It’s been a while since we had a really good Organized Crime Movie.  “The Irishman” cost Netflix millions to produce, with the assembly of an all star cast that looked great on paper, but really didnt bring home the trophy of “New Crime Cult Classic” when it was all said and done.  In steps MRLN RECORDS, The Young Miami Grime Hop producer, with a Laptop instead of a camera. Teamed up with two young Screen Writers, SCRUE HEFNER & [dru], who also take the lead roles in their freshly penned Gangster “flick”, THE VERMILIAN HEIST, the 3 have delivered a modern tale of lyrical larceny that could compete with the likes of HEAT and THE ITALLIAN JOB.  Get your corn kernels popping, make your bathroom run now, and press play on your new favorite Mob Movie.


Please turn your cellphones off and keep the talking to a minimum, the movie is starting. Actually, this movie started in 2023 when the Miami Hip Hop scene began to hear rumblings of a new movement of young spitters who had joined forces with a producer no one had ever heard of in the City, “The Crate Digger” and Architect of THE VERMILIAN HEIST, SHADOW LEAGUE RECORDS Producer MRLN RECORDS.  It was August/September of 2023 when I first caught wind of MRLN & the SHADOW LEAGUE movement when they sent me MRLN’s BAKED GOODS EP for review.  At first, I assumed this would be some Down South Drill immitation by some young kids trying to copy the popular flavor of the month. And in Assuming I made an ASS of myself.  These cats were the furthest thing from Commercial Clones. With a sound that can only be compared to the Grizelda lane because of its grimey grit, and how organized the team moves, SHADOW LEAGUE hit the So Flow Scene with a splash.  Opening for Indie greats like Stove God Cooks, and killing the stage at a number of 4K PRO and LA PLANCHA shows, the squad known as SLR established themselves very quickly as the young team to watch in Miami Hip Hop.  Now after dropping a slew of singles, & highly acclaimed solo LP’s by BIG J CSB (WWJD), & JAK MAKER (Dantes’ Garden), the League is back with their next installement, and this one is tailor made for the big screen.

On THE VERMILLION HEIST we finally get better aquainted with the baby faced [dru], who got international recognition earlier this year with his Ear Slicing Single “VAN GOGH”, and SCRUE HEFNER, the lady killer who you would be wiise not to leave your sister or gf around unattended.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to them on last years BAKED GOODS or this year’s soulful journey DANTE’S GARDEN, this latest album is the perfect oppurtunity to get to know them up close and personal without any side distractions.  Well, other than the Bank Alarm going off and police sirens growing louder.

The 1st thing you learn about these two professional spotlight theives is their aliases (cuz every serious bank robber needs an alias right?).  SCRUE aka JULES, & [dru], who will now be referred to as VEGA. MRLN?? Thats THE CHEMIST. On the album opener they waste no time in letting you know who the fuck your dealing with. Don’t let the Vermillion Dollar Smiles fool you, these dudes are hard cases that mean business, but don’t put their business out there for everyone.  As JULES explains….

“Hey VEGA, who told these niggas I’m rich/ Cuz I never tell niggas Shit/ How much I got, How much I bought/ If a girl loves me I tell her shes stupid, Tell her the same if she loves me not/ Crabs in a barrel, the closer you get to the Top, the Closer you get to the Drop/ If I make it out guess I’ll copp me a drop/”

On THE BIG GREEN the daasterdly duo make it clear what they walked through the door for in the first place. All the money, in the Bag, ASAP. JULES flexes with an air of extreme confidence “Who Bad? News Flash, I spit at Camels with My Rude Ass/ I look like money, Face Greener than Jim Careys New Mask”. While VEGA looks over the rat race and understands whats driving everybody to keep money circulating and how to get it circulating in his direction. He explains

I was part of the special invite audience that was crammed into THC Studios a couple of Saturdays ago for the premier “Screening” of THE VERMILLION HEIST, and what we heard on that night left the room in collective Awe.  It was more than just the thick cloud of exotic weed smoke in the air. The production throughout the 9 track LP is just pure audio/cinamatic magic.  MRLN RECS went through a meticulous post editing process to make the album flow like an attention gripping film that is slowly becoming a new favorite of yours with each scene that passes.

50/50 ends with a backstory building sound clip which bleeds beautifully into the soul stiring singing intro of “MANOS DE DIOS”. Here we are privy to the minds, and hearts of these two… Villains? No, thats not fair. Lets label them anti-heros. We only call people villains until we find out whats driving them to commit the crime, and in MANOS DE DIOS, we get a little bit of insight into what makes JULES & VEGA risk their lives for the bag. For VEGA its “Faith that he got from the Sciences.” as he paints a portrait comparing himself to “De La Soul and De La Rocha (As in Rage Against the Machine front man Zach De La Rocha). While JULES does it for “Them niggas who’s only dream is blowing up/ With Bottomless Cups that dont know the meaning of enough/” What does he believe in?

