minuteaftermidnightThe state of New York Hip-Hop has been the topic of discussion on message boards and blogs for so long; just the thought of bringing it up again is enough to make the biggest Hip-Hop connoisseur throw up in his or her mouth.

Even though the subject is more outdated and tiresome than reading up on the daily antics of Lindsay Lohan and her gal pal Samantha Ronson, some people still can’t get enough.

Instead of the general public being so obsessed with what’s wrong in the Big Apple, they should be paying more attention to their hometown artists trying rectify the problem—and that’s where newcomer Donnie Goines comes into play. The Manhattan native has climbed the ladder by dropping mixtape after mixtape culminating in the debut of his first official project, Minute After Midnite.

Filled with production by beatsmiths such as Dame Grease, K-Salaam & Beatnik, Statik Selektah, and M-Phazes (winner of the beat competition at Sha Money XL’s One Stop Shop Producer Conference), the album does its part to give the Empire State a well-needed jolt.

Starting with ‘The Triumph,’ he wastes no time in getting situated with lines like, “Passin’ of the torch, newest disciple/I’m the prophecy fulfilled, call me music survival/rappers ruin the cycle/now the movement is stifle/but my motions are perpetual/conclusion is final.”

From there, he takes people on a journey through the worst neighborhoods in America with ‘Ghetto USA’ featuring Tess. Donnie Goines takes the classic ‘What I Am’ from Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians and turns it into his own version, while running through numerous characteristics that make him the person who he is.

On ‘Ricky’s Story,’ Donnie Goines gives the listeners a taste of his narrative abilities, as he executes the tale of a young soul lost in the concrete jungle. One of the standout tracks on the album is ‘I Am Moving’ (one of three songs produced by Dame Grease). The song itself is sort of like a break in the album with production going away from the edgy New York sound and being replaced with soothing melodic melodies instead.

The rest of the CD contains a mixture of material like the female accounts of ‘The Look,’ the self-biography of ‘Can’t Fit In My Shoes,’ ‘As The World Turns,’ and the true story of him losing his son on ‘Heaven Is With You.’

Minute After Midnite is one of those debuts that stand a chance of getting slept on due to the fact it lacks the flashiness that has engulfed today’s Hip-Hop scene. But the people who pass on this record can be the same ones to blame for the reason why New York Hip-Hop has faltered.

Without the support of new blood, there’s no telling on how much longer the old blood banks will hold up—and Donnie Goines is a transfusion worth taking a chance on.

Rating: 3.5

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