Washington Heights, NY rhyme duo Pearl Gates and Syll return with the second installment of their “Play This” series. “Play This 2”, the full-length will drop via Below System Records and is the follow up to the first EP installment (which dropped back in 2016).
“Play This” the EP’s narrative was introducing the listener to their hood from the heights to the dark underbelly. Being that Gates has been on several international tours following the first EP and Syll has been making moves as a songwriter for other artists, their worldview has grown since and is reflected on this album. As Gates says, “Play This 2” is “a collective story of our experiences and meant to take the listener on a journey with us. To reflect this journey, the beats are wide ranging and should appeal to a progressive audience who enjoys a traditional Hip-Hop sound as well as blend of trap, inviting melodies and a chill vibe.”
One example of this vibe is the album’s first single “Kingz” which features appearance from West Coast lyricist, Blu, with the beat laced by French producer, C0rrado (who produced the entire first EP). Speaking on the link-up with Blu, Gates said “I spent some time in Los Angeles working on some tracks for Blu & Exile and Blu reciprocated with a dope verse.” It should be said that in addition to his prowess as an emcee, Pearl Gates is adept as a singer as well and has lent melodic hooks to tracks by Masta Ace, Kool G Rap and eMC.
This melodicism is in effect throughout “Play This 2” which blends more modern era production and moody boom-bap provided by Frankie P (A$AP Ferg, Meek Mill), Sirplus, EyeDee (Heem Stoogied, Ty Farris), DJ Soulclap, Jay Notez and Quincey Tones (who worked with Pearl Gates on his collaborative album with Wordsworth, “Champion Sounds”).