For years, Beast Coast was more of a loose organizing principle than a rap group. It was a collection of three different New York groups — Flatbush Zombies, the Underachievers, the Pro Era crew that Joey Bada$$ spearheaded. They might appear on each other’s records and do shows together, and they might even yell out the phrase “Beast Coast” on records, but they didn’t work as a rap group. That’s changing. On Friday, Beast Coast will release the excellently titled Escape From New York, their first album as a functional unit. It could be something special.
Beast Coast have already shared the posse cuts “Left Hand” and “Coast/Clear,” and they’ve also brought back Big Tigger and his old BET Rap City booth to do a huge group cypher together. Today, they’ve shared another track from Escape From New York: The chilled-out, reggae-flavored “Snow In The Stadium.”
Flatbush Zombies member Erick The Architect produces “Snow In The Stadium,” and he’s also one of the six rappers who appears on it. (He sings the hazy, patois-laden hook.) While the previous Beast Coast singles were anarchic energy-explosions, “Snow In The Stadium” is slower and more ruminative. It draws heavily on the Caribbean influence that you’ll notice if you ever spend any time in Flatbush, and it’s got a huge bassline and a more melodious feel. But it still gives all these great rappers chances to flex. Listen below.
Escape From New York is out 5/24 on Columbia.