A disagreement (and fierce loyalty to Tha God Fahim) caused a rift between much-lauded MC Mach-Hommy and Griselda mastermind Westside Gunn, which seemed irreparable to caring fans.
However, time, success and perspective have a funny way of changing oneâ€™s outlook. After first showing off their reconciliation on Christmas Day 2020 and later cementing their reunion on â€œEasterGunnDay 4,â€ the purposely illusive Haitian rhymer returns to full form with one of his most accessible projects to date, Pray For Haiti â€” curated by Gunn himself.
What makes this particular body of work so alluring, especially if youâ€™re a long-time fan, is its consistency.
Mach-Hommy exists as an underground legend that you either appreciate or donâ€™t (with only a little bit of a grey area). But even fence-sitters can find something to love here. His multi-lingual flows are backed by a stellar line-up of producers, like Camoflauge Monk, Sadhugold, Conductor Williams, and even mixtape legend DJ Green Lantern (amongst others) throughout the project. The decidedly Griselda vibe envelops his razor-sharp pen.
At the same time, his uncanny ability to frame hard-as-nails themes with calmly delivered, tastefully complex wordplay brings a different kind of aura to the outfitâ€™s recent timelineâ€”and he wastes no time making the grandeur of this project apparent.
The Denny Laflare-produced â€œThe 26th Letterâ€ drops a healthy dose of self-aware â€œMach phonics,â€ making particular note that his aim (at Gunnâ€™s behest) is to rearrange Top 5 rapper lists across the board.
Guests are kept to a minimum, with Gunn being the most significant contributor. The two exude chemistry over Conductor Williamsâ€™s warped sample on â€œFolie Ã Deuxâ€ (with Keisha Plum). Then there is the undeniable vibe of the Camo Monk-produced â€œMurder Czn,â€ with Mach-Hommy embodying a young Mos Def on the chorus. He does this a few times, actually â€” like during the intro of â€œThe Stellar Ray Theory.â€
Veteran rap fans will also note a bit of bar-borrowing from his homie JAY-Zâ€™s infamous Nas diss, â€œTakeoverâ€ within the cusp of the track.
And of course, a project like this wouldnâ€™t be right without a 16-bar blitz from Tha God Fahim, who bodies his airtime on the Messiah Muzik produced â€œMagnum Band.â€
Despite being his most consistent body of work to date, low-energy moments weigh down the projectâ€™s overall potential. Mach-Hommyâ€™s calm delivery and the stripped-back production result in low-energy moments that feel like drafts of something more fleshed out. Mid-album track â€œKriminelâ€ with its long verses that travel nowhere is one such example. Itâ€™s not a criticism that anyone aware of the New Jersey-bred MC hasnâ€™t heard before, though.
Yet, as a counterbalance, there is a constraint on lyrical and technical oddity, which makes the Dump Gawd more approachable than ever.
What this album lacks in high energy is offset by sequencing and commitment to the vision, though. Griselda is at a fever pitch, and while Mach-Hommy has a dedicated fanbase, his discographyâ€™s full scope remains something that requires effort and searching (outside whatâ€™s on streaming) to digest. We finally get to see what heâ€™s able to do on the now fully realized platform.
Itâ€™s not necessarily a new perspective from any of the contributors involved, but Pray For Haiti is an easy starting point for new Griselda fans looking to find out what the Mach-Hommy hype is all about.