La Coka Nostra
“A Brand You Can Trust”
(Uncle Howie Records)
Riding through today’s stage-managed rap world like a bunch of Hip-Hop obsessed Hell’s Angels with b-boy attitude, bi-coastal collective La Coka Nostra appear determined to deliver that raw uncut to your gut by putting their own unique spin on the concept of hardcore beats and rhymes.
Consisting of former House Of Pain members Everlast, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal, with Non-Phixion’s self-proclaimed cult leader Ill Bill and Boston underground champ Slaine filling out the ranks, LCN do a good job of joining the creative dots between their own individual musical backgrounds, from House Of Pain’s sometimes rock-influenced flavour, to Everlast’s folksy Whitey Ford solo material, on to Non-Phixion’s militant East Coast boom-bap. With such diverse sonic ingredients in the melting pot it would be easy to assume that “A Brand You Can Trust” sounds like a directionless mess, yet whilst unpredictable, it stands as one of the most entertaining hip-hop albums to be released in recent times.
Anchored by Everlast’s gruff, barroom-brawl wordplay and Ill Bill’s conspiracy-fuelled lyrical darts, La Coka Nostra, like many other great groups before them, draw the listener deep into their world, which in this case is a lawless place filled with scowls, guns, social decay and political unrest. Opening with the crunchy electric guitars of “Bloody Sunday”, LCN welcome listeners “to hell” with the Devil himself on-hand to “open the gate”, whilst “The Stain” finds Everlast in Whitey Ford mode, crooning a melancholy hook that warns of the dangers of chasing dreams in the City Of Angels only to end up living out your worst nightmares. “I’m An American” slashes open the underbelly of US society with a rusty razor blade, highlighting the hypocrisy found in the Land Of The Free over tense, piano-led production.
Elsewhere, the Alchemist-produced “Choose Your Side” boasts a hypnotic vocal sample and a blazing verse from UGK’s Bun B, whilst the thunderous beats and chest-thumping boasts of the previously-released “That’s Coke” offer the perfect rowdy soundtrack for a street riot.
A boisterous mixture of rap, rock, violence, irony, ignorance, political comment, paranoia, drugs, alcohol, humour and testosterone, “A Brand You Can Trust” is a potent sonic hit from the bong that goes straight to the head. Brutal music for ugly times.
it’s great music ….. but it’s not just music. it’s a movement with a legion of crazy ass peckerwoods who were living the la coka nostra way before la coka nostra was even established and have now embraced la coka nostra as an accurate representation of their ways. It’s a beautiful thing
I had kind of backed off rap a bit. It seemed all the same and that no one ras really banging it hard, socially relevant, or just plain relavent. I was skating today with “THATS COKE” cranking and was just killing it. This album is not what we’ve heard, not what we’ve seen. you need to listen, it’s obscene, mean and evergreen.