The Newark native dropped his latest project on Friday May, 29

New Jersey has a chip on its shoulder. Not quite New York and not quite Philadelphia, the state is often seen as a dumping ground for the region’s metropolitan area. North Jersey aligns with the five boroughs, South Jersey with Philly, creating divisions which leave the state in a cultural no man’s land.

That characterization says nothing however, of the artists that claim parts of the state, doing so against the popular idea that all the successful people from Jersey flee. Enter Tru Trilla, a member of the 050 Boyz and born and raised Brick City rap legend coming through with his latest project, God of Barz.

Released on May 29 by New Dawn Records, Tru uses the project to take aim at all manner of fakes, snitches and lames. Born of the battle rap and politically charged traditions of the 90s, Tru carries the weight of longevity in his bars. “Society tries to write us off and use propaganda to write their wrongs/ When the real spoke up they raised the bar/High frequency lyrics, you heard the word of God,” he spits on “Real Rap.”

He’s as much aiming his lyrical assault at whack rappers — he enacts his vengeance against informants and mumble rappers on “Fake Views” — as he his criticizing the societal strategies lobbied against black empowerment. It’s fitting that God of Barz drops days after former hip-hop artist Geroge Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police. Having worked for everything in his life and career, Tru identifies with being the man underfoot of a legitimized hate group.

Tru’s production, provided by an international cast including Chicago’s DNA Beatz, Barcelona’s Sumerio Square and the UK’s Chat One, is grittily New Jersey. The tracks pound away with thumping organ keys, horn flips and a rugged calamity that shines a spotlight on every injustice Tru uncovers. The eighth cut, “God’s Mercy,” drives home Tru’s mission statement that wages war against duplicitous news networks and “woke” hypocrites (“Fake vegetarians addicted to real meat/Fox fake news, fake food KFC/Y’all ain’t real, we know your flow GMO) on Clinton Place’s unique flute work.

Just as fascinating as the production is Tru’s hesitance to call in a favor from long-time collaborator Treach. Tru has been affiliated with Naughty By Nature’s lead rapper for years, but instead enlists bars from Newark natives Middy Murdock, Fly Kwa, Confucious and Prince AK.

How much is experience worth? Tru Trilla has been hustling for the better part of three decades and remains committed to his sound. He has endured the majority of rap’s historical canon — coastal feuds, ringtone rap, hypercommercialization, trap, SoundCloud — and managed to come away with a clarity of voice fueled by his own conviction. Masonry lasts upwards of 100 years. Like his hometown Brick City, Tru Trilla is built to last.