The 25 year+ rap veterans Onyx return to the scene with their latest project entitled Black Rock. Their seventh solo studio album is the iconic trio’s first since last May’s conjoint project Shotgunz in Hell alongside the Dutch hip-hop collective Dope D.O.D.
While the platinum-selling Queens trio of Fredro Starr, Sticky Fingaz and Sonny Seeza stick to their traditional roots of hardcore Hip-Hop, they have gone with a change of heart in terms of production. The 12-track project links up with a guitar or “Rock” based influence for most of the album, hence the title “Black Rock”. The album features collaborations with artists such as R.A. The Rugged Man, Skyzoo, Optimus, Sickflow, Canada’s Snak The Ripper and DJ Nelson.
“I’ma F_ckin Rockstar” is the lead single off the album and features Brooklyn rapper Skyzoo, delivering a stable mix of Hip-Hop and metal. The second single off the release O.D. features R.A. in his typical rugged manner over a big chanting-like beat which suits the mood of the album overall. The album’s release however comes upon sombre circumstances, with Chylow “Chyskillz” Parker (who produced and/or co-produced with their late mentor Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. much of their ground-breaking sounds behind their platinum selling debut album Bacdafucup) passing away of a heart attack just days before the release of Black Rock.
The inspiration for this new album came from their 1993 “Judgement Night” track with Brooklyn’s hardcore punk/heavy metal fusion band Biohazard which was the lead single on the influential Judgment Night movie soundtrack, where hip-hop meet rock in many of its various forms. Although mixing things up, the production feels like something out of an 80s/90s acid sounding era, with hard drums and fuzzy-waven guitars. It may not be everybody’s particular cup of tea, but the raw and uncut sound from the legendary East Coast legends as the new kings of rock cannot be denied.