Madhattan Sink or Swim

Madhattan’s latest album ‘Sink or Swim‘ is an introspective, witty and lyrical insight into the emcees world. Delivered over an outstanding and carefully crafted soundtrack of dope beats – almost exclusively delivered courtesy of Icerocks – the Manhattan emcee offers up vivid tales of his life, his upbringing and everything that has, and continues to shape him as a man and as an artist.

This theme or narrative is embodied throughout the entire album. The title – sink or swim, the album art which identifies the struggle between drowning or drowning in dollars, and the tracklisting shows that this was going to be an album that explored this contrast and the character it either builds or destroys. From the jump, the Intro sets the tone with poignant discussions around the body of water that surrounds Manhattan and the resilience you need to find to survive – and what happens if you can’t.

Albums that draw you in and hold your attention are always a great listen, and Sink or Swim is exactly that. The production is dusty, eerie and at times even hypnotising as Madhattan continues to command your ear with his street tales and story telling style of hip hop. The album really flows cohesively from start to finish, and while the overall project is a banger, there are some standout moments throughout. The soulful ‘Now‘ is a great track about Mad’s current situation and the growth experienced, and ‘Then‘ uses a choir / church-esque hook to tell the other side of the story. ‘Stoop Situations‘ is a dope track with some killer keys adding character to the street narrative, while ‘Dirty Whiteboy‘ is a mesmerising, almost haunting track, that delivers insight into life in the smallest borough in New York.

Bangers: Canal St, No Shorts, Dirty Whiteboy, Pavement

Score: 9 / 10. Fantastic listen. In fact, this is a must-listen. The only knock is the length, because this album is is so engaging and so well delivered that you are really wanting another track every time you finish one, so under 30 minutes just doesn’t quite fill the appetite. Overall though, it’s a wonderful release from it’s varied production, it’s authenticity of subject matter and the overall sound and delivery.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!