Photo by

PREMIERE: Jaguar Pyramids ‘Jaguar Pyramids’

Lead photo by Gold Land

The blend of cockiness, raunch, crew camaraderie, and individual nihilism that make up New York rappers’ specific brand of griminess is impossible to reproduce if you’re not a native. While California has had their G-funk eras, their hyphy movements, the South’s been snappin’ and trappin’, there’s always been a certain strain of classicism present in New York rap, even as these out-of-region trends are being simultaneously absorbed.

Jaguar Pyramids are here to carry that grimy sound forward, but you’d never accuse them of being stuck in the past. The two emcees, Topprraaa and Czarquan (LES and Harlem, respectively), bring NY brashness to Yung Gutted’s (Brooklyn) dark, late-night-deserted-streets production. “Fill Him In,” featuring RatKing‘s Wiki (coming off his own tape release last week) is a standout track, with a creeping, subdued instrumental that could soundtrack a haunted house. Gutted’s beats have always tread the line between cloudy, ambient deconstruction and boom-bap groove, and it’s his guiding sonics, with additional production from Czarquan that help the project succeed. Not to say that Topprraaa (who’s adlib game is out of this world) or Czarquan can’t handle their own—the former’s more absurdist, Auto-Tuned lyrics contrast with Czarquan’s boastful hustler stories to create a multifaceted portrayal of the city’s sound today. On “Rari Leather,” both rappers fully inhabit the grim nature of Gutted’s beats, Topprraaa leading with “Bendin’ corners in Bed Stuy / Burn it down like Left Eye / Like a nose bleed keep yo’ head high / Slip once that’s fed time / Crack cooked in a baby jar / No food for the baby though.

Over the eight tracks, the trio firmly place themselves in conversation with the RatKing-lead renaissance that’s been running the city’s downtown scene the past year or two. DJ Lucas, over-the-top performance-artist-as-DJ also gets off on the beat for “Ballerina,” furthering the connections between new-wave weirdo rappers everywhere. For Topprraaa, Czarquan, and Yung Gutted, it’s their first major release as a group, though they’ve been collaborating via their arts, music, clothing collective, Nocturnal Sons Posse, for a minute now. Jaguar Pyramids was mixed and mastered by Joshua H. Pleeter at Crooked Smile Studios. Stream below via SoundCloud, cop via Bandcamp, and link with all of Jaguar Pyramids on their socials.

Related Posts


PREMIERE: Yung Gutted ‘Internet Graveyard III’


PREMIERE: We Are The Horsemen’s “Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids Retrospective Mix”


PREMIERE: Eskimoe “Why Here”


PREMIERE: Hotel ‘Have You Ever Tasted Hell Fire’


PREMIERE: Well$ “130” Video


Latest News

nas-rapture Film


Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over