A-F-R-O and 60 East have just released their highly anticipated EP, At The Sideshow. The five-track project showcases the duo’s remarkable mic presence and lyricism, threading in details of a close friendship where friends chop it up about pop culture. Very much akin to Beavis and Butt-Head. Released on May 23rd, this EP offers fans a nostalgic journey through boom-bap hip-hop. Complete with intricate storytelling and captivating cinematic references.
At The Sideshow embraces the essence of golden age hip-hop, hearkening back to a time when jazz-based beats and slick lyricism reigned supreme. The EP is characterized by its rich production, paying tribute to sounds that shaped the genre in the ’90s. A-F-R-O, in addition to showcasing his lyrical prowess, takes on the role of producer, providing the project with a distinct touch. And 60 is undoubtedly the lead emcee on the project, taking center stage on the mic throughout. The result is a collection of tracks that exude a cinematic quality. Resulting in a bombastic, yet approachable listening experience.
From track one, Journeymen, on, the EP captures a listener with impeccable production. Soulful, and sample-driven, the beats incorporate head-nodding drums and melodic loops that capture the feel of a different era. A-F-R-O and 60 East seize this soundscape with commanding lyricism, delivering thought-provoking verses, intricate rhyme schemes, and clever wordplay. Their chemistry is evident as they effortlessly exchange bars, displaying their undeniable skill as wordsmiths. That includes a feature with legendary emcee Ras Kass on the dynamic 2nd track Cali Ozone.
It would be a big mistake to fall into the trap that At the Sideshow is purely lighthearted in nature though. A-F-R-O and 60 delve into thought-provoking subjects with true eloquence, as exemplified on track 3, Funny How? One of our personal favorites from the project, the song dives into the intricacies of trust, betrayal, and the consequences of deceit. Honest and introspective lyrics challenge listeners to question the authenticity of their own relationship. In a world where appearances can be deceiving. 60 East spits: “It really seems they scheming or like I’m back in the county./Everyone plotting with hidden agendas/Repeat offenders or friends I can’t even remember.”
Similarly, track 5, Czech, showcases 60’s lyrical prowess, and appreciation for the culture on the whole. He references the influence of legendary figures in the fabric of the genre. Highlighting both his place in and respect for hip-hop history. 60 paints a vivid picture of his experiences, from navigating the code of the streets to honing his craft alongside renowned artists like Obie Trice. He asserts his ability to overcome challenges, likening himself to an iceberg that can take down even the greatest obstacles.