Note: The music video above contains explicit language.
Although it dropped in September, this loose track from Baltimore rapper Al Great recently got the video treatment, and it excels without much flash. "Pray I Make It" finds Al rapping in a stairwell without bodacious vixens, blinding jewelry (he brags about his Nixon watch) or any other accents. It's a fitting look for a no-nonsense rapper who spends the song decrying phonies, lamenting locked-up friends, showing respect to Baltimore rappers (Mullyman for getting on MTV and frequent collaborator Greenspan) and, most importantly, getting to the money. Nothing groundbreaking but he sells it with a limber, laidback delivery over a vintage-sounding beat, and it all melds together wonderfully.
It doesn't get more Baltimore hip-hop than "Pray I Make It": a Mizfitz Soundz beat (my favorite producers in the area, responsible for Rome Cee's standout cut "By Your Side") and lyrics such as "You phony like living in Boston, rooting for the Lakers / Or a Steelers fan in B-more, still a fan of Preemo / Can't forget Pete Rock, don't let the beat stop." The scratching on the hook nods to Premier, Rock and a time when rap was about how dope you sounded on the microphone.
There's a vague implication that Al is running to escape danger (in the form of two mean-looking dudes) and the fact that they catch up to him by the end makes it all the more ambiguous. Will Al Great make it? It's tough to tell, but he took to Twitter yesterday to tell followers he wouldn't be performing at the Ottobar that night. He offered refunds to anyone who purchased tickets from him, too. The show was advertised that Al, along with Greenspan and other local MCs, would open for XXL 2011 Freshman Fred the Godson. But then Al tweeted this: "N-----s paying to perform= a f---ing "showcase".... NO DEAL!!" If he's going to make it, it seems like it'll be on his own terms.