Album Review: Pro Era - The Shift

Pro Era just will not slow down. Still riding the momentum of their highly anticipated mixtape The Secc$ Tap.e Vol. 2, the Beast Coast posse is back with a brand new EP—The Shift. A collaboration with Scion A/V (known for projects with everyone from Danny Brown to Steve Aioki) the tape showcases impressive growth in production and rhyming chops alike.

Though the group is known for their nostalgic Brooklyn sound, complete with turn table riffs and beats reminiscent of new jack swing, tracks like opener “Extortion” hint the group might have had The South in mind while recording this EP. Its paired-down production features the slightest trap backbone giving the cut just enough edge to support the fervent matra “Who want war Nigga?!”

The Shift also offers a sort of “coming out” moment for Pro Era’s lesser known voices. Most listeners know Joey Bada$$ as the face of the ensemble, but head-boppers like “Come Come”, which features absolutely tongue twisting verses by Dirty Sanchez and Jakk The Rhymer, showcases MCs who are more than capable of holding their own, and will keep this reviewer on the lookout for solo projects.

If there were ever any doubt Brooklyn rap was on the verge of a renaissance, Pro Era has made it their mission to silence all naysayers. With a Joey Bada$$ solo album set to drop this fall, the group’s latest release The Shift was exactly the right move to keep buzz building. Though the tape strays a bit from their normal sound, the spitters themselves are more relentless than ever. Overall, it’s a shift toward progress.

Download The Shift via Scion A/V's SoundCloud

- Syron Townsend