Rappers Massive, Stonsz, 5tate of Mind, Gavin and producer Quiet Character, form part of a Toronto based rap and hip-hop collective, of family and friends called Northeastbeats (NEB). Students and protectors of the art and culture, the crew has released their new 16 song album, entitled “You’ll Be Okay”. It demonstrates the breadth and depth of the collective’s skills. It captures the crew firing on all cylinders, releasing an album governed by their own uncompromising terms that remains true to the group’s creative vision. “You’ll Be Okay” is unsurprisingly a lyrical and storytelling tour de force.
I could very easily pepper this review with quotables from any and all members of NEB, from each and every track in this collection. It’s impossible to say who shines the brightest on the album, as all members rise to the occasion. Every member of the crew raises their game on the album, elevating their execution of complex verbal stylings and showing creativity in lyrical content.
Whether Northeastbeats decide to smooth things out or make straight rough raps, the results are always excellent. Truth be told, Quiet Character has chemistry with just about everyone on this album. He works behind the boards, providing a balance of old school vibes and modern edginess that suits each narrative perfectly.
From the moment NEB open the album with “Say Hi” ft. Stonsz & Gavin, they utilize unique deliveries and unorthodox rhyme schemes to explore the essence of creating great hip-hop music, taking the genre back to a higher level.
The emcees in the crew function exceptionally well when they feed off each other on a song. From “Old Cartoons” ft. Massive & 5tate of Mind, to “01 Malibu” ft. Stonsz & Massive, and “We All Go” ft. Stonsz & 5tate of Mind, they take us through a series of head-nodding beats and thought provoking themes, demonstrating their complex cadences and intricately constructed rhyme schemes.
Moving forward things only get better. “Lifeless” ft. Massive, 5tate of Mind & Stonsz flow fluidly over soulful, retro, brass-stained beat. “You’ll Be Okay” ft. Stonsz & Massive is strung out on a taut bass and drum rhythm.
The members of Northeastbeats switch effortlessly from slower flows to rapid-fire lyrical cannons, taking listeners on a journey through varied topics, as they float through standouts, such as “Fade Away” ft. Massive, Stonsz & 5tate of Mind, “Mountain” Tops ft. Massive, “Lebowski” ft. 5tate of Mind & Massive and “Alone” ft. Stonsz, Massive & 5tate of Mind.
In the process, Northeastbeats build their reputation and solidify their status as one of the most interesting and most important crews in hip-hop, especially on the independent side of things.
“You’ll Be Okay” is a release well worth checking out. It injects a healthy dose of originality and authenticity into hip-hop which has become a little stale of late, as well representing the Northeastbeats crew at their strongest.
The production holds itself to the same golden standards of the best in the game, while taking a closer look at the lyrics themselves only reinforces the idea that NEB embody the vision of true hip-hop, something that many artists have lost sight of. This is a must-listen for casual rap fans and hip-hop heads alike.