The longer your feet wrinkle in the swamp that is pro scribing, the more you realize that who blows up is often about co-signs, management, location, and malleability to become a meme. I appreciate what Death Grips do, but remove Zach “Hella” Hill from the algorithm and they’re screamo rappers from Sacramento. Maybe great ones, but excellence doesn’t usually equate to attention from Epic. As Kool Keith complained a decade and a half ago: how the fuck you get a record deal (from LA Reid). That said, good for them. Kid Ink gets paid more than 99.9 percent of all writers, so it’s important to take victories where you find them.

Let’s not pretend that BLK HRTS are the next Kitty Pryde. King Foe is more likely to sleep with jailbait than to pose as it. I brought up Death Grips initially because BLKHRTS inject amphetamines into the same veins. They’re raw, grimy rappers with an emotional streak from Denver, Colorado. Within the Rocky Mountains vicinity, they are the biggest rap group bubbling. Of course, that’s like running the most popular crawfish spot in Bakersfield. But Foe’s new six-song EP is something like vintage Sticky Fingaz with a sensitive streak. This is rap for kids who drink 40s of Old E, hurl them against the wall, and slice themselves with the shards. Not because they want to feel pain, but because they’re fucked up and out for blood.

Stories of the block (“Hand Basket”) are balanced with those of bad relationships (“Come Around.”) Consider this something of a gothic analogue to El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure, an album lost in a dirty cloud of blunts and black and milds. A raw threat, a sore throat of an album. As Foe rasps on “So Bitter,” it’s about wanting to scream “Fuck them All,” but that just seems bitter. The sentiment seems justified though. BLKHRTS and Foe deserve better.

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