Ending the year with a surprise Christmas gift filled with captivating wordplay and boom bap beats, New York natives Passport Gift & Parks release their EP Gift Wrapping 3 just in time for the holidays.
It is undeniable that with everything going on this year, Parks and Passport Gift were working hard on music and releasing 3 EP's: No Hard Feelings 2, No Vaccine, and now dropping their new EP Gift Wrapping 3. All three of these projects creatively incorporate boom bap beats and intense substance-filled lyrics that bring us back to that old school New York hip-hop sound with a modern twist. Each project provides social commentary of the times, with No Hard Feelings focusing more so on emotions, No Vaccine addressing the current pandemic that we are in and the fight for equality, especially regarding the Black Lives Matter movements, and now dropping a holiday album in the perfect climate. Gift Wrapping 3 is not just an ordinary Christmas album. This EP brilliantly incorporates an appealing sarcastic twist that mixes a few classic traditional Christmas songs with hip-hop bars.
We witness the intertwining of Christmas classics and hip-hop as the EP opens up with "Home For Christmas" featuring Stove God Cooks. In the beginning, we hear the classic "I'll be home for Christmas you can count on me" lyrics, while Gift disrupts the calm recording to bring us to his home, giving us all a taste of uptown. Hip-hop was born in the Bronx, so him and Parks take us back to boom bap sounds while Gift's powerful projection and impeccable flow tears through the beats. Between Gift's and Stove God Cook's brilliant wordplay, we experience a different kind of Christmas than the one we typically envision. On "'Twas the Night Before" featuring Ransom & Che Noir, we witness what occurs in the less talked about parts of New York, as they tell a story through a conversational rap delivery, playing around with words on a light beat (the traditional Christmas track "White Christmas") mixed with some boom-bap beats.
On "This Year," Gift and David Bars bring their best metaphors to light as they spit bars over the Christmas instrumentals. Never failing to bring conscious rap to the scene, Gift speaks of Black equality and gives out advice that could help bring awareness while David Bars brings a special touch of poetry to this track. On "Really Real Christmas," Gift has a parallel theme once again, as Gift tells a story and speaks on the pandemic and the fight for Black Equality over a darker beat, yet, ending this year on a darker note, while incorporating lighter sounds to reflect the hope for 2021.
Overall, through the intriguing sounds and lyricism, this EP gave us a recap of how the year 2020 has been: unexpected, dark, yet hopeful for change in the future. Press play to unwrap your early Christmas gift.