These Brooklyn emcees spit with an underground New York feel and love to rep their city; even their blood type is Yankee blue. Skyzoo and Torae together complete the Barrel Brothers. The 15-track LP takes its name after the rap group and requires some serious listening skills.

Skyzoo and Torae prove that their rhyming words can move to the rhythm of substance and content, especially on “Make You A Believer”. “Thought it was Hanukkah / blue Yankee my Yamaka / known to ride the rhythm like a Yamaha.” So if the words don’t hit you, the beats will.

Sonically smooth, “Rediscover” definitely has a signature Blu sound. With a verse by Blu, the track forces listeners to look within: “Discover yourself, uncover what else / When it’s done did you do it for the love or the wealth?”

The Barrel Brothers are undeniably armed with the right hip-hop spirit, though they might be getting ahead of themselves when they claim that they’re the only ones mentioned when there’s talk of a crown, on the chorus of “Talk of the Town”. But if they can keep supplying flow that makes “you feel like you took an onion to the face”, that might change.

It’s evident that everyone on the project does it for love of music, from the lyrical emcees to the producers who majestically create a sound that matches the message and collides with the strength of the emcees’ voices.

Remaining true to hip-hop and true to the art, the Barrel Brothers are surely on the right path.

Lyrics 4/5 | Flow 4.5/5 | Production 4/5 | Creativity 3/5 | Overall 4/5 | On Repeat: Make You A Believer, Rediscover

Words By. Faduma Mohamed

At a young age, Faduma Mohamed began her journey with writing through poetry and storytelling, but decided to make the transition to journalistic writing in university, where she is now studying English and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. Mohamed is also one of the organizers of local Toronto community arts organization, R.I.S.E. Edutainment.

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