Late in the fourth quarter of 2016, Dave East and Juelz Santana decided to join forces for ‘Time Ticking’, a monstrous single which screamed NYC without mentioning it once (well other than the intro adlib). The two Harlemites enlisted the now-incarcerated rappers Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel for vocal assistance, and left the production duties to the Philadelphian hit-maker, Jahlil Beats. The upshot: an East Coast call-to-arms.
Given that two of the featured artists are both serving seven-year sentences, it was only right that Juelz and Dave provided some visuals as a sign of solidarity with their fellow New Yorkers. The video bounces between the corners and clubs of Harlem, with the MCs and their respective entourages all rocking ripped denim and Timberlands to balance the old with the new. Speaking of which, that’s exactly what the track does; Dave East, as he demonstrated on ‘Kairi Chanel’, has a knack for taking his beloved boom bap sound – polishing it – and marketing it to an audience that have perhaps never heard the term.
Bobby and Rowdy are, for obvious reasons, notably absent from the video. However, Juelz and Dave make up for it by going crazy when their slick hook comes round – and the whole package serves as sonic and visual evidence of the pair’s stake in the New York scene.