One800 are a production trio that works with Los Angeles-via-Pittsburgh rapper My Favorite Color; the outfit’s new Pittsburgh City Limits project showcases the talents of a number of local artists.
On Pittsburgh City Limits, the One800 boys create smoky, atmospheric beats suffused with cavernous bass and tightly-wound trap percussion, evocative canvases on top of which a who’s who of Pittsburgh rappers and singers splatter verses and hooks. A few personal favorites from the album include:
Adios (ft. NVSV and My Favorite Color)
The album opener sets a menacing tone. Faint piano twinkles and a rumbling low end are pierced by a haunting tendril of melody; atop this spare, somber instrumental, the ever-steely NVSV, feeling “in my zone like the holy ghost,” calls to be left alone, and My Favorite Color takes a more threatening tack (“Adios…goodbye/Or might it be a homicide”), his elastic flow augmented by distorted shouts. “Adios” proves that nobody here came to play.
Try (feat. Clara Kent)
Listeners may be more used to hearing Clara Kent’s voice when it’s backed by drifting neo-soul instrumentals, but Kent shows her versatility on “Try,” a nocturnal, minimalist banger/ballad hybrid. Murky, blown-out bass lurks under the surface, but Kent sounds composed as ever, even when she admits, “I been feeling pressure on a level you can’t even take.” Of course, that line is followed by, “No mistake/I can take the weight”; Kent is just fine.
Late Night Shift (feat. Fat Corey)
Fat Corey brings his usual brash energy to the urgent “Late Night Shift,” opening with a callback to his “Earned It” flow before launching into a deadly-serious description of his late night moneymaking endeavors (“Pistol in the car/Can’t smoke in my whip”). Neo-noir synths help set the stage for Corey’s endeavors; he’s got work, but not the type where you clock in.
More (feat. Mars Jackson)
“More” is some wholesome shit; Mars Jackson sounds completely unbothered as he runs through his melodic, self-actualizing bars. Where others are “lost and goofy,” Mars is “high and groovy.” His response to the prospect of going on tour and seeing the world? “Hell yeah!” Mars paints his own future on this one; sometimes all you need is some optimism and a nice beat.