Headliner: Emilio Rojas
Representing: Rochester, New York
Mixtape: No Shame... No Regrets
Real Spit: Emilio Rojas has consistently kept his name buzzing in rap's underground and amongst some of the game's heavy hitters, like Rick Ross and the late Chris Lighty. Rojas' immense rap talent hasn't translated into rap fame, but the Rochester, New York, spitter remains undeterred on his latest release, No Shame... No Regrets.
"Everybody swore that last year was mine, everything was lined up/ Thought that I would sign to MMG and join the lineup," Rojas spits on the project's title track before rapping about his dealings with music mogul Chris Lighty, who took his own life last August.
"Started f---in' with Chris Lighty 'cause he could see it/ And we were workin' with him on this tape that we're releasing/ And he took his own life on the day we were supposed to meet up," Emilio continues to rap before sending a rest-in-peace shout out.
Listening to the rest of No Shame, which is offered on iTunes and for free on DatPiff.com, shows that Rojas is as skilled as any MC in his class and has a developed songwriting ability as well. "I'm a voice that nobody is hearing right now, especially in the rap game. I'm a young half-American, half-Hispanic artist and I spit," Emilio tells Mixtape Daily.
He can also carry a tune. "Wake Up With You" is a slow and syrupy, R&B-laced track where Rojas professes his love and lust for a certain young lady by singing on the hook and rapping on the verses. "Good Morning," while less loving, follows a similar formula. On "Flaco," ER shows pride in his Latin roots over a sampling of Jerry Rivera's 1992 salsa hit "Amores Como El Nuestro," though hip-hop fans will surely recognize the sample from Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz's 1998 NYC anthem "Déjà Vu (Uptown Baby)."
There are other stand-outs like the brash and unapologetic "Shameless" and the Styles P, Troy Ave, IamSu collaboration "Lean On Em." No Shame... No Regrets is as a complete of a project as you'd get from an independent artist these days and one that Emilio Rojas is fairly confident in. "I don't talk that garbage, I can, but I have things to say too," he argued. "We package it well and I think it's time that I'm heard."
We think so too.
Joints to Check For
» "No Shame, No Regrets" — "Basically it's keeping people up to date on what's happened in the past year and a half since we dropped Breaking Point."
» "Good Morning" — "You might've had a night that you're not so thrilled about when the lights come on. Good morning really means, you have to get the hell up out my bed."