Riddles of the real, the Brownsville memos the lawbreakers follow read “Love and Loyalty.” The ethos born of the unity in garnishing garments, the Lo-tus flower that grew between Marcus Garvey village and St. John’s and Utica that a million Black and Brown horses galloped out of. Today, the takers are givers and now work to stop the culture from being tooken. A military with the finest cookie emblazoned so all the Lo Lifes drop plus lessons on the 2 L’s on me about. Love of the family, the culture and the principles of original creativity that commune in the most loyal sincerity one can naturally build as virtue. This decade, their General Vic Lo ordered a flood and more than a dozen supreme MCs spit gemz. Now imagine Timeless Truth clocked, where Ruler Regimes of Whyz Brown Germans causing Meyhem, spreading Eff Yoos all over an illy York. Now the pages have a Skillastrator to portrait verbatim an understanding of a movement finally being branded with his own 2015 lead score, Survival of the Skillest.
Thirstin Howl the 3rd, the most prolific MC out of the harshest Medina cipher, Brownsville, is more than the sum of his songs. He is an indispensable part of our culture. That without his contributions the Art, it would not be the same and would surely have suffered. Without Thirstin, lost is the full Boricua experience shared, the unique comedic and stylistic elevation to MCing and the extension of the Lo Life movement, a fashion based street crew that clothed hell and now powers the fashion element of Hip Hop. As the Lo Life clothing brand sets it release, Survival of the Skillest now plays as a 50 minute primer a rookie listener can first bang and rewind back to 98’s Skillionaire debut. An uncanny original MC legend, Thirstin’s vocal techniques are deliberately idiosyncratic, making pauses, jolting through high and low pitches, dropping unpredictable inflections. All guiding a wordplay that merges a content of one of the realest autobios ever recorded with a perfected Brown humor, the kind that sees the punchlines in poverty and edutains the hellish beauty we live.
The primer songs that autobio Thirstin’s reality and crucial moments begin with “The Howling,” a horned announcement by 20th Letter who bails trumpets through a slow, steady 1, 2 break and a rumbling bassline. Deadpanning his tone to menace mode, he bars, “I follow no religion/obey my own laws/practice what I preach/ridden pussy on the porch/the Henny sits still/ with the Denny’s kids meal/small, cheap talk with very big bills/I hunted in the canyons and the projects that’s abandoned/criminal careers, count it/in the cameras/test of time/I got the answers/lord of Skillusions/immortal the music/spoke fluid amusement/while amongst the movement…” Past the character and profile, “Proud to Be MGV” stories some of Howl’s life through the BK projects he’s from, Marcus Garvey Village. The art of the bio-track is rare and Thirstin may be the MC with the most of them. So many songs in his catalog detail specific trials or mention particular peoples, places and situations that eventually this poor, Brown brother will directly relate and anyone can wonder at. As most rappers today are fucking lying, these songs are often useless and irrelevant. For this Lo Life movement to share with the world its creations, we must know and understand it to really see the culture’s powerful glory. All equalized by the production of Chin Beats pumping an ill break with alternating snares that really sharpen the chopped bass grooves, Thirst tells his tale here with the collection of details that collage constant moments, “Chester Street thief/Livonia and Dumont/ a nigga got tired of paying with coupons..suede Pumas with the light blue Kangol/LL Cool Thirst, let the diamonds dangle/used to find my shorties at the Marcy pool, they love my Brownsville style, I’m a Garvey dude.” These auto-bio details Thirst gives in fragments expand ill on “Hustle Remarkable” with the supreme conversational flow of Sadat X and the fluid battle bars that name the track by Shabaam Sahdeeq. The bio peak is “A General” where the Anger Bangers epic trumpeteering allows Thirstin to battle rap with his own life as the bars of proof.
Like 2Pac, the charisma allows him to work beats and music styles others can’t and shouldn’t. On Survival of the Skillest, his unpredictability is still extreme. On “Dream Defenders” the unity of Black and Brown is exemplified with Talib Kweli and X-Clan’s Brother J excellently double-timing his bars. All the while, Thirstin leads it off on bar via clipped phrases that seem frivolous until pieced together. Verses as “a nation where fathers lead/knowledge wisdom/not from prison/college and progress/dollars follow division/police brutality/you the casualty…Al Sharpton barking the whole Obama term/you don’t gotta like my perm/but respect my words.” The triple tick tack high hats become acceptable on thickened bassline and powerful content. The average MCs would trap themselves on this track. Whether on Will Tell’s Boom Bap and twanging guitars for “Elmer Flood” or the bass drum thuds and high hat symphony through gothic vocal madness of Anger Banger’s “Word to My L’s,” Thirstin can change his pacing, phrase lengths, altering sounds and words to fit the bar and inflective emphasis to stay in the pocket or wander completely away from it at will. With beats that are filled with booming bass while drum tracks range wildly, the LP ranges from the battle to the autobio to the ladies, a very focused content for Thirstin here. Yet all three produce diverse themes as the songs for females reveals. “She Come WITH Me” booms like “Talk Like Sex” while “Every Woman’s Dream” is a sincere love song and “Nipple in My Mouth” is the ill sucio track.
Thirstin Howl the 3rd constantly creates an undone way of MCing as he has very clear themes and history to share. A stylistic diversity drifting into battle bar stream of conscious that lets his wittiness wild out making any collection of his a circus of feats. As he continues to record, his mastery of what his own styles can do is allowing him to make songs that now package to his most cohesive album yet.
This is the Brooklyn I lived through, the history survivors assimilate into memory loss and the future that too much of the world suffers. This Hip Hop is Art to it and gives a canvas to geniuses without wealthy corporate sponsors. Where the gunmen can guide you to better grades, the robbers give you jewels on life and the sucios will either clean you up or clean you out. So try to gentrify with entropy but nothing can capture the chaos that riddles of the real can answer.
Skillastrator scribes scripts summing Skillionarie’s supremely surviving skills.
KNOWLEDGE THE PREMIEREHIPHOP.COM FEATURE INTERVIEW ON THIRSTIN HOWL THE 3RD HERE