Cover art for Kane Mayfield's "Hydrants"… (Handout )
Over steady, live drums and a subdued, twinkling melody that sounds pulled straight from 1994, Baltimore's Kane Mayfield raps with a relaxed, stream-of-consciousness flow. He mentions "retweeting some Rev. Run quote," a reference about a guy known for dropping knowledge on wax and in 140 characters or less. It seems appropriate for "Hydrants," the wonderfully confident, introspective track from "Rhymes By Kane," his four-song EP released in February.
On multiple listens, "Hydrants" continues to reward listeners, either through messy-but-important ideas ("Screaming out 'Crew love!' / But don't die for your block / My people, it's too much / We don't even own the streets we shoot up") or vivid imagery presented as snapshots from the block ("The water wash the pain off the children / The heat from the summer and the streets where it's real / It's the same damn place / Why they never wanna film this?"). In my case, I was taken aback by both.
"Hydrants" is a winner, begging to be played from a decent system during a slow, scorching summer ride down Baltimore streets. Stream it below.