Who is Punch? If you’ve never heard the name, don’t sweat. The co-president of Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) has kept a pretty low profile as a rapper thus far. Compared to the label’s Black Hippy superstars Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q, Punch appears to have stayed in the background until recently. Terrence “Punch” Henderson oversees the company’s day-to-day operations and is Co-President Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith’s cousin. He’s previously made brief appearances on Ab-Soul’s Long Term Mentality (featured on the song ‘Time Is of the Essence’) and Schoolboy Q’s Setbacks (featured on the track ‘I’m Good’). Henderson is known for having a well-tuned ear for A&R and is credited for discovering TDE’s in-house producer Sounwave and TDE’s very first female artist SZA.
‘A Project Mind’ looks like the first solo project that showcases Punch’s skill on the mic. Filled with gritty lyrics and low-energy, soul-inspired production, Punch’s sound is reminiscent of a harder, grittier vibe present in old-school rap. The lyrics are filled with double-entendres that help prove his ability as a rapper. Jay Rock is similarly potent and rough-voiced on this track, and holds his own as a lyricist: “Concrete jungle come and take a trip, the wildlife/ Wild days and wild nights/ National Geographic images capture hazardous/ High definition camera sh**, if you flash better blast it quick.” The track is dark and moody overall, tuning in to the heavy, violent aspects of life in the projects on the West Coast.
Listen to Punch’s two latest releases, including ‘A Project Mind‘ featuring Jay Rock and BJ the Chicago Kid, here. Make sure to listen to ‘Untitled’. Although it doesn’t have a name, it’s a dope indication of the Top Dawg Co-President’s skill as an MC and skilled lyricist. Lately, TDE has been carving out a name as one of the most successful independent hip-hop labels out there. Check out FDRMX’s past feature on “first lady” of Top Dawg Entertainment, SZA, here.