NATURAL-BORN HUSTLER Meta P.
Swagger-free, highly skilled hip-hop artists made some serious noise around these parts in 2012 and, judging by the updates we've culled here, 2013 should be another banner year for Ocean State hip-hop. I am proud to get more and more hip-hop coverage on this page, hence the two-part spread (check back next week). So don't sleep, respect the craft, and support your local neighborhood lyricist! Let's go.
West Barrington in the building, y'all! We start with a salute to a local favorite (as chosen by readers in our 2012 Best Music Poll) set to take his talents to northern New England in 2013 — Metaphysics, aka Sean Sbardella, who weathered a devastating family tragedy earlier this year when his twin sister, Lindsey, unexpectedly passed away. Sbardella stood strong for his mother Janice and faced his emotions the only way he knew how — finding solace through the pen and pad. One week after losing his 28-year-old sister, Sbardella penned "Dragonfly (My Other Heartbeat)." Local and national media outlets have covered Sbardella's story; Fox TV-Providence will run a feature on Sbardella on Friday, January 4 during the 6 pm newscast as part of its "Street Stories" series. "Dragonfly" is available for free (metaphysicsmusic.com), though Sbardella is encouraging folks to donate to the RISPCA in Lindsay's name, as she was an avid animal lover. Unfortunately for us, he is relocating to the MA/NH area for an excellent job opportunity (congrats, bro), but I'm sure a steady 9-to-5 gig won't keep Meta P away from the mic too long (or from dropping his trademark ridiculous one-liners on Facebook). In fact, he told me there's a new album in the works (due mid-'13) and he will release all his music for free from now on. He also has three new videos on deck: "Soul To Take," "Kill Swag" (featuring Celph Titled), and "Normandy Beach," with Milez Grimez and Lord Lhus. His Kill Swag clothing line became a big hit in 2012 (cop those hoodies, tees, and wife beaters at killswag.com). Dude is a natural-born hustler and lyricist. Salud, Mr. Sbardella.
The aforementioned Milez Grimez (facebook.com/milez.grimez) is one to keep an ear out for in 2013, as we learned at our 2012 Best Music Poll party, where he walked up to me and offered a stern, unsolicited heads-up: "You're gonna be hearing a lot from me — remember the name." Indeed, Grimez has been building momentum and garnering some serious props within the underground rap community, recently teaming with heavy hitters Apathy ("Protek Yo Nuts" is crazy), Heltah Skeltah's Rock ("Raw Deal"), and Fredro Starr of Onyx fame on "Knuckle Up." His delivery is grimy and gruff (assuming years of blunt smoking has sandpapered his vocal chords), yet he coolly drops bars with confidence on the new solo cut "401 (Island of Rhodes)" (produced by FourOhOne with cuts supplied by DJ Mekalek) from his forthcoming platter. Look up Milez Grimez for a taste of some killer homegrown.
Speaking of swagger-free, rhyme duo DirtyDurdie (dirtydurdie.com) is one of the most entertaining rap acts ever to rep Li'l Rhody, and remain dedicated to snuffing out sugar-coated rap imposters and "focused on forging a counter-culture library of raw music for fans of a sound that's not consumed with commercialism." While Dirty Ice and Durdie Furbie (aka Gremlyn) clearly have fun slaying stages from PVD to Newport and in videos (check out the recent short film "The Boycott", with appearances by Meta, Grimez, and Swann), the wordplay is all business. DD's Rhymanese Diner mixtape was one of my favorite overall albums of 2011, and I am expecting plenty of heat from Ice and Grem come early 2013.