Frosty (The Know-Matic) of the iconic San Diego hip hop crew, ICONS, has come out of what feels like a decade of silence (though there have been some foreshadows of this release e.g. Not a Scratch on Us) to release Audiograff, explaining his silence and announcing of his return.
The 6-track EP is exactly what you would expect from the SD emcee who has made a name for himself through his dedication to the preservation of authenticity in hip hop culture, as well as droppin’ knowledge with an extensive vocabulary and down to earth flow.
One of SD’s most recognizable and revered producers (from West Coast gangsta rap vibes to East Coast sample-based vibes), Steve Vicious, provides Frosty with the canvas to tag his name, and mind, on.
The album opener, This One starts things off by laying the blueprint for everything that follows: a collision of reality and metaphysical thought combined with layered and subtly intricate production. Frosty is returning with urgency and Steve Vicious is reminding listeners of his roots in production, both make a statement worth your time and worth the support of your wallet. Back At It tells a bit of history, weaving the Know-Matic’s journey in hip hop with San Diego’s colonial history, marked by regions and landmarks well-know to SD natives; this is quite a display of knowledge and creativity (you will have to rewind and re-listen). Get It‘s silky stand up bass line is infectious and Frosty share’s a little nugget of his writing process – “reverse engineering”, where he writes a verse and ends up almost mirroring it for the final draft. The album continues in a fairly predictable, while not boring, arc, but I definitely want to call your attention to Fresh Burner, which is the pinnacle of the album, perhaps embodying the album’s title in an even more poignant fashion than the title track itself.
Audiograff is worth listening to, and worth copping to support authentic local hip hop. While Frosty will probably benefit most from you clicking the link in the first paragraph to purchase the EP, I suggest you go to Access Hip Hop in Pacific Beach, the epicenter of SD hip hop physical goods; we as a community need to ensure that businesses like Access remain thriving sources of the music we love so much! Support local art and commerce.
Peace, Love & Hip Hop,
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