PREMIERE: Napoleon Da Legend ft. DJ Akil “Shinobi”


A lot of hip hop sites seem to have given up on MCs that put a focus on lyrics. Not us. If you barring out, we’re listening. We check out a lot of verses but only reach out to a select few MCs seeking premieres. Only the rappers we know are worth our readers’ precious time. So, off top, understand Napoleon Da Legend has made it through various quality checks just to get heard.

If you’re a true aficionado of underground hip hop, you might know more about NDL than we do. What we are well aware of are his politically-charged 2106 releases Steal This Mixtape and Steal This Mixtape Too. These joints give a good idea of this Brooklyn transplant’s skills on the mic and conscious lyrics. However, this Paris-born (hence the name) wordsmith didn’t just hop on the scene, he’s been dropping material for multiple decades now and even has a release on Chopped Herring that collects his “early years.”

To end your week right, we are gracing your phone, laptop, or however else you get on the net, with Da Legend’s brand new loosie “Shinobi.” This cut is a straight up demonstration of lyrical fitness. Breath control, ill flow, punchlines, metaphors…the whole package. The EyeDee beat is the kind of traditional boom bap that NDL clearly has an affinity for. And the chopped up chorus expertly executed by DJ Akil rounds out the classic hip hop sound. In comics they say the beginning of a new story arc is a good “jumping on point.” Well, if you don’t know NDL yet, this is a good “jumping on point.”