Top down riding through the streets of New York, bumping hip-hop is somehow a weird fantasy of mine. And I don’t mean driving through the touristy streets of Manhattan, I mean driving deep into Brooklyn or Harlem hearing the subway in the background as I cruise around. Finding the perfect music for this fantasy has been hard but this summer I think I can fulfill it as Corner Store Heroes hits the sound waves. Redefining hip-hop in this age of humdrum sounds, FLIZZY attacks my own view on music and all the while showing that he has the lyrical ability to make a lasting impression.

Hailing from Jersey City, NJ, FLIZZY’s sound is so unique and he uses this project to demonstrate his artistry. “REKAB SCSA” and “CSH INTRO” are both previews into his sound in my opinion. His flow on both tracks is steady and is able to ride the beat effortlessly.

What I appreciated the most from this body of work was his versatility; he displayed different types of sounds, making me feel like I was among so many different eras of music. “BONITA” is a great example of this as the melody and his flow come off as catchy instead of overly cheesy. He switches between this sound and something more sweet-sounding like the track “SKICE”. With local singer Kärma making a feature, her light vocals maximized his sound, providing a different dimension for his lyrics to seep through:

“I’m on my zone shit, kinda conceited,
Its like I’m on my own dick.
Every track I go hard
I a’int no fucking young king, i’ma young god”

Not only does his lyricism develop throughout the tracks, I think the message he raps about is noticeably important. An example is “LA”, which he uses to divulge information about himself and does a good job showing great amounts of humility. It comes off as confident, but still humble about his journey being a rapper. Harmonic sounds playing in the background is a nice addition to the overall sound of this track.

Instead of following the herd, FLIZZY approaches music differently, he seems to be more concerned with making art which instantly grabbed my attention. Taking a break from rapping about women, cars and luxury, uses the roots of African-American culture to get his own message across. “POLITKIN” was admirably unique; he used a scene from the Blaxploitation film, “The Mack”. Starring Max Julien and the late Richard Pryor, you can hear the men arguing and talking about pimpin’ hoes and something close to having bitches. It was a great addition to the project, almost highlighting the root of African-American art and creativity.

Releasing the single and the video months prior has allowed people to get a taste of his new work before dropping Corner Store Heroes. With almost 9,000 views and still climbing, it seems to be doing well; check it out below.

But somehow it gets better. I find the track “GIRLFRIEND” incredibly intriguing. Less than 2 minutes long, his eloquent lyrics are a breath of fresh air, a peaceful release from the project. Clearly he doesn’t need a full track to waste time or play with the beat, he displays an ability to jump onto something quickly and still transcend.

After pretty much a turning point, Corner Store Heroes continues to showcase some classic hip-hop sounds. “THE WORLD IS MINE”, inclusive of some soft vocals in the background, seems to be his niche to rap alongside. For some reason the ending takes me back to Syleena Johnson’s chorus on Kanye West’s “All Falls Down”, which originally dropped in 2004. The parallel is more than a comparison, it is subtly genius. He’s rewinding music, providing listeners with a seamless and timeless sound.

He attacks other beats throughout on tracks like “19TH HOUR” and “TWO FOR PAY”. On these tracks FLIZZY is a storyteller, he develops as an artist right through your speakers and is able to bring you to a space to witness his experiences firsthand. Not really rapping, it seems he succeeds more when he’s just vibing to the beat displaying his thoughts over some 90’s like beats.

The project is also successful in the sense it is not buried under numerous features from other artists. He keeps it about him with limited artists and uses them as a way to elevate his sound, not distract from it. “G-MONEY” is a great example of this as artist GEE-JERZ’s flow is rhythmic, captivating and allows for the mellow track to come out as a favorite of mine.

He experiments with different tactics on tracks as well. Using a British female on the track, “HOW FAR”, he’s able to rant about some women’s lack of ambition and disregard for self-esteem without actually saying a word. With a soulful sample floating in the background of the song, it takes away from the semi-aggressive message and instead becomes a thought-provoking track.

Running out of steam, a lot of artists tend to lose their sound towards the end, kind of falling off. FLIZZY is a young artist, but not naïve, and makes sure to end the project with music of great caliber. “WET DREAMS” and “NOTE OF SEA” was the perfect ending to it. Their upbeat vibes are the close to his chapter. Something about the beat on “NOTE OF SEA” makes me want more, which should be the purpose of any outro.

FLIZZY comes strong with this project, working with various producers it was overall coherent and a great listen. I wasn’t lost trying to find who he was as an artist, instead I was comfortably welcomed into his home of music and I enjoyed it. I didn’t just listen to him, I experienced him, which is something of extreme value. Check it out for yourself!