I have not found 2021 to be a great year in street-oriented rap. Maybe being locked in our homes for a year and a half has tamped down the content. But now Talib and Diamond D are offering Gotham–a tribute to New York that’s full of culture-affirming, clever, vivid verses and beats.
Guest verses and hooks are unnecessary when you’ve got the skills of Kweli, and there’s not a lot of them. (Busta and Skyzoo get spotlighted, and the hook by Nire Alldai is terrific.) It’s mostly just Talib telling us his thoughts about the current state of hip hop, NYC, and life in general, over beats that are absolutely all New York at heart.