With the New York rap scene exploding with fresh acts like A$AP Rocky and Fred the Godson, SOHH recently hit up Harlem’s A-Mafia for his take on the Big Apple’s reemergence.
In general, A-Mafia feels New York has lost its essence due to select rappers not acknowledging their roots.
“Weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, weak,” Mafia told SOHH when asked for his impression on the New York hip-hop scene. W-e-a-k. NYC is weak right now. Period. I don’t care who I offend, man. You know why New York is weak right now? They’re not doing what they want to do. They’re doing what they’re dictated to do and when you do stuff like that, it makes your craft weak. Listen man, [they need to] be [themselves] and represent the people that put them in the place they’re at in the first place. A lot of these rappers, they neglect the people that put them in the position in the first place. That’s when you lose. If the streets put you in position, it’s all right to make big records and represent other places and other people, but you gotta always show love to the people that put you in position. You can never neglect the people that put you in position and a lot of these big rappers, that’s what they do. They neglect the people that put them in position and then when they fall off, they try to always go back. The big rapper will always try to go back to the people that put them in position but it’s too late. That’s why I do this for the streets, man.” (SOHH)
Over the summer, Brooklyn’s Maino offered his take on the New York rap scene.
“Since I came on the scene, which would be like 2008, everybody’s been asking me, ‘What’s the state of New York hip-hop,’ but if you’re actually paying attention to New York hip-hop, there’s actually a lot going on,” Maino explained in an interview with DJ Skee. “It’s just that we haven’t been able to connect with the rest of the country all the time. It’s a lot of great music out there. There’s dudes like Lloyd Banks, you got Jim Jones, you got Fabolous, you got a lot of artists connecting but we got to get back into the habit of making music broad and music that not only New York can vibe to but the West Coast and the South.” (Skee Sports)
In July, The LOX’s Jadakiss credited artists like Maino and Jay-Z for keeping the Big Apple fresh.
“I feel New York is doing d*mn good,” Kiss said in an interview. “You still got me here, [Styles P], Sheek Louch, Fab, Uncle Murda, Maino, Joell Ortiz, Nas, Hov, you know. New cats, Fred the Godson, we good. We’ll be all right. Don’t worry about New York at all. We’re gonna be around. When the trumpets blow, we’re still gonna be here. For real.” (“Femme Fatale Mixshow”)
Last year, LOX’s Styles P pointed out the lack of togetherness amongst some New York rap acts.
“I think unity among New York rappers is cool,” he said in an interview. “I think if you a New York rapper you bred different and me being a follower of New York rap, being a follower of hip-hop and real emcee’s I can say that I’ve never really heard Kool G. Rap and Rakim on a song — you know it’s a lot of emcees I ain’t hear on a song so I think it’s supposed to be competitive in New York. I think it’s bred to be competitive, I’m cool with everybody else but if you ask me who’s the best, my click of course.” (Miss LS)
Check out A-Mafia’s “Under Pressure” music video below: