For Colossus readers, this isn’t the first time we have covered the upstate NY scene. We first covered Generic this past fall with his project Escape Tha City. Generic, or Eric Armitage, has not only built a name for himself in the Upstate scene but has blossomed a culture. His production company, Tha Bakery LLC, which he runs with his friend Jack Redmond, has quickly helped bolster a hip hop scene in Utica, NY. One of the members of Tha Bakery, Leekyxiv, recently joined Generic in the studio for a collaborative album. Something Different is clearly a project developed among friends so let’s dive in.
The connection between Leeky and Generic is evident throughout. To the listener, it just feels like they had a fun time in the studio working on this. Leeky mentioned on Twitter before the album dropped that it is some of his best work and best verses. He isn’t wrong. I’m not incredibly familiar with Leeky, however having listened to some of his prior projects and then this one, I’m impressed, to say the least. Both rappers have solid flow throughout and really emphasize that boom bap sound.
I also love the feature of another Bakery member, Nazzy, on “Say Yes”. Clearly a summer bop, Nazzy really provides those August vibes on the chorus to counter the sounds of Leeky and Generic. I use “counter” because both have very different vibes and sounds than what Nazzy brings to the table. Generic has a very “duh-duh-duh-duh” flow on his verses that gets your head bobbing and feet tapping. “Solo” is a great example of this, in which, you will find yourself more in tune with his words rather than the bass or hi-hats. Leeky, on the other hand, reminds me of a new-age, Upstate version of Meechy Darko. On “Penguins” and “Audacity” he doesn’t shy away from utilizing those scratchy vocals.
Solid throughout. To begin the project, we are met with an almost spooky choir of vocals. My one qualm is that there is no one sound throughout. We see a really mixed bag of beats here, with everything from the dark sounds of “Audacity” to the cartoony, old school sound of “Okay!” Typically, I would say this doesn’t work, however, props to Leeky and Generic as they seem to really carry their vocals throughout to make it all work together. My favorite beat here is on “Solo”, with its smooth flute sample and fun hi-hats that really get you excited and grooving.
I’m going to be straight with you. I don’t like the autotune used on this project. Artists are using an ever-increasing amount of autotune, especially in the new school NYC scene, but I’m not about it. On Escape Tha City and some of the other albums I have heard from Generic, I have been a big fan of his voice as it feels unique to him. However, the autotune here just doesn’t do it for me. That being said, the overall production here is quite good. Transitions are smooth, the track order flows very well, and the songs just sound really good. On top of that, the vibe is extremely fun-loving. At the end of the day, this was a project made by two friends.
“Say Yes”, “Solo”, “Penguins”, and “Far Away”
After I say the teaser trailer Leeky and Generic put out on Twitter, I got excited. The chemistry here is fantastic and I hope they do another collab album again in the future. I am very familiar with Generic but this was an introduction for me to Leekyxiv. I am definitely a fan of both of their rapping styles and flows. Especially after how well they seemed to work together. Is it perfect…no. However, it is still a fun little project put out by two of the best rappers out of the Utica scene. Something Different gets a…
Stumbling across Tha Bakery last fall has been one of my favorite discoveries. Not only are these guys creating great music, but they are also building a culture and a scene in the least likely place.