Your Old Droog dives deeper into his roots with two new singles

“Pravda” single cover art for Your Old Droog’s new album coming soon. Your Old Droog

The Ukrainian American rapper out of New York releases two singles off his upcoming album titled, “Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition.”

Ukrainian born rapper Your Old Droog, which means “Your Old Friend” in Russian, surprised his fans by releasing two singles and announcing his upcoming album titled, “Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition” that will be available on Dec. 4. Where his previous album, “Jewelry,” went in-depth to his Jewish roots, the two singles released, titled, “Ukraine,” and “Pravda,” continue a similar trend, this time with the rapper paying homage to his Ukrainian heritage. These two singles continue Droog’s raw sound and clever lyrics while adding an Eastern European flair that is non-existent in today’s hip hop scene.  

The first track to come out, “Ukraine,” offers a unique perspective of the rapper’s struggle to fit in from defecting Ukraine to live in Brooklyn, New York in his childhood to being a Jewish, Ukranian immigrant, which is unheard of in the current rap scene. The lyrics in “Ukraine” showcase this theme from the jump-starting the first verse off with, “They said go back where you came from, can’t go where I came from/ As a kid we escaped and that shit ain’t no game that’s fun,” following with, “Outsider since day one, been that way since way young/ Used to squirm in the seat when teachers called out my name, son.”

The track is produced by artists Droog frequently features in his music, Mach-Hommy and Tha God Fahim which offers a beat that complements Droog’s cigarette stained and hoarse voice, heavy drums with a background of curious and uneasy sounding synths with a dash of creepy piano keys. Overall “Ukraine” showcases a more personal story about his career beyond the rap scene from Your Old Droog that new listeners may not know about.

The second single to release, “Pravda,” features an arsenal of Droog’s longtime associates Mach-Hommy, Tha God Fahim, Black Thought and a surprise appearance from Run the Jewel’s El-P. According to Your Old Droog this is the first track recorded for the album while all the artists were in New York together for the quarantine lockdown.  

Though the artwork for the single displays Droog in a military style propaganda poster found in the forties, the lyrics in “Pravda” don’t have a certain theme, it’s more of a competition between the five rappers for whose verse can make the listener scrunch up their face and replay their part the most. Each artist shines on their verse through clever and humorous play on words, and Your Old Droog even decides to confuse most of his audience by switching in and out of speaking English and Russian lyrics for the first time in his career. It works to his benefit, however, he’s able to mix them in the right amount where the listeners not fluent in the language of the Motherland don’t start to get confused as to what’s going on in the track while showcasing his talent of being able to do something most people can’t do in one language, let alone two.  

Over a quiet yet noticeable groovy bassline and a sample of some echoed vocals faintly in the background produced by Roper Williams, “Pravda” is a very promising single that will attract new listeners to the world of Droog and will have his returning fans playing the song on repeat in anticipation for the entire album release in December.

“Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition” is available for preorder, which features shirts, digital and physical copies of the album, including a vinyl colored to represent the flag of Ukraine. A deluxe edition features the same vinyl, along with babushka dolls handmade in Russia and Soviet Union propaganda posters displaying Your Old Droog and an x-ray flexi disc that was used to smuggle in banned music from the Soviet Union. The album will be his first release of the year after releasing three separate projects: “It Wasn’t Even Close,” “Transportation” and “Jewelry” in 2019.