H.A.R.D. is Looking to “Prosper” (Album Review)

Hardcore super-duo H.A.R.D. returning for their 3rd full-length LP. Consisting of Joell Ortiz & KXNG CROOKED, both of whom have had notorious label issues at the start of their careers, but would go on to see success as members of the supergroup Slaughterhouse along with Royce da 5’9” & Joe Budden from the late 2000s up until the mid-2010s. The quartet had quietly disbanded in 2016 after Joe’s retirement from making music even though it wasn’t confirmed until 2 years later, but the other 3 members have been keeping themselves busy ever since. H.A.R.D. introduced themselves a couple months after the pandemic hit with an incredible eponymous debut EP along with 2 full-lengths last year: The Rise & Fall of Slaughterhouse and Harbor City. But coming off JFKLAX, they’re now looking to Prosper.

“The Tale of 2 Cities” is a groovy boom bap opener talking about coming from Brooklyn & Long Beach respectively whereas “Still” smoothly makes it known that both parties are out here grinding. “Dodgers 2” works in a sample, kicks & snares for a sequel to “Dodgers” off their latest EP just before & “War Outside” blends these strings with hi-hats to describing the harsh realities of the streets.

Moving on from there, “Sunroof” hooks up this alluring vocal chop explaining why be so calm in the booth leading into the soulful title track as Crook & Yaowa come from a more introspective side of things looking live on & live long. “Wife Her (Snipe Her)” groovily gets romantic promising that no man could compete with them while “W.I.F.E.” blends these jazzy horns & crooning samples talking about having no one to grow with ‘cause they don’t know shit.

“Black Tie Affair” continues to push towards the end of the Housing Authority Rap District’s 3rd album returning to the boom bap boasting their top dog mentalities sipping champagne & lighting a cigar up until the soulful “No More” ends the album no longer staying humble paying homage to “Back in the Day” by Ahmed during the hook.

Harbor City & JFKLAX are still both enjoyable projects, but I know both of these guys can put out another body of work that’s on par with self-titled or Rise & Fall of Slaughterhouse because they continue to show it a year & a half later. They’re both veterans & still have chemistry that’s no question, I just think they need more consistent production much like how Signature was better than Autograph itself.

Score: 7/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 26 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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