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Armed with his unique delivery, gruff voice, and sharp wit, U.G. is well-equipped to do just as he wishes when he hits the booth. Whether on his own or earning critical acclaim as one-half of the Cella Dwellas, the Brooklyn rapper has been a giant amongst the NYC rap underground since '94. And on Portals, his long anticipated solo debut, U.G. proves that his formula for crafting excellence has no expiration date.
Portals is a 14-track journey into just what U.G. set out to accomplish – a movie-like atmosphere anchored by well complemented production (entirely from IDE) and extraordinary rapping. That much was evident on lead single, "The Mystic," which is equally eccentric in its wordplay and technical displays as U.G. flows over the creeping instrumental. Elsewhere, the BK spitter taps into his cinematic vision with joints like the harrowing "Might & Magic," and the super-grimy, "Ready for War."
Interestingly enough, U.G. credits his movie-like approach with what makes his music so appealing to his fans. "That inner-kid comes out of them when they hear that stuff," he says. "We (U.G. and IDE) are both visual artists as far as our approach to sound is concerned." Beyond the concept, the rapper and producer just love hip-hop culture and wanted to represent it right. They may be taking a boom bap excursion into another dimension – and likely one in a distant galaxy – on Portals, but this is pure, raw, unadulterated hip-hop to the bone gristle.