The sound that Rico Bee blends on Shooting Star seems to pay no heed to either genre or time. In his deft lyrical flows and street-wise stance, you can hear echoes of the past hip-hop pioneers and rap revolutionaries that blend the gritty reality of the game, the hassle and the hustle. But the ticking, timebomb, trap beats that drive it and the beguiling electronica which washes over the proceedings is nothing if not bang up to date—the best of both worlds.

Opener Fully Loaded is a trap house battle cry, an urban offensive, and then there are songs such as Whole Blocks that portray the city’s hard imagery but do so over a more neo-soul-infused sound. A bitter-sweet symphony indeed.

IDC Flow is spacious and understated, as much built out of the anticipation and atmospheres generated between the beats and bars as the intentional placement of the music itself and UFO is suitably breezy and groovesome.

If you want to know where modern hip-hop is at today, there are few better records to play that can catch you up with contemporary sonic events.

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