Queens own Focus The Truth fuses old school sensibilities on the mic and just-the-essentials production with new school energy and grit. "Basquiat" features Truth at the top of his game, spitting as a student-turned-master of the game. Clocking in under two-and-a-half minutes, the amount of images he manages to pack in and let breathe on the track is impressive. Truth attacks the mic without breaking a sweat, naming himself king and going for the palace.
Truth taps Oswin Benjamin, another New York wordsmith, to delivery a second onslaught of bars and a fresh cadence to give the track some more texture and variety. Once he hops on the mic, we get 8-bit samples layered into the beat, playing to Truth's love of cartoons and video games. Every chance they get, the duo inject their personality into the track.
The little details of the video pay homage to Truth's influences, with the drawn crowns and splicing black and white footage with loud images of him stunting in front of street art. Don't call these guys revivalists. Truth and Benjamin only lean on the old school in form, but their swagger and ease on the mic is from the future.
"Basquiat" appears on his latest tape, Q85, which you can listen to here.