In a world of increasingly prevalent DIY Hip-Hop collectives, Brockton's Van Buren shines through with its diverse range of voices, personalities and creative minds. On the VB roster is Jiles, a rapper who strongly identifies with the expression of struggle and poverty with a coarse, aggressive passion.
The MA artist spearheads "Rutland" with a gruff cold-bloodedness and an extensive feature list of label-mates and affiliates. The track is a brutal succession of verses, each accompanying vocalist (BoriRock, SAINT LYOR, Meech, Lord Felix and Luke Bars) delivering a performance that perfectly embodies their respective style.
"Rutland" begins chillingly sparse. We're instantly met with an extra-terrestrial synth lead coupled with bone-cracking 808s. The infectious, syncopated rhythm of the bass hits grabs you by the throat just before Jiles' entry. His throaty, sandpaper delivery and sporadic, off-beat flow make for an extremely memorable, earworm hook that improves on every listen.
In the following verses, BoriRock masterfully plays with pace and flow while SAINT LYOR exudes both comedy and charisma. Meech and Lord Felix boast undeniable chemistry as their rhyme schemes seamlessly gel, and Luke Bars closes with his razer-sharp cadence and one-of-a-kind voice.
The one-take video has an extremely organic, homegrown quality. It conveys the same rough exterior of the track while also highlighting a tangible authenticity about the group. The camera merely follows the Van Buren boys around a house as they candidly perform their verses. It feels as if you just happened to stumble upon a real meeting between genuine friends.
Jiles and Van Buren have authenticity at their core and that's painfully clear from "Rutland". Production to cinematography, the track showcases a group of artists who are unapologetically themselves and will not compromise.