Billy Atlas is an MC/producer duo from San Diego, California consisting of Billy NoJokes on the mic & Admiral Atlas behind the boards respectively. Neither of whom have worked with each other in the past surprisingly considering the fact that they’re both from the same neck of the woods, but come to the realization that now is the time for them to form like Voltron & put out an eponymous debut EP to coincide with the celebration of Billy’s born day.
The titular intro kicks off the album with a grungy boom bap instrumental keeping the vibrations high for 78 seconds whereas “Nada Ain’t It” takes a more sample based approach with some kicks & snares attached to it talking about those who actually think they got it on the mic. “Soul Sweat” makes it known that this music shit gets him high with a more lo-fi vibe to it leading into “Premium Petro” working in some organs to compare his rhymes to high quality crack.
Johnny Hoax slides through on “Cook It More” I’d a flute/boom bap crossover talking about not having a chance to fail because they’re masterminds just before “It’s a Dub” with RMthePoet displays a back & forth chemistry that actually isn’t too bad over the dustiest of beats imaginable. “In the Nude” throws a little bit of distortion into the mix calling this the anthem while the song “Belligerent” incorporates more woodwinds to get hostile.
The penultimate track “God’s Chair” has more morbid quality to the beat making it known he’s in the upper echelon while the official closer to the album “Nothingless” weaves in some more sample chops cautioning to watch out exactly who you spend your energy on. “140” by Masamoon however is a perfect bonus cut preluding their upcoming debut album with a cutthroat ballad addressing those who’ve praised for death in the past 100 seconds.
NoJokes been putting it down for the past decade with 2 full-lengths & an EP on the solo tip, but I think we’ve only been seeing the real beginning of his growth ever since the formation of Masamoon & this self-titled offering from Billy Atlas is a short yet worthy way for the west coast duo to introduce themselves. The admiral’s lo-fi, dirty production matched with lyricism that knows no bounds is certainly more than enough to satisfy any underground head.