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Evan Nabavian is everywhere like Soundview

For all the characters we have in rap today, there are few street corner sages. $amhill raps about life in the Bronx as if from stone tablets. Relayed in a father’s baritone, his stories about wonder years in the projects take the shape of urban folklore. His erudite performance provides a nice contrast to rap’s typical youthful thrashing. And he talks about sex more than you would expect.

$amhill first appeared in 2008 on the rap neocon favorite The Gas LP by the P Brothers which also featured Roc Marciano on two tracks. A slow trickle of music followed via unkut.com which built Sam into a boom bap scion who could chronicle the ghetto firsthand but also with the distance of an observer. In this way, he recalls Nas and Mos Def. “The Sam Hill Story” from last year’s The Preface weaves universal experiences like adolescent romance and a mother who defies economic hardship to a personal memoir. His irreverence is where he veers more toward Kool Keith. Every other song, every other line, finds him smashing anonymous chicks. Half of his nicknames on “Alias” reference sexual prowess. But even here he has the gravitas of an elder. $amhill is a vessel for the proverbs you can find embedded in the asphalt of Webster Avenue, albeit a human one.