is a lane for innovative, boom-bap hip-hop—and that’s what I’m about.”
Those are the words of rising rapper-producer Vice Souletric, whose new album, Vice For President 2, proves that you can improve on a classic blueprint while making it your own.
The Lorain, Ohio native doesn’t waste a second on the record’s 11 tracks, which range from brief and powerful (“T.A.M.I.R.,” an ode to the horrific killing of young Tamir Rice by a police officer) to mellow and boastful (the Skyzoo-assisted “Stayin’ Out The Way”). And you’ll surely recognize that versatility on opening track “iRap,” a confident banger with thick, G-funk bass and a Dr. Dre-sampling hook via DJ NuEra.
Other standouts include lead single “Return Of The Black Man,” a fierce war cry featuring Talib Kweli, G. Huff, and Will Blaze, and the aptly titled “Respect The Legends” featuring King Magnetic. The latter is also the only track that Vice didn’t produce himself, as he landed the chance to spit over a 9th Wonder beat. The result is an ill dedication to Hip-Hop, which Vice drove home in speaking on the project.
“This album lets people know that I am serious and committed to contributing to the Hip-Hop culture through music,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
While the remainder of the record is mostly a solo outing, don’t sleep on the features from Rapper Big Pooh and HiJinks’ appearance on the Native Tongues’esque “EIO.” The latter also shows up for “90s Sumthin,” a cut you’ll need on your warm-weather playlist this year. That goes for the entirety ofVice For President 2, for that matter, as it’s a masterful demonstration of what it means to truly “do it yourself.”