Getty Image

There’s something about that New York swag. You can always tell when someone is from New York. It’s not just an accent; you can roughly “ve learned that” grin in their enunciates that throws you in mind of crowded streets and subway stations, of Timberland boots and hoodies, of droops and bodegas and cabbies and thin crust pizzas.

As hip-hop has globalized and the regional wires have blurred thanks to the ubiquity of internet and social media, a primary complaint has been that New York hip-hop has lost its singular swag, that the once pioneering locus of hip-hop greatnes has been demoted to simply swiping wordings from the South to stay relevant.

That’s not a number of problems Jay Critch has.

Born Jason Critchlow in Brooklyn, NY, the 21 -year-old Jay Critch has skyrocketed to national notoriety behind an superb cord of successful singles in the shotgun tush of Rich The Kid‘s Rich Forever Music record label. He grew up on New York hip-hop, internalizing the flows of lyricists like Fabolous, Cam’ron, and” old Jay-Z ,” as he told XXL last year, and it indicates in what he applies out: The cocksure, outsized appeal that signals when a rapper is from the birthplace of hip-hop. The difference between Critch and his more modern peers, though, is that he is as self-assured as his influences, with nothing of the” Bring New York Back” insecurities of fellow New Yorkers more interested in make forms than plainly projecting that palpable sentiment throughout all their music regardless of what kind of beat it’s on.

That self-confident braggadocio is evident in early, name-making singles like “Adlibs”( as in,” N—s best carols ain’t f* ckin’ with my ad-libs “) and “Rockets,” which are shot through with the slick wordplay he learned from his Large-scale Apple forebears, even as they espouse more modern, trap-focused production akin to the work of French Montana or Dave East. His latest single,” Try It ,” even features both Montana and Fabolous, and despite Critch’s young age, there’s no vestige of a generation gap — he fits right in, even revamping the older artists around him.

That new single comes from his debut book, Hood Favorite, which ceased November 2 and helped prove that his speedy come-up has been no stroke. It’s a tightly focused, 12 -track release, as cohesive as it is versatile, led by the ghostly trap clang of the Jamz-produced first single, “Ego.” Over the eerie curve, Critch exposes pen recreation far beyond his times, electrified by his thoroughly childish move. Even most impressive is how Hood Favorite, like “Ego,” procures Jay going for dolo, with patrons limited to the aforementioned French and Fab on” Try It” and Offset on ” Quicker .” While many young craftsmen often feel the need to use peculiarity to bolster their star power as they find their position, Jay Critch is self-asserting and cocky enough to stand on his own. His New York upbringing wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hood Favorite is out now on Rich Forever Music/ Interscope Records. Get it here.

Read more: