An icon of Philadelphia’s indie-rap scene, Maylay Sparks (fka Rahsheed) has been holding it down in Copenhagen, Denmark for over a decade and carving out his space as an international Hip-Hop giant. That much is evident on his fifth full-length album, The Rebel’s Renaissance, his latest project that demonstrates both maturity and street wisdom.
The ten tracks on here combine for a cohesive, structured effort built on timeless instrumentals and a pen-game that has been consistently sharpened for more than 20 years. And Maylay makes his efforts clear on opener “Sleepless,” a brassy banger produced by Slovenian trio Urban Click (who worked with the MC on the 2011 EP Truckdriver Fortuneteller). Their strong instrumental game can be heard elsewhere (“Another Bottle” and standout “Protocol” feat. Rasco & El Da Sensei) while Koolade, DJ Connect, Sakke, and Ruzbeatz round out the production lineup.
Whether going solo or spitting alongside guests, Maylay holds his own across TRR. You can thank his trademark gruff voice and no-nonsense cadence for that, both of which are two well-honed weapons in his arsenal. As for those guests, he uses them to his advantage throughout no matter their talents.
Lead single “Illadelph Elohim” is boosted by lyrical turns from Rucker Pawk and Last Emperor while DJ Devastate scratches across the hook; Chuck Rukkuz goes for the throat on the blunted “In The Green”; and “Changing Scenery” closes out the album on a high note. Maylay, of course, gets ample credit on the closer, as he kicks fiery and personal bars. But it’s the inclusion of his entire Muddy Fatique crew that makes it truly special. Also, given his love for his new stomping grounds in Denmark, it’s only fitting that he begins his Renaissance in Copenhagen with his international teammates.
The Rebel’s Renaissance is now available on iTunes and all major digital retailers via Below System Records, a Hip-Hop label based out of Almelo, the Netherlands.
- Sleepless (prod. by Urban Click)
- Illadelph Elohim (feat Rucker Pawk & The Last Emperor) [prod. by Koolade]
- Another Bottle (prod. by Urban Click)
- In the Green (feat. Chuck Rukkuz) [prod. by DJ Connect]
- Lifshitz (feat. Rocc Spotz) [prod. by K Sluggah]
- Purple Fox (prod. by DJ Connect)
- Protocol (feat. Rasco & El Da Sensei) [prod. by Urban Click]
- Hot Soup (feat. SNM Squad) [prod. by Sakke]
- Illustrated Rhyme Flow (prod. by DJ Connect)
- Changing Scenery (feat. Muddy Fatigue) [prod. by Ruzbeatz]