label: MAD Krew
producers: arson, dj qwerk
guests: d-mo, anonymous twist, llamonte
website: arson's site
1. Intro
2. Everybody
3. Abnormal

4. Life, Rhythm

5. Bless The Mic feat. D-Mo
6. Beats, Rhymes & Forces
7. Crazy, Insane
8. Elevate
9. Here We Go Again
10. Enter Into The New
11. My Perspective
12. Off The Wall feat. D-Mo
13. The MAD Krew Anthem
14. Underground Vibe
15. Let It Flow feat. Llamonte


Life Rhythm

You a new cat? Well, you gotta introduce yourself. Why not use the "Intro" for that? Talk about your purpose in this game, talk about what your approach, your angle is, and what we can expect from the rest of the album. Take one of your self produced beats, that works with the sampled horn section, and put shake hands words to the mix, and get it out to the people. 'Hey, here I am. And I don't have to remain in the corner, remain silent. Nope. It's me'.

Another horn is helping out on "Everybody", but the track is aight, although the bass in the back is adding little, and although the topic of the track is worth being talked about, the chorus seems separated from the rest. And while Arson is not weak on the mic, there's little charisma, little that would have us remember his styling, flow, delivery, voice. But that's very harsh to say, as it's not that bad. But the beat for "Abnormal", that's bad. The synthetic horn something, plus all the other annoying affects, make this a skip track. On the rhyme tip, Arson goes head to toe with battling rhymes, and again, the content is better than the wrapping. Arson gets props for not hiding what he is, and his confidence is not leaving, when he goes "skinny young kid with blonde hair, that's what I rep". Unlike others that like to hide behind some possible dark skin affiliation, this is honest and as such almost rare in hip hop. And again, the tight content is keeping us listening, while the beat, as well as the restrained delivery is not grasping us as much as the meaning.

Luckily enough, "Bless The Mic" is a dope track. Period. The beat is phat. It being approached with an aesthetic understanding, it is taken beyond the ultimately necessary boom and bap. While the voice alteration is a little annoying, it fits well with the complete feel of the track, and D-Mo is not only living up to Arson's quality behind the mic, he also complements his fellow rhymer's style. "Beats, Rhymes & Forces" is done in a style that we heard on other people's projects before, without being able to pin point it down where. Curiously enough, the piano wouldn't have been necessary, as this time around the bareness and minimalist ways actually worked well. While statements of his music being "a glimpse in the future of hip hop" is well settled in hip hop's tradition of bragging, it gets more and more annoying, actually having to deal with such claims, the artist knows he can't uphold.

But again, we are criticizing more than we should. And more than Arson deserves. A rookie needs feedback to grow. And this should be understood as such. That's why the edges in the flow on "Crazy, Insane" also have to be mentioned, while there shouldn't be too many words said about another okay, but not more, beat. On "Elevate", the enigmatic DJ Qwerk shows up to provide the Arson with one of his always dope beat offerings. As the album was moving along different vibes before, getting this new flavor does not interrupt the album rudely. The chorus does sound like the one done on "Everybody" though. Next up is "Here We Go Again", another track that sounds like something we heard before, and on this track we realize that Arson does not lack flow, but that his voice is holding him back.

Things start to repeat themselves on "Enter Into The New", but "My Perspective" is more appealing with a good effortless delivery and a seemingly fun to do beat. D-Mo then returns on "Off The Wall" to do some more spitting. The beat to "The MAD Krew Anthem" is again laced with horns, that do work, although the first impression is being confused by them. And Arson is still holding his ground with strong lyrics, so it's just a mishap that the beats and his voice can't compliment him. He then teams up with Anonymous Twist, who lends his scratching hands to "Underground Vibe", another strong track, that confirm that Arson got skills, on the mic and behind the boards. Skills that slightly glance through on "Let It Flow", a track that features Llamonte.

And on "Let It Flow" Arson says, that he was born in 1984. So he's still a young buck. And if he's honing his skills, practices and does not hesitate to listen to other people's thoughts, he will use the upcoming years, collecting experiences and notches in the hip hop world. After all this kid still has enough time to grow. That's why it wouldn't be fair to call this an average album, although it actually is. It much rather should be called a stepping stone on the path of possible progression.

review: tadah

2000 - 2012.08 by urban smarts | contact