“Right hand of God, and its resting on Bitch Ass/ Really I cant blame him, its the least that I could give back.”  #BARS

This plays out like a brief flashback, which J & V snap you out of violently as the heist continues back at the bank.  Talking slick shit all over JACOB & CO, you can just picture them dancing around the cowering customers and bank employees as they lift them of their possesions, the cash in the registers and now they leading the bank Manager to the Safe in the back. The only thing between them and a Big Payout is a 3.5 foot vault door, and the cops who were certainly on their way. Do they sound nervous at all?  But how are they gonna gain access to this treasure?  Explosives? A stethascope and finely tuned ears and fingers? You’re getting warmer.  VEGA steps to the Vault door keypad, and attaches a pair of Airpods that play “LEGENDARIO”. The altered harmonies in the loop interface with the Safe software and JULES & VEGA gain entry by the power of their very words, smoothly gliding over a soaring sample loop with minimal percussions. Might as well have said “Open Says a Me”.

You know that moment in the movie where TONY starts racking in the dough. Usually goes into a montage segement of money counting, money moving, money spending.  Thats how I picture this scene in the movie. Where the safe door swings open slowley and the dasterdly duo go crazy stuffing duffle bags with stacks of cash and safe deposit box contents, all in slow motion as the smooth instrumental of  HAND ON THE BIBLE steadily thumps.  When I asked the crew what each of their favorite songs were, [dru] was the first to reply….

“As of right now it’s gotta be Hand to the Bible. For that one in particular I felt like Scrúe dropped one of the hardest verses I’ve ever heard from ANYONE, all time! That set the bar to astronomical heights. I had to come back with what I think is the hardest verse I’ve done so far in my career, Scrúe made me get into a different bag with this one.”

SCRUE’s Favorite track on the album just happens to be the next scene in the movie, the get away scene, “RED LIGHT”  HEF explains…

“For me it’s been Red Light there’s something about it that’s so incredible from the moment the production starts and think me & Dru definitely matched the cinematic feel Mrln laid, and each others skill level on those verses and it’s punctuated with the joint outro we both do together, and on a personal note we both have real stories about life changing events that have happened at red lights why the first line of the outro is “120 seconds change your life…everything divine timing is timeless”. That song to me is the culmination of high skill level from the 3 of us and showing who you are through your art.”

MRLN who impressed the hell out of the audience and his fellow producers at the SO FLOW SOUNDCLASH shared with us his favorite cut off the album, and some insight on how long this project has been in the works.

 “My favorite song on the album is Mano De Dios. We’ve been holding that song since 2022. I believe I made it at “The Realm” (Shadow League studios), and on that particular day dru was just dealing with personal stuff and he wasn’t in the headspace to write or record. I kept telling em bro just write what you feel, and boom he one taked that verse you hear today. Then Scrue heard the joint and decided to add his verse later on. Then the rest is history. But ever since then I knew this song was gonna come out. I just didn’t know on what project. I’m glad we kinda built the project around that one and J vs V. It was important for us to show depth especially when it’s a duo tape. A lot of rappers do duo tapes and it’s just bars (nothing wrong with that obviously) , but this helped us show more character and thought was put into the product.”

The Vermillion Heist Pic 1
Jewels and Vega Pic 1
Vermillion Heist Listening Party
Vermillion Heist Listening Party 2
The Vermillion Heist Pic 2

I completely agree with SCRUE HEF, and MRLN.  MANO DE DIOS did its job in granting us a glimps behind the ski masks, and “RED LIGHT” is definetely one of my top 3 joints on a project full of bangers. As it should be, this is after all the Apex of the movie, the big shoot out with the pigs and the heart stopping stunt driving escape by THE CHEMIST who is also the Getaway driver.

This gives way to the Victory scene before the credits roll.  We find our 3 triumphant theives celebrating once the heat has died down and they are in the clear. The purse is split evenly in 3, they shake hands and part ways. THE CHEMIST in a Tesla Truck, JULES in a Lambo with a fine foreign female sitting shotgun, and VEGA peels off dolo, on a Ducati.  All riding off in to the West Kendall Sunset, until the next SHADOW LEAGUE RECORDS Block Buster drops.

Speaking of which, MARK YOUR CALENDARS for Saturday July 27, 8pm at LINCOLNS BEARD BREWING. The SHADOW LEAGUE’S own JAK MAKER will be presenting his New Album DANTE’S GARDEN, performed live in its intirety. You do not want to miss this.  Flyer Below.

Do yourself a favor and Follow SHADOW LEAGUE RECORDS and all of their members.

IG: @shadowleaguerecords






Dantes Garden Flyer

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.

8ch2Owens WVCC