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Written by Aidan Werder
Harlem spitter, Nym Lo is keeping the spirit of gritty, golden era New York rap alive - uniting 4 of the empire state’s baddest emcees in the heart of the Big Apple for a showcase of top notch bars and unmatched, authentic NYC energy on his new track “Time Watchers.”
“Time Watchers” opens with a haunting, piano-led instrumental - with Nym Lo posted up on a red lambo in the middle of the street in Times Square accompanied by the all-star cast of Benny the Butcher, Smoke DZA, and Shoota. Nym asserts his status as a Harlem big dog on “Time Watchers” with a killer leadoff verse and effortless confidence as he recounts his exploits in the streets.
Nym Lo is a rapper’s rapper - an authentic lyricist straight out of the belly of Harlem with tight bars, clever punchlines, an ear for production, and street stories for days. Nym has been putting in work since his 2018 album, The Big Horse - a nod to a moniker that came about on account of Nym’s dedication to rocking almost exclusively Polo by Ralph Lauren. Since then, he’s joined the ranks of Cinematic Music Group under Smoke DZA’s RFC Music Group - dropping a number of singles and projects including High Horse, “100,000”, and 4 Series - most recently dropping the 7-track project High Horse 2 with close collaborator 183rd, which features “Time Watchers” and standout single “Through the Wire”. Earlier this year, Nym also appeared on the Smoke DZA led RFC group project, R.F.C. (Money Is The Motive), Pt. 1.
Not to be outshined, the notorious Shoota (aka Shoota93) enters for a rare feature - jumping in right off Nym’s heels to deliver meticulously crafted, carefully announciated bar after gem-laden bar in a way that only Shoota can. For the uninitiated, Shoota is a bona fide New York legend with deep ties in (and out) of the music industry - who’s been making waves in recent times for his direct-to-consumer approach to his music. “Time Watchers” will be one of the few times you’ll be able to find on Shoota on streaming platforms - instead opting to sell his music, albums Fact Rap 1 & 2 directly to fans for $25 per album. Shoota’s guerilla approach to marketing and distribution, combined with his undeniable authenticity and raw energy, has definitely caught eyes around the industry - inspiring other artists like China Mac to pursue a D2C route and proving that there is more than one way to succeed in the music industry.
Up next, Smoke DZA - independent NYC legend, Cinematic staple, cannabis connoisseur, and now RFC Music Group head - flossing on haters with a braggadocious verse in his unmistakable Harlem-native vocal and effortless flow. Forever over delivering and under appreciated, DZA continues to carve out his lane in hip hop with incredibly impressive projects like ‘Homegrown’ and ‘A Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed’ and most recently a single with the legendary Dom Kennedy titled “No Regrets”. Today, he continues his contributions to hip hop through his aforementioned RFC Music Group - managing artists like Nym Lo and Jayy Grams - as well as his new venture, ‘The Personal Party Podcast’ alongside ShowBroadway.
Last but certainly not least, a knockout blow from none other than Benny the Butcher, delivering an expectedly fire verse littered with deep cuts and hard hitting punchlines. In the visual, we see Benny alongside the red lambo, flanked by 50 foot tall billboards featuring Westside Gunn and Conway the Machine - the other parts of the very much still together Griselda. Both Conway and Benny have cleared up in recent interviews that Griselda is still very much a thing, in addition to them all having their own things going on - for instance Benny has GXFR, Agency 78, Roc Nation partnerships, and various other things to deal with.
In the end, “Time Watchers” delivers exactly what the headlines promises, insane verses from 4 of New York’s coldest rappers - and props to Nym Lo for bringing everyone together for the fire Times Square visual. And also providing the perfect opportunity to geek out over some of my favorite rappers all on one track.
Check out the video for “Time Watchers” below, and be sure to check out Nym’s new project High Horse 2, released in April. Nym Lo is just getting warmed up - so definitely be on the lookout for more heat from Nym and RFC Music Group in 2021