Beast Coast season is here.
For many fans in the hip-hop community, these moments are moments to rejoice in. The almost mythological idea that some of hip-hop’s most cult celebrated artists would join forces and release music as the collective they have long represented, has finally come to fruition. Beast Coast has released their debut album, Escape From New York.
Well before this release, Beast Coast has been a pooled assembly of the Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers, and Pro Era. This allied force has toured together, released music together, and have teased this idea since the early 2010s. These three groups are all from the same Brooklyn neighborhoods and many of them have friendships that predate long before their music careers. The Beast Coast has been an umbrella over the three individual groups, a lifestyle and an array of shared ideas where music was going to be the tool for which it would all be spread. “Escape from New York” is the finished tangible product of this, where Beast Coast the metaphysical idea has now become Beast Coast the affirmed supergroup.
The cover art is a kind of hint on what to expect for the 13 tracks on the album. There are odes to loved ones, including Capital Steez, a founding member of Pro Era who died in 2012, and Erick Arc Elliott’s mother. There’s also diamond and gold jewelry, a switchblade knife, old school video games, and a Chucky doll. All of this sits on a sheet of LSD. These guys stick to what they like and what they are best at. There wasn’t much on this album that was out of their comfort zone. It has the modern era’s New York sound that has been carried throughout the entirety of these groups respective careers. There are still innovative moments on Escape, such as “Snow In the Stadium” where the fellas sang with rich Caribbean accents, appropriate since many of them come from the Caribbean centric Brooklyn neighborhood, Flatbush.
Having said that, this album is far from weak and lacking. It delivers on the pivotal core of what these passionate fan bases love and search for. With production from Powers Pleasant of Pro Era, Erick Arc Elliott of the Flatbush Zombies and Tyler Dopps, and verses from some of the best real ‘rappers’ who actually still rap there is no clear weak link on any these songs. With so many capable artists on this project, if someone didn’t shine bright, they could be scrapped and replaced with someone who did, meaning “Escape From New York” doesn’t have a single filler to it.
Overall, Escape is a product from 11 friends who did escape their New York lives and ended up making it on their road to success, uniting well into these travels to give their armies of fans the thing they wanted most.