New York rapper Your Old Droog has released an epic new album, titled Dump Yod: Krutoy Edition. The prolific rapper released three well-received albums in 2019, and shows no signs of slowing down. This new album may be his strongest offering yet, as it sees Droog enhancing his clever storytelling.
Your Old Droog’s family immigrated to the USA from the Ukraine when he was 4 years old. He is of Jewish descent and spoke Russian as his first language. His identity as a Jewish person from the Ukraine was central to his last album Jewelry. This was an album that frequently referenced Jewish and Ukrainian culture. He expands on it even more on this new release, telling the story of his identity in greater detail with absolute openness.
Dump Yod: Krutoy Edition is a highly personal album. Lyrically, Your Old Droog puts storytelling at the forefront. He narrates his immigration to the USA and dissects the challenges that came with it. The song “Ukraine” is a great example of his storytelling. On “Ukraine”, he raps about how he struggled to fit in as a new immigrant in the USA where he didn’t speak the first language. Vivid and evocative examples of his immigrant experiences are expressed over warm, nostalgic instrumentals. The sounds seem reflective, evoking a feeling of re-visiting relics from one's past. The album frequently samples from eastern European music, building beats from obscure, off kilter loops. Overall, the beats are hypnotic and draw the listener further into Droog's storytelling.
There are a number of stand out songs on this record. “Kazakhstan” features a smooth, nimble flow from Your Old Droog and a warm, rich instrumental. The aforementioned “Ukraine” features a beat that is nostalgic and intoxicating, drawing the listener into its dusty ambiance. Lastly, the epic posse cut “Pravda” features underground legends Mach-Hommy, El-P, Tha God Fahim, and Black Thought. They all provide incredible verses, filled with vivid, poetic lyricism.
On Dump Yod: Krutoy Edition, Your Old Droog maintains the clever punchlines and cryptic references commonly featured in his earlier music. However, on this effort he pushes them to the background in favour of personal storytelling. This storytelling proves to be effective in creating a unique portrait of Your Old Droog as an artist and person. This album can definitely be added to the growing list of solid projects from the prolific New York rapper.