In the past five years, New York rap has quietly crept its way back to prominent status in hip-hop. The new crop of young and talented MC's from the Empire State has given the scene a breath of fresh air and a sound that resonates with the youth. One of those rappers bringing the spotlight back to New York has been Brooklyn native Troy Ave. With co-signs from some of the biggest names in the industry and his hit "All About The Money" getting heavy radio play nationwide, Troy reps the city once again on his new LP Major Without A Deal.

Staying true to his "Restore the classic feeling" motto, Troy keeps the essence of New York hip-hop alive and well on the album. From the guest features to the producers, the album is a representation of the streets of New York, but more than anything it shows the growth Troy Ave has made as an artist since his last full-length, New York City: The Album.

From the start of Major Without A Deal, Troy kicks things off in triumphant manner with Harlem's finest, Cam'ron, on "Quarter Million." The trumpet-inspired production of Ted Smooth mixed with Cam's patented flow and Troy's cool, laid back lyrics about his desire for money and success make for a worthy intro that sets the tone for the album.

Troy Ave's beat selection on the project is remarkable, a skill that the Brooklyn native has developed over the years to help him find the best type of beat for his style. "Young King" and "Fake Butt Busta" are perfect examples of this, as Troy Ave finds it easy to switch up between melodic flows and straight-forward raps. Another song that shows Troy's ability to shine as an overall artist—and probably his most radio friendly song to date—is "Doo Doo." The feel good piano-led track is an unexpected one from Troy Ave that not only solidifies his growth, but also highlights his ability to make mainstream records.

Major Without A Deal is loaded with features—50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe and Jadakiss are among those who lend a verse—but it's Troy's ability to use the guests wisely that helps him shine next to some of the biggest names in hip-hop. On "Bang Bang," Troy Ave stands tall next to 50 as both MCs spit about moving weight and getting money the only way they know how. Troy even address the comparisons to 50 on the track by spitting, "People say I sound like Fif, okay dummy/I guess I sound like I'm just getting money."

Overall, Troy Ave continues to show improvement and growth as an MC with his latest project, and his ear for beats and ability to pick out correct guest features for certain tracks will only bring bigger and better things in the future. Major Without A Deal is another step forward for Troy Ave, but it's also another win for the birthplace of hip-hop. —Roger Krastz