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Pray for Haiti

by Mach-Hommy

Released May 21, 2021 via Griselda Records / Daupe!

Reviewed May 31, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
The Stellar Ray Theory (63%), The 26th Letter (40%), Au Revoir (29%)

Arguably the best rapper off Griselda, Mach-Hommy shows an innate ability to rap his ass off in any lane of music he so pleases. After specializing in a more abstract, experimental sound recently, he’s come back with a more direct, “mainstream” style of rap—likely due to WSG’s executive production efforts. And frankly, he is a contender for one of the best rappers out now when using either style. The rich production of Pray For Haiti—done mainly by Camouflage Monk and Conductor Williams—is the best of any Mach-Hommy album, letting Mach flow effortlessly over them. The only glaring flaw with the WSG touch, and the album overall, is the number of tracks that run about two-and-a-half minutes or less. It’s an approach that works swimmingly with Westside Gunn, but with Mach, it feels incomplete. Pray For Haiti isn’t Mach-Hommy’s best album, but rather his “The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly,” a “sequel” on par with the original (Pray For Paris) and a great introduction to his catalog for new listeners. – Alan (8.7/10)

As is typical for most Griselda Records releases these days, Pray For Haiti is both justifiably self-assured and surprisingly modest. Mach-Hommy has been quietly outrapping most artists for the past five years, and his 2021 release is a statement piece to the soon-to-be fans that have overlooked his dominance. The casual sound of his voice amongst the handful of unostentatious instrumentals by some of Griselda’s right-hand producers can trick the listener into turning a blind eye to Mach-Hommy’s intricate fatality-level punchlines, the kind of lyricism that would have most listener’s favorite rapper raising their eyebrows. But this is an album meant to be replayed for nuances. Mix the elite ability of a rapper like this with Westside Gunn’s intense knack for promoting and curating talent and fans will find themselves enjoying one of the most jaw-droppingly impressive efforts of the year. Mach-Hommy has skillfully carved out a hole for himself in the hip-hop ethos; a hole that, with more time and more releases, new fans will tumble into and never want to escape. Pray For Haiti might just be the hand that shoves them into it. – Pax (8.7/10)

Led by the album’s executive producer, Westside Gunn, Pray For Haiti marks the reunification of New Jersey emcee Mach-Hommy and the upstate New York Griselda imprint. The two have proven to be a powerful combination as early as in 2015 on Conway’s Reject 2 mixtape, and again with subsequent Flygod, Haitian Body Odor, and Don’t Get Scared Now projects released in 2016. In more recent memory, Mach has routinely released music in shorter, lethal doses with Wap Konn Jòj! and Mach’s Hard Lemonade running for 15 and 22 minutes, respectively. Pray For Haiti has the air of a debut album, and sprawls across 40 minutes to render a higher resolution image of this album’s artistic intent. Mach, who typically aims to come across aloof, forbidding, and above the pay grade of some, is more thematically direct and accessible than ever this time around. No matter the intent behind every decision, Pray For Haiti is a highly entertaining album. Mach keeps a consistently high-caliber lyrical and creative presence, delivering his best project to date behind the harmonious balance of the equally abstract and approachable nature that this album possesses. – DeVán (8.5/10)

Mach-Hommy’s return to partnership with Westside Gunn gives us his best project yet, and one of Griselda’s finest. From cover to cover, we get intricately laid out bars over simple but fantastic production. Mach is seemingly at his best; whether it be a unique rhyme scheme, how he uses his raspy vocals to bend words, or just a great punchline, he is totally in his element all over this record. His deadpan delivery may not be for certain people, but it manages to show a complete confidence in himself that he doesn’t need to do anything besides present what he’s written, as he never embellishes anything, but rather lets it sit and ruminate naturally. This also features some of the best production on a Griselda project yet, perfectly melding new and old school sounds to create a cerebral world for Mach to live in. It has this weirdly psychedelic atmosphere that mixes with the dusty grit very well. Features are short but sweet and everyone is solid, with the multiple Westside Gunn features all being unsurprisingly great. Ultimately, Pray for Haiti is a wonderful record filled with lyrical jewels and great beats that I can recommend to any era of hip-hop fan. – Jared (8.5/10)

Alan: 8.7/10 | Ben (Synth): 8.5/10 | Cam: 8.5/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10

Jared: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10 | Peter: 7.5/10


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