One of underground rap’s most distinctive and talented voices returns as Rochester, N.Y. native Pounds delivers his latest hard-hitting effort, TUNA. The follow-up to 2016’s stellar Heavy Lies The Crown, this project packs some serious tough talk and hard-nosed bars into its nine tracks that center on the troubled life of a kingpin.
As you can hear through his raps, Pounds is most definitely about the life he outlines in his rhymes—to the point that it’s actually rap that got him out of trouble some years ago. After a troubled youth spent in and out of jail, he focused on his love of Hip-Hop to get his life back on track. And as he continues to make good on that goal, we’re blessed with the inventive and vivid street tales heard on TUNA.
The project is brought to life not just through Pounds’ raps, but also through the clever usage of samples from Breaking Bad (“I am the one who knocks!”) and Blow, among others. Those quotes help shape the story, but it’s Pounds who brings everything together. He’s on his epic-rap-narrative sh*t on closer “Dues,” delivers tag-team villainous raps with Conway The Machine on “Gone Tomorrow,” and spits vulnerable bully bars on “Pee Wee Kirkland.” For example: “Beat you with a bat/ You rather take the gun route/ Squeezin’ with the mac/ You take the food up out my son’s mouth.”
Those touches of humanity are what make TUNA larger than your typical bad-guy rap project, and they’re also what continue to make Pounds such a compelling figure in the independent rap circuit. Be sure to keep an eye out for the release of TUNA and also the New York rapper’s forthcoming international tour dates.
TUNA is out now via KSD on Soundcloud for streaming and Bandcamp for purchase.