Each week we scour the underground looking for fresh new talent on the rise, this week SB.TV takes a look at up-and-coming hip hop group, Children Of The Night…
Brooklyn: home of the late great Notorious B.I.G, not to mention arguably the most successful rapper of all time; Jay-Z. The Bronx: hip-hop’s birthplace; the place where DJ Kool Herc began cutting up the breaks of records and getting the B-boys dancing: Queens may not be the first borough you think of when discussing New York’s hip-hop legacy, but it did spawn three of hip-hop’s greatest albums; Nas‘ Illmatic, A Tribe Called Quest‘s Low End Theory and Mobb Deep‘s The Infamous. Whilst the borough mightn’t be the first that springs to mind, it’s made its mark on hip-hop from Marley Marl and Kool G Rap to 50 Cent and Pharoahe Monch.
Enter Children Of The Night, a trio of rappers who have taken it upon themselves to bring the spotlight back to their home borough. Comprising art school friends, Lansky Jones and Nasty Nigel plus Remy Banks, the group have made a mammoth task look effortless. From making joke raps at school the trio have crafted their own brand of Low End Theory-jazz meets The Infamous-gully spiced with their own flavour of delivery and storytelling. Coupled with the efforts of fellow buzz-worthy Queens rapper Action Bronson, and that new Nas album we are all waiting on, Queens is definitely about to return to prominence on the hip-hop map.
Forming part of the larger World’s Fair collective alongside Cody B. Ware, Jeff Donna and Prince SAMO, the group have achieved high status as live performers with regular shows in New York, including a recent support slot for Danny Brown, as well as being invited to perform as official artists at this years SXSW festival in Texas.
Their re-introduction to the borough where Nas wrote Illmatic; the Mishka sponsored Queens…Revisited is compelling as it draws listeners into the comprehensive guide to Queens life in a way that comes across every bit as immersive and fantastical as the Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy‘s that we’ve come to expect from big budget rap albums. Time indications within a number of the song titles indicate that the listener is spending a night hanging out with the guys in their borough chatting about girls, Star Wars, comic books (and perhaps engaging in some recreational drugs), with the rest of the World’s Fair fam, Lakutis, Roc Marciano, Marz Lovejoy, Meechy Darko (of Flatbush Zombies) dropping in and the whole thing backed by beats from Black Noi$e, SKYWLKR, Hannibal King, Left Brain, Matt Martian and Theolonius Martin.
Over the past few years there has been some mystery surrounding the group, who let the music speak for itself. After a couple of strong mixtape releases the trio grew tired of jacking beats and released their first original project Yes/No; a 9-track concept EP entirely produced by Johnny GoFigure, on which each MC gives their own take on love. After conquering the New York scene over the last few years with the aforementioned projects, the release of Queens… Revisited saw them achieve global praise.
Children Of The Night‘s unhurried introduction is paying off for them, as they finally start to get the recognition they deserve. With the current revival of the New York underground with rappers like Mr. MFN eXquire, Action Bronson, Roc Marciano and Maffew Ragazino at the helm, there is certainly room for a great New York rap group, and Lansky, Nigel and Remy are more than qualified for the position.
Words by Grant Brydon
Edited by Lily Mercer