The Crown Cometh: Listen to Radamiz’s “Writeous”

In 2012, Brooklyn rapper King Critical posted to his YouTube channel a video he called “The Best of Brooklyn Cypher 2012.” Watched almost a million times, the video was the best response to the freestyles he had been posting since middle school. It gained Critical, his Mogul Club compatriots Madwiz and Radamiz, and I.O.D considerable recognition. I’m sure it also provided the motivation that has kept them thirsting for that rap crown until now, four years later.

But “The Best of Brooklyn Cypher” is much more than that. It was a watershed moment in Brooklyn hip-hop history that until today had yet to become fully apparent.

Today, Radamiz released Writeous. The eleven-track project has been a long-time coming, a culmination of four years of hard work and growth. And it’s no coincidence that the apex of the project, the sixth of eleven tracks, has its roots on that Summer day in Downtown BK in 2012. On that track, “1 CROWN,” however, Radamiz has enlisted I.O.D, Latasha Alcindor, Kidaf, and Oswin Benjamin to represent Brooklyn.

“It’s a classic posse track,” Dojo Records founder Devaughn Holliday said to me over e-mail. “In a time when New York is known for being cut-throat and lacking community support, ‘1 CROWN’ demonstrates the unity of the emerging underground Brooklyn scene on the highest level.”

Instead of placing other members of Mogul Club on the track (History, Madwiz, and King Critical all appear elsewhere on Writeous), Radamiz teamed up with a slew of artists who altogether represent a mob of interconnected Brooklyn-based collectives. Latasha is a part of Dope League, Kidaf holds down Loaf Muzik, and I.O.D represents Dojo Records–each one rolling through Radamiz’s SoHo studio to lay down their verses. Think Marley Marl’s seminal 1988 “The Symphony.”

Alex Oka