#CyphLyfeReview ROME MALLORY x NUMBZ: “WINNER CIRCLE” EP
As the “Year of the Mamba” kicks off, North Carolina’s ROME MALLORY and New Jersey Emcee/Producer NUMBZ are more than ready to play in the Indie Market. With years of experience and multiple albums under their individual belts, the 2 East Coast Big Men are combining forces to level up their game into the “WINNERS CIRCLE”. Both had exciting years in 2023 with the release of 4 projects from ROME MALLORY, including the “BRAVE NEW WORLD” EP, produced by Buenos Aires Argentina Producer PERSEO BEATZ, which WVCC RADIO covered extensively, and “THE BREAKTHROUGH”, which was included in the DOOM BOX Top 100 Albums of 2023 list out of Scottland Europe. NUMBZ left earth last year, dropping 4 Full length albums, Including Top 10 AOTY Nominee TRIFECTA with FURIOUS STYLEZ, 2 EPs (Including his Debut Collab with ROME MALLORY, “AND THE WINNER IS”), and several singles through out the year that were mostly dropped as 3 song Maxi Singles. The output from these 2 was rediculous, and if it wasnt enough to place them perminantly on your radar, their latest release, WINNER CIRCLE should solidify them as the new 2 Man Scoring Machine to keep your eyes on.
Listen to WINNER’S CIRCLE by ROME MALLORY & NUMBZ
“WINNER’S CIRCLE” is the follow up to last years “AND THE WINNER IS” collaboration between ROME MAL & NUMB. It continues the series theme of speaking success into existance that these two Veteran spitters set in motion back on their 1st EP. From 6 tracks on the 1st project to 7 tracks on this release, the evolution isnt on the quantaty of songs, but in the quality of the material these brothers have layed down in the booth. They are using the experiences they have garnered over the years to make this a complete banger of Year Opening release. Rather than relaxing after an extremely productive year, just like the Kobe Bryant sampled intro infers, they are far from satisfied or content with their recent success. Their End Goal is much bigger than making it on some Playlists and getting a little recognition. As ROME MALLORY states on the album opening Title Track, “I give a fuck about awards I won consecutive / The Bigger Picture I developed from the Negative / I’m A Positive, Out for Dead Presidents/ We Transforming ignorance into Excellence”. These brothers are out here performing Audio Alchemy.
You can clearly hear on tracks like WINNERS CIRCLE, and one of my personal favorites NEED YOU, that NUMBZ could have handled production duties on the whole project himself if he so chose to, and it would have come out just as banging. However, ECLECTIC RENEGADE is a unit with many outside assets they can call upon, like NUMBZ’ long time partner, FURIOUS STYLEZ, who supplies a solid street slapper on SET THE TRENDS, or MERAKAI who delivers the soulful lead single, “DO WHAT I DO”, which is currently on rotation on WVCC RADIO and will be hitting Underground Playlists and Mixtapes for the rest of January.
Then there’s my personal Top 3 cuts on the LP. “FASTEST”, featuring NYs AAQIL ALI, who bounces off the walls of the jazzy xylophone scented beat like Street Fighters Vega set on Turbo Mode. “BRENDA’S DAUGHTER” a cautionary tale of women who fall for the allure of vanity, money and power, thinking it will keep them protected only to get burried under the trecherous walls they build around themselves. ROME MALLORY paints the picture with bars like
“10 Years Fast Forward / Standards Lowered / No One to hold her, Old Boy on a restraining Order/ Remember Nerds from High School / Now they Quite Cool/ Rich and Successful, while you broke and just Stress filled/Laid of Tuesday, Rents do Friday / Talk about a Nice Day, you stuck with a Migrane/”
He ends his verse with a bar we can all relate to, men and women, “You stayed Fly, but your life is a mess / Shaking my head as I’m looking at your Friend Request”. DAMNNNN!!! NUMBZ backs it up with a story of a “Young Black Girl Lost, who never knew her worth / Never knew her Pops, he left her at birth” and how the way she dealt with her feelings of abandonment made her “More Dangerous than a Bomb Threat”. These brothers aren’t using BRENDA’S DAUGHTER, a brilliant play off of the Legendary TuPac’s “BRENDA’S GOT A BABY”, as an excuse to bad mouth women or talk down on them. Rather they take this chance to address a serious matter in our societies where women are slowley being influenced to leave their natural roles as Nurturers, Creators, Healers, Lovers and Intuitive Spiritual Leaders. NUMBZ’ ends his heart breaking story incouraging his fellow sisters to “Keep there eyes on the prize and never let up/ Truth be Told, You gotta Do Better/”. The beat is for the streets and the message is for the people. This one is def a 4 Point shot, 3 points Swish plus the And 1.
My favorite joint on the album tho has to be “FIND YOURSELF. Which is basically the same message as BRENDA’S DAUGHTER accept for all Creatives who have been caught in the addictive web of providing the internet with constant content. This is a song that everyone is touched by, wether its the artist who can’t stop comparing himself to other creatives he sees online, or the Young Girl who struggles with her self immage because she cant match the Over Filtered status quo of what it means to be beautiful in todays Social Media society, or the child who can’t get their parents attention because they are too addicted to their phones to notice their kids are in desperate need of present parents. The potent message of FIND YOURSELF is only made more poingant by the saultry hook sung by ST. MARSHALL who puts the soul stirring cherry on top of this moving banger.
If the metaphor the duo is shooting for on WINNING CIRCLE is that of a Championship Duo, like 2024’s Underground Shaq and Koby, they are definetly displaying both the Power, Grit, Agility and Finesse to keep the score increasing on the board. If 2023 is any indicator, we are in for an exciting year of releases from both NUMBZ & ROME MALLORY individually. But to start the year off with this 1st release, which is hotter than the rock after a 3rd consecutive score on oldschool NBA JAMS, it just shows that ROME & NUMBZ got their eyes laser focused on a much bigger goal than just empressing their peers and critiques. They are on a campaign to grow their fanbase from North East to South East, Across the Map to the West Coast and over Seas. They are in this game for the long run, and are making sure they are no longer overlooked during talks about who is most active in the Indie Hip Hop League.
Written by 8ch2Owens
Founder of Vice City Cypher, WVCC Radio, PROFRESH Publicty. With over 20 Years in South Florida’s Hip Hop Scene 8ch2Owens has carved his name into the Miami Hip Hop history books, and now uses his talents to promote the best in South Florida Indie Hip Hop and Underground Hip Hop from around the globe.