Never in music culture has cocaine been such an accessible sound to anyone willing to listen. From the hard body raps of Pusha T that describe the lifestyle and metaphors to the exclusivity that comes with it, to the trap heavy influence that Gucci Mane brought into rap with coke white bricks of production. Hus Kingpin is able to bring a classy level to his joint project with Big Ghost Ltd that orchestrates Cocaine Beach in a shining, but still cautious light.
Hailing from Hempstead, NY, Hus Kingpin is able to balance the boom-bap upbringing that New York City formed and then transition that into this narrative journey that begins more like a celebration than any comparison to drug dealing. The first introductive track, “Carlos Lehder” is a reference to one of the higher ranking drug kingpins worth $2.7 billion in his time during cocaine trafficking which is a fairly inspirational start to a record. The horns that blast away alongside the authentic percussive set is glorious, and almost a trumpeting display that segues directly into “Coke Casa” where the production is more of a creep than a full-blown sprint.
“I let the gun bust to feel a rush, it’s like cocaine” describes Kingpin through this gruntled and step-back approach that shakes hands with a long arm. He is distant but lets the listener hear just enough to feel experienced through his rhyme schemes and instrumental choices. Where he is able to thrive is on “Yeyo Jazz” where this 70s synth and percussive combination is sonic perfection that uses the foundation to build towards the sky. “Sniff ‘til ya face fall off, pick it up… When I sleep I hear cocaine playing jazz, it’s not where you from it’s where ya at.” With each verse, Kingpin drops little gems of intricate knowledge that takes a better look through the 37 minutes and 11 tracks featured on Cocaine Beach.
Big Ghost Ltd is able to dominate the style here that follows on “The Gospel” and when featuring Planet Asia, the sermon is in session. It is impossible not to draw this religious connection where cocaine is god and the music is the communion, where the listener can look at the sophisticated robes that Kingpin dawns for one last Pyrex press. If a Sunday meal could be featured about drugs, Cocaine Beach would be the main course.
From Brooklyn to the beaches, Hus Kingpin moves in a traceable way for hip-hop but remains an enigma through the only minuscule sights that he lets in. The listener is forced to deliberately study his every move like a DEA agent would watch an all-star drug runner.