TOOTHPASTE is a new twosome made up of Kassa Overall, who–outside of drumming for jazz pianist Vijay Iyer–has rapped alongside the members of Das Racist (and done much more), and Tecla Esposito, a New York City artist whose work with similar collaborators reflects her impressively broad range of style. As Toothpaste the duo has readied 1996, a new 14-song project that catches them right at the intersections of skill, talent and fun as they rap over classic tracks from the year in question. Here they take on Ghostface Killah’s Ironman cut, “Daytona 5000.”
The enormous posse cut “Daytona 900”–which features, in order, Big Baby Gandhi, Chaz Van Queen, Lakutis, DVS, Davito, Iron Soloman and Kool A.D.–is as much of a race as it sounds like. With Kassa and Tec on verses two and three respectively, it’s as if no rapper here wastes a bar; it’s hard, even, to say who’s got the top verse.
Frankly, the confidence of this cypher is palpable and that–on top of its participants being past technically proficient–is what makes it so enjoyable. As much as I want to note Kassa’s changes in flow or the end of Tec’s verse or the a cappella ending of the whole track (or the couple Drake references), it seems useless to go off quoting one person when everyone involved has something to show. “Daytona” is available for stream and download below.