Frosty's Winning Formula

San Diego hip-hop veteran Frosty returns with another impressive EP

There's an old saying that goes "If it ain't broke don't fix it," because well, whatever "it" is, it's working. On his latest EP, "Authenticated," San Diego hip-hop veteran Frosty does exactly that. Picking up where last year's "Audiograff" record left off, he revisits his winning formula, rapping over chopped samples from producer Steve Vicious in classic b-boy form.

He sticks to the script with six songs that play out over 21 minutes, sharing common sense and good reason via nuggets like, "Hard work means everything / Find satisfaction in that / Adoration in fact / Is usually the product of that." And while his approach doesn't stray far from the "Audiograff" blueprint, his level of depth and reflection do.

If he was testing the waters on the first EP, he's fully submerged here, rapping from the pit of his stomach on the opener "Thorns": "Instinct gives you what your eyes can't see / When opportunity knocks it's not always what you thought it would be / Pride before the fall / I gotta re-evaluate my stance / Never lacking confidence but limit the rants."

Backed by Vicious, there's a genuine sense of soul in some places. And on "Way Out," with its cool-out rhythm and electric piano, Frosty gets introspective. He reminisces about powdered milk, days spent at the social security office, the bottom, struggle and his escape from it -- a way out. It's the pair at their best, mindful, even well-meaning -- all done without sounding pushy or worse, dogmatic.

This isn't a re-invention of the wheel, as "Authenticated" owes a heavy debt to its predecessor. But with the success of his last project, why would he want to change horses in the middle of the race? [Listen/buy "Authenticated" here]

J. Smith, aka 1019, is a San Diego native, rap fan and one half of the rap duo Parker & the Numberman. You can follow him on Instagram at 1019_the_numberman or on Twitter

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