After a trip to Pete Rock’s crib at only 9 years young, Mount Vernon NY bred rapper Breeze Mantana knew that he had a place in hip-hop. Through a family friend Breeze had the opportunity to not only meet the legend but get a full tour of his in home studio. The visit ignited a spark in the predestined emcee. He went from stealing family members’ cd’s on visits as a kid to keeping his brother up every Monday night at 10 to catch DJ Clue’s Monday Night Mixtape show. In high-school he’d get pulled out of class by friend’s to battle in the courtyard but it wasn’t until the age of about 18 when he became completely invested in his craft after connecting with mentor and partner D-Rhymes.
To date he’s dropped three solo projects – If I Was Signed to Star Trek volume 3 (2007), You Only Live Twice (2010) and of course the most recent and relevant Let Us Cook (2015), which we’re going to dive into right now.
The new EP features 5 different tracks which all embody different lyrical expressions. Breeze offers something like a sampler to his listeners as he displays the flavors of his rhyming skills. First up there’s “Vanilla Sky” which features a fellow Mt Vernon rapper, Chris Black. While discussing the project he admits that he wasn’t planning to take his verse in the direction it went but after hearing what Black put down, it naturally went the way it did. Sort of a lyrical mini autobiography for both, it gets emotional and personal but still a catchy tune.
Most of the EP has the same old school meets today, sensation. It makes sense considering that Breeze is most inspired by the Golden Era of rap. Dudes like Common, Cam, Nas, Raekwon and Ghost and of course Hov are the rappers he has always admired and the only ones he’s ever been compared to.
A favorite of many of his supporters, “Head Shots” is up next. This one has a late 80’s early 90’s feel and the first line sets the tone for a wordplay rollercoaster –
“I watch these other niggas play nice/Just to stay in stage light /The Phantom of the opera /I’m giving these niggas stage fright /the author of the playwright…”
The song continues with the same momentum it leads with.
Of course there’s something for the ladies on the project. Although Breeze says he’ll never be the rapper with a bunch of female driven joints he also feels like it’s important to do something for the honeys especially since he has so many of us as supporters. “Fire” graced with J. Hyve’s vocals is a softer joint however it’s not without more witty wordplay and double entendre’s. 40 Below sheds the most frustration. It’s the most raw and insightful track out of the 5. Lastly, No Bronze Metals. The title alone says everything – play time is over and there’s no room for meritocracy. In this short piece Breeze declares his distinctiveness among his peers.
Breeze’s goal for the EP is to showcase the wide spectrum of what he can do and to lay out a nice set-up for his next big project American Greed. Right now he wants the listeners to rest with these five songs for a bit as well as the other releases he has out now. One thing he mentions not being fond of is the “fast food era” that hip hop is in now. “People don’t have any respect for the artistry, if someone drops something today it’s like ‘what’s next?’ tomorrow, people favorite the moment.” says Breeze. So there will be a small stretch until we get some more material. For now though check out his new video for Caviar (American Greed)
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