New York has always been home to an extensive and star-studded list of rap groups; from Run-D.M.C, Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest, the heart of hip-hop history has never missed a beat.

Artists like A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$ and Meechy Darko have played an integral role in carrying the baton into the new age, through their respective groups: A$AP Mob, Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies and the wider Beast Coast force.

After almost a decade involved in the game, Flatbush Zombies’ Meechy Darko presents his debut solo project Gothic Luxury spanning across 13 tracks and featuring Denzel Curry, Kirk Knight, VITA, Freddie Gibbs, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought and A-Trak.

“If I had gasoline and imma light you on fire and you gonna die right now, would you rather die in your dirty basketball shorts and one sock on? Or would you rather die in a nice, perfectly fitted Tom Ford suit? That’s essentially what it is – finding comfort in the darkest times.”

– Meechy Darko on AUD’$.

Comprised of Meechy, Zombie Juice and Erick The Architect, the FZ trio became synonymous with the neighbourhood in Brooklyn in which they’re named after. Like Cam’Ron and Harlem, Jadakiss and Yonkers, the Flatbush Zombies are unmistakably New York.

When the trio first rose to fame, they were subsequently wrongly labelled as ‘horror rappers’ due to their dark themes and topics; the ominous sound only adding fuel to the fire. Remaining beloved throughout the underground for their psychedelic rap, they eventually broke into the mainstream with their full-length 2016 debut, 2001: A Laced Odyssey.

Evident in every verse Meechy has delivered over the years, his intelligently intricate lyricism and gritty – often times raspy – vocal cadences shape up for a truly unique style. Described as the comfort within darkness, Meechy notes the ever-fresh loss of his father and time spent in lockdown as inspiration for the album. All of this can be heard on Gothic Luxury, a mentally and emotionally taxing yet creative breakthrough time-period.

He recorded his grieving process, moulding it into a cohesive project and working with a bucket-list of features. Serving as his debut solo project, the writing and general creative process was something met with combat, as he was forced to work harder, and be overly critical in reflection.

Meechy’s debut is a timestamp in his life. Always a student, he embraces the lessons he’s learnt, and faces the emotions running through him while on life’s disorientating ride. One with a unique aura and energy, he sticks out from the crowd, but equally blends in. It’s very much a case of “if you know you know”, and if you do happen to know, you KNOW he’s one of the hardest rappers in New York City. He refers to his creativity as a Swiss army knife because nobody knows what they’ll get from him – and with an inner confidence to pull out anything, he is just that.

“If someone knew what I went through to finish this album or what I went through while TRYING to finish this album and start this album, I would hope that it would inspire people to know that you can create something in the midst of anything that could be going on in your life. No matter what’s going on outside of your window, inside your house or inside your head – you can figure it out.”

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