Sometimes it’s better to be late to the party than to never show up at all.
That’s the vibe any time I hear an artist for the first time and realize I’ve been missing out. We are introduced to new artists every day but amongst all the freshman popping up, there are countless creatives out there you’ve been sleeping on – usually unintentionally. When I saw Dom McLennon share “Big Pharma,” I knew I had to check it out. And then I heard not one but two emcees I didn’t know I was missing out on.
Fortunately, I’m finally at the party.
With “Big Pharma,” Brooklyn-bred Radamiz calls upon McLennon and Wiki to bring their unique energies to the Gnashing, Teeth record. With a history behind the collaboration dating back a decade, “Big Pharma” feels like it was a necessary creation as the contributing artists juxtapose their flows and deliveries over Niko Oroc’s vibrantly subtle production. The track was a long time in the making and it’s evident the passage of time since these artists first connected has allowed them all to sharpen their skills and step up today with what comes off as a lifetime of knowledge and experience. As noted, “Big Pharma” features three artists with unique backstories and energies forging together to create a masterfully presented collaboration. Despite the range of delivery and presentation brought forth by the respective lineup, the trio fit together like intricately placed puzzle pieces. Again, even without knowing any of their history, you get a sense that this record was supposed to happen.
Following a quick intro from Radamiz, Dom kicks “Big Pharma” off with a stoic, confident and perspicacious verse. To the outsider looking in, Dom has seemingly reached the mountain top and could happily ride off into the sunset. But when one takes the time to dig deep into the often times silent moves the CT-born artist has made since the last dance of BROCKHAMPTON, it’s clear he has a bigger vision that extends past his own well-being. On “Big Pharma,” we get to hear potent streams of consciousness flowing from the depths of his wild ride of experience.
Next up, Wiki takes the mic and begins lacing “Big Pharma” with a punchy delivery. The witty, introspective prose feels relatable even to those – like myself – who weren’t familiar with the NY-based artist. We get a sense of what’s actually important in life and what things hold real value as the process of living leads to growing up, life changes and a shift in priorities. When Wiki raps, “When I was young, it all made sense / But I’ma need a little more than that to make this rent,” – that’s a clever yet simple bar that really hit home.
Radamiz closes out “Big Pharma,” stepping up to the plate with a calm, purposeful flow. Throughout his verse, he’s offering up quick jabs of insight, dropping some knowledge for the listeners to sit with. The wordplay here is sharp as he kicks deep, thought-provoking lyrics in a concise fashion. If you’re just hearing Radamiz for the first time, you’ll wonder how you let yourself sleep on this enigmatic emcee. It really comes as no surprise he’s amassed the cool collection of accolades that sit atop the proverbial trophy case – it’s something different about his style that catches your attention, forces you to think and encourages you to take some time to decipher exactly what he’s speaking on.
And, of course, we all need to tip the cap and dap up Niko Oroc, who provides the sonic backdrop for each artist to float over. The production on “Big Pharma” is ridiculously smooth; the soft-spoken, groovy vibe allowing all the room necessary for the verses to find their rightful place in the spotlight. Rather than slap the listener in the face, Oroc crafts a subdued essence with the instrumentation, helping to set the stage for all three artists to bring their idiosyncratic styles to “Big Pharma.” Prophets don’t yell, they speak softly – on “Big Pharma,” Oroc’s production is the prophet allowing the sages to share their wisdom.
“Big Pharma” lives on Radamiz’ recently released 5-track EP, Gnashing, Teeth, which is available now on all your favorite streaming platforms.
Press play on “Big Pharma” below and while you’re at it, peep the new visuals for another cut off Gnashing, Teeth, the argov-produced “New Faith.”