Rod McCoy has spent the past few years building his reputation as both a performer and supporter of hip hop that deviates from the mainstream norm. His most recent work, “Smoke & Murals,” might be the strongest example of his efforts to date.
Slick production, mellow instrumentals and clever, thought-provoking verses highlight the seven track EP. Whether he’s offering poignant social commentary (“Intro”; “Urban Culture”), declaring his love for cannabis (“Funky Junkie”), or offering smooth motivational verses (“Conquer the World”), you can’t help but hang on every word Rod says. His delivery demands your attention, no matter the subject.
“Smoke and Murals” also boasts a number of great features. Neo-soul singer Candace K offers her rich vocals to “Funky Junkie,” and supports solid verses from Rod, Abib Jahleel, No Suh Foster and Truez on “Souls 4 $ale.” Singer Ron Shirley II offers a soulful refrain on the love song, “My Queen & My Mistress,” while Frank P.’s quick flow shines in the rapper’s verse on album closer, “La$t Day.”
On “Conquer the World,” Rod McCoy boldly states that “there’s no limit to who we are.” Perhaps that line is equal parts motivational and autobiographical, as it is clear on “Smoke & Murals” that Rod McCoy is a hip hop artist with limitless potential.