The 80's were without a doubt the best time to be alive. Hulkamania was running wild, a nation of millions tried to hold Public Enemy back and Ferris Bueller showed us how much fun you could have on a day off; suffice it to say, the 80's were most excellent. But while acts like Run DMC and Eric B and Rakim were laying the foundation of hip hop, Flatbush spitter Archie Bang was busy absorbing the culture around him. What follows from his love of the Golden Era and essential flicks of the decade is Never Say Die: 80's Babies Edition, a 15 track colossal project that is packed to the brim with smooth joints for every hip hop lover. Though the album lacks any supporting verses besides the Troy Ave assisted "Hey Luv (Remix,)" the BK artist manages to hold his own over a variety of banging beats, as its elements of redemption, struggle, and eventual triumph make Never Say Die play out like a modern day monomyth.
It make sense that Bang, who interned at the legendary Rawkus Records during his high school days before making moves with Dirty Water, incorporates many references to the former hip hop label, which reveals his status as a student of the game and an always humble emcee. With tracks like the guitar driven "Apollo Creed" to the Just Blaze-esque "Take 2," NSD's strengths are chiefly due to Bang's fluid technical ability and his taste in beats that complement his street sounding, hard hitting rhymes.
With productions from 12Keyz, Jean Kengz, and Sargon the Great, Never Say Die is an essential album for you boom bap fiends out there. If you had any doubt that 2014 would be a shaky year in hip hop, bump this project and prove everyone wrong. Be sure show Archie Bang some love and pick this one up with the quickness.
Never Say Die Vol 1. (80's Babies Edition)
- Flagship Entertainment
- February 11th, 2014