MonStar Entertainment Ensures the “Game Ain’t Safe” (EP Review)
MonStar Entertainment is an independent hip hop label based out of Flint, Michigan, founded by local emcee Lyte & his business parter Matt Estep almost a decade ago by now. Their presence was first felt in the summer of 2014 when Young Lyte put out his debut mixtape Follow the Lyte, but took a backseat once he signed to Psychopathic Records on New Year’s Day 2017 & preluded his full-length debut Broke But Still Shining that summer in the form of a debut EP Psychopathic MonStar before leaving the next fall. Eventually, he returned last March by dropping Metamorphosis solidly detailing his artistic & personal growth since taking time off in music. But after signing longtime affiliate Skitzo as well as Hypnotic Sound Studios co-founder Str8jaket & even Psychopathic’s first act that they signed Project Born, all 5 of them are joining forces to deliver a debut EP showcasing the ever-growing MonStar roster.
After the intro, the title track truly opens the whole thing with a nocturnal trap ballad so they can talk about taking over the rap game whereas “Can’t Stop Us” works in some luxurious keys & hi-hats making it known that MonStar is a force to be reckoned with. “Black Sheep” dives into cloudier turf referring to themselves as the underdogs while the song “Another Level” laces a booming trap instrumental addressing their elevation. The penultimate track “Heavy” blends these hi-hats with some whistling flexing about the noise they make & “Soldier’s Code” closes it all out with a vulnerable trap ballad bracing for the fight that’ll soothe the soul.
Even though MonStar’s been around for 9 years, most of us were introduced to them through Lyte’s brief tenure under the Insane Clown Posse’s mentorship & to hear the whole current roster together like this gives me the feeling that it’s only the beginning of the Flint label’s rise in the underground. The production’s more trap based, each artist has their own distinct characteristics to them & they all ping off one another naturally throughout the half hour.