Known for his hard-bodied raps and collaborations with his Iron Galaxy Clik cohort, Cannibal Ox, New York’s Realio Sparkzwell showcases his producer chops and penchant for slick wordplay on his brand-new EP, The Main Ingredient.

What makes the project particularly compelling is its juxtaposition of laid back and rugged, a quality that the Syracuse native captured perfectly with his approach. As he tells it, “This EP is an art piece, a tribute to one of the greatest R&B/soul groups ever—The Main Ingredient.”

With their chopped-up classics as his backdrop, Sparkzwell was free to “spit some streetwise lyrical wizardry with meaning and esoteric insight,” he said.

The result is a quick-hitting EP that comes to life thanks to its well-defined vision. Sparkzwell complements his source material with bars reminiscent of his favorite artists and collaborators, who have included the late Sean Price, Big Noyd, and Copywrite. He carries a similarly dark sense of humor too, which you can hear in the Pineapple Express-sampling “Purple Grimace” and standout cut “Questions.”

The Main Ingredient also serves as a reintroduction of sorts to Sparkzwell, a journeyman emcee who made waves under his previous monikers (REALZ and iRealz). Its release also marks his inaugural project as a member of the Gold Chain Military/Poison Ring Regime (Planet Asia, Killa Kali, and others) and serves as a precursor to his forthcoming full length projects; The Top Emblem and Bloody Luciano.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
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