Roc Marciano is better than you, and he knows it. Just face it. Put up any of your favorites against the New York spitter: bar for bar, they're almost certainly going to come up short. This is the guy that showed up “bang[ing] the heiress on the terrace” on Prodigy's album no less – the nerve. He rapped circles around Action Bronson on Blue Chips (“Vagina splash like apple cider / …I'm in the recliner, we traced like eye liner”), and Bronson still showed up for more here: he knows the respect due. I mean, damn.

Starting up his latest, Rosebudd's Revenge 2: The Bitter Dose, following its predecessor just over a year later, it's clear nothing has changed. To his competitors: “You should find work at Home Depot.” He isn't pressed. Ever the hustler, Marciano has dropped the album early, offering his core fans a chance to cop the LP early with a higher price tag. They won't waste a dime.

Musically, Marciano and compatriot Ka (who is admittedly missed in the proceedings here), have more successfully mined the New York sounds of yesteryear than most. While Joey Bada$$ enjoyed over-inflated hype for 1999, the two had been providing far more reliable throwback vibes for years. Well, they're still at the top of their game, while Bada$$ reportedly preps a project with xxxtentacion. No further comment necessary.

The beats practically ooze New York in its prime, with Marciano's largely self-produced sound seeping with grime as confidently as ever. However, he comfortably avoids the trap so many old school minded cats fall into: his production doesn't sound overly derivative of anyone. Never does a beat feel cribbed from the DJ Premier or Pete Rock schools of thought, and so on.

Far from the widespread mimicry prominent with artists of Marciano's sort, you will feel as if you're enjoying an alternate future in which 90's NY production never went out of vogue, evolving into the sounds found here. Even when the likes of “Saks Fifth” recall Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... vibes, it feels like a growth, something all its own.

Other times, he's more bold than ever, with 'The Sauce' boasting a machine-like beat, whirring and clicking its way across one of the strangest, coolest soundscapes to grace rap in recent memory. With the toolbox Marciano plays with suddenly returning a tad more back into vogue with Shady Records signing the grim Conway and Westside Gunn, and determined veteran Lloyd Banks chipping away as ever alongside them, Roc continues to prove himself the purest purveyor of the form. You needn't really look beyond Rosebudd's Revenge 2: The Bitter Dose. Better get in those hardware store applications, folk.