With Fight Club vibes in this music video for OPEN THE GATES, the heaviest hitters of Chicago hip hop make their presence known. MOECYRUS and Novatore of Azthmatix, connect with A.M. Early Morning to create a lyrically raw and gritty hip hop beat. Challenging in their words as they open with their chorus, chanting, “We love to talk shit, this is what we do. Know there’s a big gap that’s in between us and you. We came with AM to slay and bring mayhem.” Each artist spits their lines of braggadocios bars, over an ominous slow beat with a piano progression, and the atmosphere is perfected under dark skies in a graffiti laced alley, on an urban corner in the streets of Chicago, with Yung City Slicka Films editing to emphasize energy. To step up to these fearless three on the mic would be menacing, to say the least!
Chicago’s own hardened rappers, A.M. Early Morning and Johnny Gunnz, release their record, ANIMAL, that should be in the conversations that mention the popular New York gangster trio, Griselda and their debut album on Shady Records. ANIMAL is a seven track project, but it feels like a full record at slightly over eighteen minutes long. It is full of high pitched, sampled female vocal melodies and slow, tight structured bad-ass criminal punchlines. A.M. Early Morning and Johnny Gunnz capture that truly gangster style of rap that has largely been absent from hip hop, with the exception of Pusha T, The Game and now the recent critically acclaimed Griselda Records.
If a hip hop fan thinks of Chicago gangster rap at this very moment, put ANIMAL in the equation. Every record on the album has notable and memorable punchlines such as, “I’ll have Vatos leave your Tahoe on cylinder blocks, you the type to be caught slipping, chilling in crocs,” from Johnny Gunnz on the intro track, TYPICAL produced by Max Julian. A.M. Early Morning raps, “Switching burners like draws or a white tee, problems go away for a small fee, devil in the back working overtime, drug dealers now bums holding up signs,” on the song BODEGA GLASS, featuring Eto, produced by D-Nast On The Beat. Lines like those are what east coast hip hop heads love about the New York trio Griselda, if given the chance to be privy to ANIMAL by AM Early Morning and Johnny Gunnz, they would be instant fans of them as well!
The flow of the project is seamless, including a staple of a hip hop classic record; the skit. Boogie Man is featured scratching some dope cuts on track 4, the BOOGIE MAN SKIT. The complex scratching from Boogie Man offers a transition that is largely missing from new age hip hop today. Don not forget about independent hustlers of amazing quality rap music, and include AM Early Morning and Johnny Gunz in the conversation. Place ANIMAL next to Griselda and Pusha T in your daily hip hop playlist, it deserves shine along the mainstream.
Production by Max Julian, D-Nast On The Beat, Mister Castle, Johnny Slash, Ill Brown, and Boogie Man.