Certainly, Timeless Truth is a duo who should always be mentioned whenever there’s talk of hip-hop. With passing years, Queens brothers Oprime39 and Superbad Solace’s dedication to the culture and its origins have remained pure with their unfiltered rhymes, significant storytelling, and chemistry to boom-bap beats that’s very reminiscent of the ‘90s. They displayed a high level of craft on past projects like Brugal & Presidentes, Rock-It Science, Dominican Diner, and continue to do so on their newest LP, Cold Wave.
The New York natives start off their latest effort with a lighthearted warning: “de Blasio Speaks” is comical in its use of audio of New York City’s mayor’s struggling efforts to speak Spanish, yet firm in its cautionary message: There’s a storm coming. In less than a minute’s time, listeners are placed into 1996 as the two chant “No time for fake ones” on “4 The Real 1s.” The horn-heavy EL RTNC-produced record is blistering in its approach to authenticity. Here’s where a hard beat is backed by even harder rhymes. Timeless Truth prove to be no slouches as they address corny rappers and solidify New York’s tough and gritty reputation (a recurring feel throughout).
“Pop Champagne” picks up in tempo, and finds both artists matching the rhythm with damning rhymes. In addition to pop-culture references that keep up with one of America’s most hated-on families (Solace raps, “Got it cracking like Lamar Odom” and “You ain’t no runner, you a Caitlyn/ Can’t play with my pen”), the punchlines begin to flow in, and hit hard on impact. The nostalgic sound plays as a backdrop to Timeless Truth’s knack for inserting current events without losing their edge.
“Hardbody Karate” brings in legendary emcee Sean Price. There’s an instant spark in creative chemistry as the three strong-arm DJ Woof’s production with brain power. Thought-provoking wordplay comes from all corners as the songs plays out, almost cypher style with a touch of scratching. Another gem-heavy record follows in “Gods in the Details” where storytelling takes center stage with Oprime39 rhyming “It hit me once we caught the robbery in building’s lobby/ I fought the good inside me, product of a foul society/ Cut ties with some guys for spiritual sobriety, I keep it peace but always keep the piece beside me.”
An interesting turn happens on “Kevlar Bodybags.” EL RTNC provides a massive sound on the production end that meshes with the intense lyrics it encompasses. It’s home to transparent thoughts on the industry (“The game used to be all about the livest crew and then Kanye blew, now only if you gay the labels signing you,” raps featured artist ILL BILL) and the softening competition.
Regardless of how much or how often the genre shifts, a message throughout Cold Wave is Timeless Truth’s ability to stick to their own…well, truth. This 14-track effort has no shortage of these signifiers—legendary hip-hop producers, teflon-like rhymes, sharp wordplay. But it’s what they’ve given listeners before, and have already proven their skill at time and time again. This confidence sits at the forefront of the previously released Large Professor-laced song titled “Wavelength” where they bring attention to their skills and showmanship. Save the compliments, they reign dominant are Timeless Truth’s exact words.
Fellow New York artist Your Old Droog joins the duo on “Russian Rock Hammers,” a definite highlight on Cold Wave. The camaraderie is a reminder of what’s happening in New York and a reminder that there are plenty of artists—Joey Badass, Action Bronson, and Dave East— upholding the state’s sound.
A story of struggle surfaces on “U Know,” a record produced by Roc Marciano. The words “We’re tired of them cold winters, lukewarm dinners. It’s only the beginning, but we ain’t no beginners” gives a brutally honest depiction of an easily relatable grind. Soon, the theme carries over to “Arctic Challenge” where cloudy vocals power through for raw sound. It’s the perfect setup for the soulful closer “In Due Time,” which leaves listeners off with a showcase of everything that makes Timeless Truth a standout act—without any fluff, and the right amount of cultural references.
Cold Wave is due out on February 29.
Photo Credit: Timeless Truth NYC