DJ MUGGS & CRIMEAPPLE
SOUL ASSASSINS, 2021
In the past few years DJ Muggs has seen career revival, churning out a shitload of collab albums with Roc Marciano, Tha God Fahim, Mach-Hommy, and other underground rappers that make Peter Rosenberg's forehead crease deepen and grow sentient. Cartagena is a follow up to Muggs and Crimeapple's 2019 album Medallo.
Rappers like Crimeapple trick listeners into thinking they're good lyricists by delivering lines with certain cadences and vocal tones that people typically associate with Good Rap, but upon closer inspection there's really not much going on. Crimeapple doesn't have anything to say, and doesn't say it in the least interesting way; being boring is a mortal sin in a genre that highly prizes personality and individuality. The only thing that sets him apart from his contemporaries is the ocassional bar in Spanish.
Cartagena is littered with half-assed hooks (see: "Some More Paper") and songs that awkwardly peter out like a Funk Flex freestyle. Muggs' production is lowkey and workmanlike. There isn't much to say about the beats otherwise; they're basic slow loops (anything over 100bpm is gay) with grimy boom bap drums (when there are drums), a style done better by The Alchemist and one that I feel is starting to become played out.