Over the past decade, Jay Worthy has become one of the most dependable members of the West Coast underground. The Compton-by-way-of-Vancouver emcee is half of LNDN DRGS, the project he formed with producer Sean House in 2014. The late A$AP Yams was an early champion, and his mentorship opened the door to work with the likes of Curren$yG Perico, and Larry June. As a solo artist, Worthy’s racked up solid albums with A-list producers like DJ MuggsHarry Fraud, and the Alchemist. He’s also signed to Griselda Records, though his luxurious California sound doesn’t really align with the label’s typical warped-cassette grime. Worthy’s made his career by shrewdly choosing associates; though not the most technically skilled rapper, he’s a master of vibe. His true talent lies in finding fellow travelers who share his vision.

Worthy’s latest album, Nothing Bigger Than the Program, continues his streak of inspired collaborations, pairing him with underground legend Roc Marciano. Marci’s impeccable ear for dusty, psychedelic loops makes this Worthy’s grimiest album, the closest he’s come to embodying the Griselda ethos. It’s also one of his most feature-packed projects, as all but two songs (“How?” and “Players Only”) have guest verses. Nothing about this music feels tossed-off: Marci’s kush-scented production feels perfectly suited to Worthy’s gangster-next-door persona and the two, along with a committee of criminal-minded consiglieres, put together a carefully considered set of fun, sleazy rap songs.

Marci doesn’t always get his proper due as a producer. His solo records are self-contained worlds; the post-RZA sound he whittled to the bare essentials with 2010’s Marcberg laid the groundwork for much of today’s prestige rap landscape. When he produces for other artists, he tends to work with more polarizing rappers like Stove God Cooks or Flee Lord. Worthy has a more immediately agreeable charm, his most egregious offense being a slinky L.A. flow that might not always land right on East Coast ears. But Marci’s minimal, often drumless beats are the ideal backdrop for Worthy, whose push-pull delivery slips easily into each nook and cranny.

Take, for example, the title track, where Marci accents the descending wah-pedal guitar with a kick-cymbal combo but leaves the loop otherwise unadorned. Worthy raps as if he’s late for an appointment, rushing through the end of each bar nearly breathless. When the hook comes around, he crushes “Aw damn, they shooting” and “I swear to God I couldn’t make this shit up” into an urgent, wobbling run-on sentence. Even if Worthy isn’t dropping quotable lines, his delivery has a certain electricity to it, a crackling energy found throughout Nothing Bigger.

“Wake Up” is the strongest track, and it expertly distills the strengths of Worthy and Marci’s partnership. The soft-focus beat feels like a funk band warming up two bloody marys deep, unsure of where the groove will take them. Worthy spits a day-in-the-life verse that moves from nursing a hangover to riding to “Maryland in a Chevy coupe,” presumably dirty. Marci shows up in top form for an unannounced verse, dissecting and collaging multisyllabic rhyme schemes. The two sound completely natural together, and Marci’s appearance on the mic feels like a stamp of approval. Alongside stellar verses elsewhere on the record from veterans like Bun B and Kurupt, it’s a testament to the good will that Worthy has earned in the hip-hop community and another turning point in his evolution from sturdy to sought-after.