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Mic check

A hometown hip-hop roundup
By CHRIS CONTI  |  May 26, 2014

BACK IN TOWN Meta P. [Photo: Jessica Pohl for rhymeCulture]

Rhode Island’s hip-hop community is mighty healthy and 2014 is shaping up to be another banner year for locally sourced lyricists. There are a number of homegrown must-hear acts primed to drop new material in the coming months, including the highly anticipated return of Sage Francis. We caught up with some of Rhody’s finest for a mid-2Q rap report. And check back for full features on some of these deserving artists. Don’t sleep — support local hip-hop!

In the past few months, hip-hop heads have been treated to new music from PVD-via-Burlington rhymer Mertz ( and his debut solo album, The Good In the Bad. Dynamic duo DirtyDurdie ( have kept us sporadically fed with their excellent “throw-ups,” spontaneous collaborations with notable local lyricists available for a limited time (free of charge). Revered RI rhymers such as Chachi Carvalho and Swann Notty have already hopped on tracks, plus the supremely slick-witted ESH the Monolith on “Special Bus.”

ESH ( got his start here over a decade ago before relocating to Allston, MA, two years ago, and has since joined forces with numerous emcees and producers from the Boston area (and beyond), including the Arcitype on their 2013 EP Nightworks (look up the new video for “Werewolves Anonymous”). ESH and Intrikit just released A Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Verse under the name Loop Minded Individuals , with guest shots from Romen Rok, Moe Pope, Seez Mics, and many more. Cop the download or limited edition red cassette tape right now — this is an early entry for album of the year.

Juan Deuce ( returned a few months ago with the superb six-cut EP Hi, Anxiety, which featured production from longtime partner Falside (“System” is an instant classic), who made the permanent move to NYC. Melon Meat is Fal’s latest (and trippiest) installment in his “beat tape” series (just $5 each at, and word is Juan & Fal will re-up with the full-length debut Galapaghost slated to drop later this year.

Later this summer we will also get the return of Night Enders member Hayes (, who released the thought-provoking u.s.A Cry for Help late last year with production from 8th Wundah, and just released a video for the new single “Entering Providence.” Be on the lookout for an album release show in mid-August at Dusk.

Sean Sbardella aka Meta P ( will drop Evolution of the White Wolf this summer (Brooklyn phenom Block McCloud recently signed Meta to his Disturbia Music Group). The Barrington-bred emcee just filmed a video for the album’s first single, “Evolution,” at Dusk. Meta is a natural-born performer and borderline batshit-crazy onstage; he recently slayed crowds opening for Slaine in Newport (one of the most memorable hip-hop shows I’ve seen — such a blast) and Mobb Deep at Simon’s 677. Also look up his Poison Man collabo with Mayhem and DJ John Gotem. Sbardella recently moved back to the Provy area and we I-talians are calling out all you rappers now for his backyard bocce league. Come get some!

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