It’s a classic East Coast rap album, but somehow I doubt it’ll be getting blasted from every car stereo north of New York’s 110th street this summer.

Kiwi beatmaker P-Money recently moved to New York, so naturally he had to make a classic East Coast boom bap rap record, with samples and guests straight out of 1993. Which isn’t a bad thing – if you’re looking for an antidote to 2013 trap and strip club rap then this is your jam.

P-Money’s last outing was 2010’s club-pop success Everything, which has influenced this album perhaps more than he realises – the drum kicks sound somewhat muted and subdued for classic boom bap, and the bass sits in the background, instead of in your face.

His background as a DMC turntablist shows through as well, with instrumental interludes like ‘11th Break’ and head-nodder ‘Killuminati’ showing off his scratching techniques. All up, P-Money’s gone for a chilled vibe for Gratitude, picking smooth-flowed MCs like Roc Marciano, Talib Kweli and Buckshot to keep things chill and conscious. Havoc and Skyzoo sound like the city’s worn them down on opener ‘Welcome to America’, but then M.O P straight up kill it on The Hardest, possibly the best track on the album.

It’s a solid collection, but when lined up against Statik Selektah’s Extended Play, another recently-released East Coast hip hop record which has been getting a lot of play about these parts recently, Selektah’s effort just bangs that much harder when you turn it up loud, and features a well-rounded roster of guest MCs both respected (Raekwon, Black Thought, Prodigy) and blowing-up (Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies). In comparison, P-Money’s submission seems a little subdued.

3/5

BY GHOSTWRITER KILLAH

Out now through Dawn Raid Ent. / Dirty Records / Duck Down Music Inc.

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