Reminisce with Alex Ruffin and Michael Jordan, circa 1996 in “Space Jam.”

I don’t always like recommending new artists, but when I do, it has to be a pretty cool artist.  I came across this guy who seems like he is really immersed in his music, and hip-hop culture.  Twenty-one year old, Stamford, Connecticut artist Alex Ruffin is a up and comer who is Usually Better [with] Every Rhyme (also the name of one of his mixtapes).  After dropping out of school, quitting his job, and losing a parent at the beginning of 2014, the budding artist found direction in creating music as he began to build his debut mixtape Grown a$$ Kid.  What I like most about Alex is that he keeps things real; for instance read the statement he released with his mixtape:

“I started recording this project in January of 2014 after dropping out of college, quitting a job and losing my mother to cancer. Today (September 25th 2014) would have been her 50th birthday and I made this project in entirety for her truthfully.  All of my energy has been put into this piece of work. I appreciate every single one of you taking the time out of your day to lend an ear to this.” – Alex Ruffin (@AlexRuffin1993)

In his mixtape debut Grown a$$ Kid, a 10-track LP featuring Brandun Deshay and tons of production from Shepard, Ruffin combines a 90′s boom bap sound with mellow beats and a relaxed flow, paying homage to the memories of his childhood, and speaking on his refusal to grow up.  Nineties kids will find themselves reminiscing with Alex with tracks like the more aggressive “Space Jam” and “Since We’re Being Honest.”  Grown a$$ Kid is a very personal project, which tracks like “Jirachi,” dedicated to his mother who recently passed away from cancer, that showcases Ruffin’s lyrical abilities, while giving us a glimpse into his mind.

The project is packed full golden era sound, and Alex can rap his ass off, too.

You can listen to his Grown a$$ Kid mixtape below.

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Syed Mikhail Hussain is fan of all things NYC and Hip Hop. Winner of the sperm race back in ’89. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter at @swishthis.