By Jessica Helen Brant

Posca is a producer/art student from Templeton, Massachusetts. If you take a look at his discography on Bandcamp, you’ll find three releases from 2017, a short but sweet beat tape titled boots and another titled My Truck both released in February 2017. Posca lists Migos, Soulja boy, Juelz Santana, Jay-Z, Lil Mama, and Jay-Z as some of his influences for his work, including his newest micro beat project, Hillside Market, which is a slushy and heavenly decadence that brings us back to one of hip hop’s commercially successful golden ages. Hillside Market plays like the hipster cassette tape that got lost under the bottom of your car seat, the one you just happened to spot out of the corner of your eye and popped in for the hell of it. The loops and the samples are sounds stolen from a decade of hip hop many people my age and younger associate with some of their fondest memories growing up.

The early to mid-2000s were definitely a turning point in hip hop contextually. I’m not saying the 2000s produced “the best” hip hop billboard chart-toppers, although it produced some of the most record-breaking, that time period definitely shifted the paradigm of what it meant to be “hip hop.” Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin” was released in 2001 and it was the first certified platinum single of his career. It was produced by Timbaland, a producer from the South. It was the first time the mainstream acknowledged a successful collaboration between North and South, and their link-up opened the floodgates for all sorts of offshoot experimentation in hip hop, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t associate a Jay-Z song with a time in their life where they felt their best.

Let’s not forget 50 Cent’s booty bangin’ “In Da Club.” Many tend to forget 50 Cent’s influence in the bloodline, or maybe, it’s that they try to forget. He’s not the most well-received rapper in the hip hop community, namely because of a perceived short-lived career spike. 50 Cent’s foothold in the genre cemented what it meant to have commercial appeal and essentially demonstrated what happens when an artist blows up overnight. According to rap historian Shea Serrano, only eight albums in the history of all of the rap sold more copies than 50’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Eight. These hip hop giants set the pop culture fever pitch for self-publishing viral wonders like Soulja Boy, who’s 2007 internet frenzied “Crank Dat” earned 7 million that year and reached the number one spot on the Billboard 100.

Hillside Market is the early to mid-2000s circumventing back into popular culture and consequentially, back into our own personal recollection. From our memes to our fashion designs to our cable news shows, we are never far from a reference (Btw, when did pumpkin spice become a thing? See Track 8). Posca pokes fun at this idea. Combining a lazy rapping style with memories of his hometown in the tracks “Tayto’ Freestyle, ” “Northeast” and “My Truck” and samples from some of the popular hip hop songs aforementioned, we can get a feel for who the artist really is. Of course, there’s a sophisticated backpacker hiding underneath all of this, as heard in more of the jazzy, bassy, old film reel beats that reveal a quiet and preoccupied “loner” style of narration.

The first track sounds like it’s straight out of a modern-day telling of A Christmas Story, except the story doesn’t take place in a small Indiana town. It takes place in “the most beautiful house on the motherfuckin’ face of the earth.” The track streams like the opening of a dream sequence. You’re not sure where you are, what time it is, or if you even care because you’re down for the ride through Hillside Market, presumably during the fall and not the winter, which ends at a harp-plucked remix of “Crank Dat,” and crank dat you must.

If you enjoyed this article check Born Unique – Saturday Night Special (Produced by Lucky Loopiano) feat. DJ Case


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