Representing: Brooklyn, NY
Mixtape: Deadbeats & Lazy Lyrics
Real Spit: There is a certain competitive spirit that fuels most MCs, and Brooklyn’s Astro is no different, but the one-time “X Factor” contestant finds motivation in more than just the beats and rhymes. The teenage spitter uses his recently released mixtape, Deadbeats & Lazy Lyrics, as a bit of payback to his first detractor.
“My biological father was never around, and in the black community we call fathers that aren’t around deadbeats,” Stro explained to Mixtape Daily of the tape he dropped online for free on February 18. “I said when I get big, when people ask me about stuff, because I know he’s listening to me, I’ma antagonize him and I’ma name the mixtape Deadbeat, because he knows he’s a deadbeat.”
Astro added the Lazy Lyrics part to the title simply because it had a nice ring to it.
Sonically, Deadbeats & Lazy Lyrics is a return to the brand of jazz-infused hip-hop that dominated the 1990s. On the opening “Stro is the Name” the rap prodigy delivers boastful raps over a well-layered boom-bap, but on the very next track “Dead Beat” he takes a different approach. In the spirit of the genre’s top story tellers like Slick Rick, Astro weaves a tale of his absentee dad. “Sometimes I thought my maker was mistaken/ How you hatin’ on your own creation, behavin’ as if there’s no relation,” he questions before spewing even more venom. “Daddy gave me a name and walked away/ But if he knew that I’d be paid he probably be right here today.”
With “He Fell Off,” Astro addresses his critics over a beat backed by the Honey Drippers’ famous 1973 “Impeach the President” drum sample, and on “Catchin Wreck,” the young MC revisits the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 “The World Is Filled…” instrumental.
It’s obvious that despite his age, the 16-year-old Astro is well-versed on his hip-hop history, a quality that many rap rookies lack. We’re not sure how his dad feels about it all, but every rap pioneer who came before him should be proud.
Joints to Check For
» “Catchin Wreck” -”It’s a term from the ’90s meaning you got the juice, you getting props, you getting respect. And when I heard the beat, it was so Brooklyn and I always wanted to do something to it, but I never knew exactly what. So I listened to a few Biggie songs, kinda modeled the flow I used on a song off of his joints and I put it on there.”
» “Flow” – “I wrote it all in my head too, that’s the special thing about this song. I called it ‘Flow’ because I switched up my flow so many times.”