Words by Kaya.lah—
With Jamaican-Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall and prolific Virgin Island pop composers Planet VI at the helm, Island Boy Cartel is shaping up to be something special. LargeUp introduced you to the IBC crew a year ago and featured their initial release “Pretty Paper” with Wu-Tang Clan rap god Raekwon back in January. Now they’ve let go of a track called “Black History Month,” just in time for the annual U.S. celebration of the same name.
Inspired by Golden Era provocateurs Public Enemy, Paris and X-Clan track supplies a begrudged, hypnotic feel and dark background for some heavy topics. Much like the paradox of the month itself, the song switches between confrontational lyrics tackling taboo topics like skin lightening and black-on-black racism, and lighter interpretations of All Black Everything.
The tune also features Prya, a fierce spitter from St. Croix’s FAMWORLD stable. The up-and-coming lyricist has been grinding for a minute—he was previously part of a respected rap tandem with fellow Crucian Sincere, and also dropped the quality tune “RNS” and a VI remix of Rick Ross and French Montana’s “Stay Schemin'” called “Day Dreamin'” last year.