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Written by Aidan Werder
Last week, East Harlem’s own Neek Bucks dropped the video for “Corner Gospel 5” - the fifth installment of his classic Corner Gospel series and the first visual off his highly anticipated hometown hero project that dropped this month, appropriately titled ‘Neighborhood Hov’ as a nod to the big man upstairs, Jay Z himself.
Neek Bucks has long been known to New York hip hop heads as a formidable emcee, talented storyteller, and spokesman for the streets. Never quite finding the spotlight the way he or his fans would probably have like, Neek appears to finally be getting his recognition with the release of Neighborhood Hov - a carefully crafted modern day hood classic that could only be described as a captivating display of ‘corner gospel.’ As a testament to his place in New York hip hop, Neek brought out some heavy NYC hitters for this project including Benny The Butcher, Lil Tjay, Tsu Surf, and Stunna Gambino - not to mention Chicago’s G Herbo, and close collaborator, rising melodic rapper Sleazus Bhrist.
“Corner Gospel 5” is the fifth in a series of tracks spanning back to 2017. Each installment paints a vivid picture of life in Neek’s neighborhood, detailing the highs, the lows, and the gritty reality of life growing up in East Harlem. The track features his bread-and-butter flow, consisting of punchy lines, lo-fi production, a slightly affected vocal, and unrelenting, unaplogetic bars that weave a narrative that is equal parts cautionary tale and story of triumph.
The video was directed by Neek himself and shot by close collaborator, prolific Brooklyn/Philly-based photographer and videographer, Wavy Basquait. Just like the track, the video is stripped-down and straightforward, showing Neek delivering bar after bar direct to camera while overlooking the water on a cold, NYC-winter night.
Neek Bucks is one of just a few young artists upholding the traditions of what makes NYC rap great - sticking to the classic boom bap as his foundation while expertly incorporating newer styles and melodies where it makes sense. As such, he respectfully refers to his style as “Real Rap Not Drill Rap” (emphasis on the respectfully).
If you’re not familiar with Neek Bucks you really ought to be, it’s about time this talented young artist gets his shine beyond the five boroughs. Be sure to keep an eye out for more visuals to follow his latest release, ‘Neighborhood Hov’ … and keep an eye on “Fly Away” feat. LilTjay - a perfect pairing and a catchy melodic track which definitely has the potential to ‘fly away’ as the project’s standout track.
Check out the video for Neek Bucks’ “Corner Gospel 5” below.