8: Mag "I Understand Your Pain, So Hov, Let Me Take Those Reigns"

Tags For This Article: Mag

Categories For This Article: East, New York, True Grit

8: Mag "I Understand Your Pain, So Hov, Let Me Take Those Reigns"

SOHH teamed up with ReverbNation to select 20 unsigned rappers with "True Grit" --that rough, authentic swagger and determination to win at all costs. After weeks of deliberations and debates reviewing hundreds of worthy (and simply wack) contenders, the SOHH.com team countsdown the top 20 grittiest rappers on ReverbNation with a hustle so hard and rhymes so raw, they can't go unnoticed.

The SOHH True Grit Artist #8, "MAG",  NEW YORK, NEW YORK

For the past decade, the New York rap scene has been arguably viewed as the overshadowed older sibling, compared to burgeoning regions such as Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida. Well, the second coming is arriving in the form of MaG, a Bronx native out to prove lyricism and flow still reigns supreme in the Big Apple.

His social stats do not come close to his word value. While 5,200-plus Myspace fans may impress some, it's MaG's "straight, no chaser" rhymes injected into soulful production that's got his fanbase checking for the indepedent releases he's got under his belt ("The $5 Dollar COver", I Ain't Goin' Back To Retail, "Reagonomics"). Critics and tastemakers are tuned in as welll: not only did the Bronx bomber compete as a finalist in the 2008 Independent Music Awards, he earned a coveted spot on DJ Green Lantern's "Alive on Arrival" mixtape, featured among fellow hip-hop greats Ghostface Killah, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep and Immortal Technique.

MaG embodies the Empire State attitude, as the "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" mantra breathes through his raps.Tracks like "Paper Airplanes" affirm his ambitious drive sans audacity ("In my mama crib, about two in the AM/Radio playing, cooking up that newness, chilling in that apron/About to make a name, said I couldn't fly, so I made paper airplanes...I got a feeling it's worth it tonight..show and prove, no lose, I'm on my way.") However, don't think that just because he's focused, he won't back down from a challenge. MaG braggaciou is so smooth on cuts like "This Ain't Rap" ("Tee off time, no lemons in what I bring you...looking for a better rapper/you cannot find him/I am not hot, I'm scorching/from in, I carry the torch...") that you won't question whether you believe him or not.

Rappers like Lil Wayne and Rick Ross may run the South, but MaG reminds us that the concrete jungle continues to breed spitters. Rest assured, this Yankee's here to stay and "won't go back to retail" anytime soon.

Check out MaG's "True Grit" on his Reverb Nation page.

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Check back tomorrow for SOHH True Grit Artist #7.

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True Grit Countdown