“This EP archives our musical journey over the years & pays homage to the city (San Francisco) that raised us. It’s a love / hate thing. It’s our take on the Lo-Fi Hip Hop sound laced with lyrical grace via FRISCO Style in hopes to spread love and awareness. Play the project in order to experience it at its best.” – The Non-Prophetz
San Francisco artists Rymeeze and Fego Navarro who make up the duo The Non-Prophetz, recently dropped their collaborative project together entitled “Sco-Fye”. While you’ll recognize their familiar album’s art cover which is an ode to Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli’s iconic “Black Star” album, you’ll be intrigued t come along for the ride and take a trip on the new vibe that is “Sco-Fye”.
Mixed and produced by Rymeeze, the EP boasts seven tracks and starts with the lead track “Barathon”. The track opens with a futuristic sound bite describing some of the San Francisco Bay Area history from the technology boom to the housing bubble, and the “third gold rush”. While the sound bite is exceptionally engaging, yet short lived, the track quickly transitions to an edgy boom bap beat with Fego Navarro taking the lead, setting a high energetic tone with a rapid-fire flow and bars with Rymeezee returning the same energy on his verses. What’s interesting is both artists completely sunset the high energy with a more reserved flow on the second half of the track which is a great segue into the second track “PTO” (Paid Time Off). “PTO” starts off with a familiar live show snippet (“Ain’t no party like a Frisco party/Because a Frisco party don’t stop”) then shoves a boarding pass right into your hands over a Latin jazz infused beat because hey – it’s vacation and self-care time homie. On this track Rymeeze blesses us with his singer/rapper vibes on the hook (“I think that I’m going to take some time off today/ And still get paid/Ayeee/I really need to get away.”) as both rappers paint a lyrical picture of a work hard/play hard mentality where “PTO” is an enjoyable necessity and not a luxury. Next up is “Big Phaces”. The track is about chasing money and ignoring the pitfalls of losing sight of what’s important within you (“The higher the pay and the higher the stress/Flying finesse in the city where you die for respect”) and around you. (“Everybody in pursuit, chasing big phaces (money)/While my youngin’s out her catchin’ bip cases.” Listeners will appreciate the poetic lyricism from Fego Navarro and Rymeezee’s driven and passionate flow.
“Stress“ is a dope, head nodding, self-care themed track, with a sound that negates any sentiments of feeling gloom. All three artists (Rymeezee, Fego Navarro, and featured artist Mali O) ride the beat with a lyrical approach that is serene at times, yet very passionate but still something a listener can vibe and relate to. “The game will have your mind fucked up/But I can’t be wasting time tucked up/Daily I’m on my grind/I’m tryna get to this bread/I been feelin’ stressed out and I can’t let it get to my head.” I had to play this track a few times just to re-balance my own energy, thus, this track is a go for my car playlist.
The vibes on the title track “Sco-Fye” sounds like a lo-fi trip with an “electro Silk Sonic” sound and a slight ode to the 80’s electric guitar vibes, backed by some laid-back lyricism. Per Rymeeze “Sco” is short for Frisco. “Fye” is a play on words hence, The Non-Prophet’s version of the lo-fi sound and genre. Additionally, Rymeezee says The Non-Prophetz “are speaking directly to their peers and the youth in regards to issues in the political arena, the state of the culture, crime, self-care, the lack of love for the art, and paying homage to the ever-changing city that never really loved us back.”
“All I Want” features the vocals of Beronica Zelaya who’s been featured on several songs with Rymeezee. The sound is also part boom bap and lo-fi and takes you back to the days when we first realized that love and hip hop songs was really the shit like LL Cool J’s “I Need Love.” Beronica is also featured on “Up”, which is the last track on the album and content wise, kind of wraps up the last three years that we’ve all experienced with COVID-19, polarizing politics, losing people, losing time, our mental health as we try gaining control of our healing. The chorus, which is sung by Beronica and Rymeezee is contagiously melodic and also serves as some needed therapy. (“Past few years was some bullshit/We on some new shit with this music/Past few years was some bullshit/We on some new shit with this music.” Then Beronica and Rymeezee really caters to your latent emotions on this part of the hook – “Loved one we ain’t forget you/We never left you/Here’s a dope beat to step to…step to/Breakin’ all the rules with music to vibe to.”) Listeners will definitely want to que this track up to that specific part when thinking about those who are no longer with us.
Overall, the album is everything that The Non-Prophetz define “Sco-Fye” to be with its novel sound and lyrical content. Rymeezee and Fego Navarro paint an aural viewpoint of life from a San Franciscan that is all their own plus, this is a great duo that you definitely want to see grow together with more projects in the future. “Sco-Fye” is now available on all streamers and available for purchase at Bandcamp. Support these artists and enjoy!