Sunset Park, Brooklyn aka Gunset Medina always had Hip Hop but not the rappers that catered like Marcy’s Jigga or the slowly evolved greats like Brownsville’s KA. It’s a 20+/- block radius that is filled with true disciples that have been shunned, been developing and been killin’ it. Not since the underground noise of Enemy Mindz to Roughneck Soldiers in the mid 90’s have Gunset MCs come to merge talent and diligence to share such quality works. With Strictly for the Underground, Vol. 1, Sun Blaze introduces himself as a hardcore MC with a great aesthetic for musical purity, worthy content and a developing wordplay and vocal dexterity.
The album is the ultimate work of art for an MC and Boricua Sun Blaze is an MC. On Strictly.. he constructs a mixtape that is so properly done it is the epitome of a perfect mixtape—a resume presentation that proves we must get an album sooner rather than later. Rugged forceful delivery without losing clarity, never preachy but works in vital commentary and is developing a rapport with the listener, Sun Blaze achieves this by hitting every type of track quickly through the tape.
On a pensively pretty piano, Sun Blaze dives in on the break on the Thanos produced “Medal of Dishonor” for a strongly descriptive tale of a young USA army recruit being all he shouldn’t have been. The album cuts are right and exact throughout and are wonderfully noticed on Blaze’s “Wu Wear Freestyle,” where his word coupling sounds sharp and clear. Thanos comes through again with a tough track on “Dreamz” where Sun Blaze, who is great at timing his break dropping for the ill survive and thrive banger. The sleigh bell snare, sinister beeps, classic sharp snare and track changes on Great Majesty’s “Contraband” hints at a sound we can expect from Sun Blaze who reveals nice pacing on the chorus along with the detailed violence bars. His dexterity is memorable on “Melodic Intercourse” while his Spanish bars are just as intriguing on “Muerte.” There is a great sampling and snare work on this album that is pure 90’s underground grime renewed as Wise King using Sticky Fingaz perfectly on producing “It Gets Worse.” Sun Blaze also excels on the higher tempo energy cuts as on “NY Gorilla Rap,” also produced by Thanos. Production rounded out by Great Majesty provides the craftiness of the underground 90’s the work is nicely nostalgic of.
Ultimately, a mixtape isn’t supposed to be just chucked b-sides or another real music lover making real forgettable homages. With Strictly for the Underground, Vol. 1, Sun Blaze is an MC that has great potential all shown and proven on a mixtape debut that utilizes every single song to show a set of skills and natural talents he is developing. As of now, the release of his second mixtape, Under the Influence, further preps this as archival proof of his growth and sets up the debut LP, Dirty Rican…