By Rob Markman
Honors English goes for a spin on the video for his latest Needlz-produced single "Palin and Bachman" from his State of the Art mixtape.
On State of the Art Honors blends intellegent and expertly-crafted rhymes over banging beats and he isn't rapping for the sake of rapping. So know that the Trenton, New Jersey, rap rookie has the attention of his growing audience, and he fully intends to use his rhymes wisely.
To say Honors' lyrics are right may be a bit of an understatement. On his Needlz-produced State of the Art mixtape, the nimble-tongued rapper who now resides in Tallahassee, Florida, spits intricately laid bars alongside rap notables like Freeway and Lupe Fiasco. On "Crazay," English employs clever wordplay, spitting rhymes like, "I swiss beats and turn 'em to vegan cheese/ I'm rap's answer to Alicia, now give me the keys."
While "Crazay" is all about wordplay, "Second Chances" is a storytelling joint in which a different narrative is told in each verse. In the song's second verse, English breaks down his producer Needlz's battle with cancer. It's all pretty heavy.
"We wanted to do a project about what we love about hip-hop," he said. "Modern, something that had content but at the same time was not just trying to beat you over the head with a particular message. Making sure that it's still entertainment, it's still accessible."
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"I got an opportunity to go to school and do my thing in that way, and I wanted to give back in a lot of ways in terms of the music. Take what I learned and add it to hip-hop," Honors told Mixtape Daily in July.
English is the MC's given last name, but he adopted the Honors moniker from the time he spent in school. The skill that he would use to write term papers is the same skill that he uses to write densely packed rap verses. "A lot of times I'll rewrite a song a couple of times, like I'm writing a paper," he said. "I'll rewrite it, rewrite it, rewrite it till it's right."