On his latest effort, the Rules and Parameters EP, the Rochester-based rapper Pounds embraces the harsh truths of the kingpin life through some of his best music yet.
The six-track project represents the latest drop from the larger-than-life emcee, who has been super-busy this year. Just this past summer, he made a major splash with his nine track TUNA EP, and he’s clearly not looking to take any days off. Rules and Parameters takes the self-aware pain and braggadocio of TUNA and pushes it even further with standouts like “Rules” and “Francis Ford.”
This is especially true on the powerful cinematic highlight, “What A Feeling,” which may be Pounds’ most radio-friendly cut to date. Boasting a sing-along hook from I.Am.Tru.Starr, the track details the ups and downs that come with moving weight, and it’s all brought to life by the gravel-voiced rapper’s colorful bars. “I ain’t tryin’ to make no calls from Riker’s” and “I’m from a place where they ain’t proud of you” hit especially hard, as does this line from the hook: “Bury me a G and cover me in gold.”
The mindfulness with which Pounds raps makes him not just a noteworthy voice in mafioso rap, but in the genre as a whole. Call him a rising artist if you want, but he knows the score—particularly when it comes to his enemies trying to flex. When he spits “Talkin’ like a killer when you wouldn’t cut a pill in half” on the Big Lebowski-sampling “Rules,” it’s easy to understand where he’s comin’ from.