He opens up the project with a short acapella introduction followed by the menacing track "Dirty Whiteboy" which dives right into the grit and grime. Madhattan knows his onions and with each line, he vividly breaks down the inner workings of his life where one wrong move could be fatal. On "Canal St" he takes listeners into the famous busy street in lower Manhattan where he had to engage in some clandestine activities to survive and rise out of poverty. The tone switches in the reflective direction of "Pavement" which sounds like the soundscape to a documentary. Madhattan runs through various characters and situations he had to deal with at some point or the other while acknowledging that things have changed and it will never be the same again.
Two standout tracks "Now" and "Then" are excellent displays of songwriting from the rapper as he pontificates on the past, the what-ifs, present, and future. Both tracks are ripe with nostalgia-inducing production that augment the storytelling as well. The project wraps up with "One and Only," a soulful love tale that ends on a sad note. I must add, the track is a beautiful way to close shop and can also be interpreted in different ways. Madhattan doesn't specify who or what he is referring to as his true love so it might be hip-hop, his girl, or his borough.
As you check out the Sink Or Swim LP, you can also view the New York-centric visuals for "Canal Street." The video is directed by Manuell Focus and features cameos by FastLife and NV.