Remember when you could cop single Dutches for a dollar? Quarter waters used to actually cost a quarter and Habibi would hook you up with a loosie. Old New York came with its dangers, but those criminal freedoms gave the city a reckless edge. Your Old Droog remembers.

Little is known about the 24-year-old MC – websites report that he reps Coney Island even though his SoundCloud claims he’s from Brooklyn. He’s never done an interview and his eponymous EP is his first release. All we have to go off of is the music itself – and it’s refreshing as fuck.

All 10 songs are produced by himself and EL RTNC with scratches by DJ Skizz. He has the voice of Nas with Roc Marciano’s cinematic tinge. The flow is ferocious, like a bugged homeless dude hounding you for a nickel. The cover for the EP is the tracklist written on the same kind of cardboard that homeless people in NYC write their pleads on. A pile of pennies rests on the side – the same pennies he’s used to cop loosies in the past.

For all the moaning about “restoring the feeling,” Troy Ave and Joey Bada$$ have done little to help NYC reclaim its crown. The ones who are repping the East Coast the best are the ones who aren’t set on emulating rappers of yore – Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Wiki of Ratking, and Your Old Droog. Droog can narrate a trip to the bodega while somehow making you feel poor. He doesn’t waste a word on the mic, and every beat is pristine – the kind of stuff Just Blaze would be making if he didn’t have pop constraints. His verses are informed by the five senses – you can smell, hear, and feel the city under your fingertips as the 30-minute EP plays its course. He doesn’t talk about bringing New York back, and that’s why he’s one of the lead candidates to do so.

Twitter can’t stop talking about him. We can’t stop playing him. Do yourself a favor and get on Your Old Droog’s train before you look silly. Download it right here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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