Rip Shop should be one of the first names you mention when recalling Boston’s early-2000s underground rap renaissance. The Dorchester MC stood out from his contemporaries not just because of his trademark stop-and-go flow but because he bridged intellectual aspirations of the over-educated Western Front crowd with the rhetoric of rugged Blue Hill Ave boys who’d missed out on the vibrant scene emerging up in Cambridge.
Although he fell dormant for a moment, now, thanks to flawless throwbackdrops from DJ Reel Drama, Rip is finally committing his story — that of a Grove Hall cat who’s seen more friends die than graduate from college — to fully developed projects. Like 2007’s Playtime’s Over, The Authenticity — from Bean anthems like “Hood Luv” and “Real Deal” to the authoritative “Can’t Wear Skinny Jeans” with Craig G — showcases his ability to cover almost every corner of the topic map while maintaining his criminal edge.
And though Rip is competent enough to shred cuts on his own, appearances from such heavyweights as Big Shug, Jaysaun, Dre Robinson, and Reks serve a purpose here: to show that he can wreck shop with Boston’s finest.