label: hhi
compilation featuring: mcenroe, birdapres, mars ill, lost won, the unseen, paradigm, starving artists crew, others.
1. mcenroe feat. Birdapres "One More Tomorrow"
2. FuseONE "Trail Of Despair"
3. Mars ILL "My Life"

4. Logic "Dull Day"

5. Lost Won "Suicide Diaries"
6. Pip Skid "I Rap, You Listen"
7. iCON The Mic King "Insight"
8. JAQ "Testament"
9. Genelec & Memphis Reigns "Ground Zero"
10. The Unseen "Beyond Addiction"
11. Paradigm "Freedom Fighters"
12. Soso feat. Epic "Blessed"
13. Erosadis "Rotten Apple"
14. Starving Artists Crew "Transitions"


What initially comes to mind would be an unfair dismissal of this compilation, that intends to collect honest efforts by a broad spectrum of artists, coming from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, doing a broad spectrum of songs. The intention successfully achieved, what then again doesn't say anything about the appeal this record is able to collect. And before we burn any bridges, what shall be said is, that the audience this is aiming for, will enjoy it. Those that always hated, will continue to hate. But damn, ignorant people got opinions too.

There are some tracks on here, that are fully to our approval. With "My Life", Mars ILL deliver a track that does not provoke any bickering. What Dust and ManCHILD did is how things should be done, with the beat not being over done, and the lyrics being written eloquently and spoken confidentially, containing thoughts that are worthy to ponder. As good as this is, the best track on here is Lost Won's "Suicide Diaries", this featuring a simply amazing beat by Theory One. Lyrically this is developed too, with the flow being fine tuned and the deliver showing the quality of an emcee, that is knowing what he's doing. The disturbed anxiousness, that makes Genelec & Memphis Reigns sound like they expect the bomb to drop any minute now, is exactly what makes this "Ground Zero" another one of the strong tracks on here. And at the end, we get an intermission, that happens to be an ill add on, completing the impression, with its insane sounds and effects, rounding out this offering.

Further and more on the calm side, while it still being intense, is the The Unseen offering "Beyond Addiction", that features the poetism of Malik Ameer, along with the live instruments of his back up. This is comfortably left side, being also a confident step further in developing their style. Also full props gets the political "Freedom Fighters" by Paradigm. This elaborates his stance, making it more of a mentioning track at times. But this is done over one of the best beats on the whole compilation, actually over a beat that seems to reflect the respect Paradigm feels for the ones he mentions. The last track "Transition" is also dope, with the Starving Artists Crew delivering quality offerings in the beat and lyrics department, making both an enjoyable experience.

Now, we are also treated with a bundle of tracks that we enjoy, but if analyzed under a magnifying glass, we hear a few things that are blackening the should be spotless overall impression. Like the opening track, by Canadians mcenroe and Birdapres. The scratching and percussion are elements that are giving the sour taste, while the strings and other samples are more what we enjoy. The two emcees use "One More Tomorrow" to discuss the trial and tribulations of an artist. HHI writer FuseONE is connecting with ognihs and Martin West for "Trail Of Despair", who didn't consider the beat to be finished, and so added a guitar, to its misfortune. Fuse is struggling to make his voice have an impact, as it sounds shaking at times, and not like the solid fist it should be. "Dull Day" starts promising, as the beat is cool, it having a summer lounge chill vibe. But Logic suffers from an almost shrieking voice, and the lyrics he chose to rhyme over the beat are ill matching, as they are contrasting the rather pleased sound of the beat. mcenroe returns to give us another beat, this time used by Pip Skid on "I Rap, You Listen". Pip gives us analysis and his point of view, that are well carried by the beat. The beat changes up at times, what the lyrics fail to adapt to, making the two sound less connected at times.

iCON The Mic King is taking the interesting concept of rhyming as a blind man on "Insight", him telling us about aspects, that would change once we'd lose our eyesight and that we are quite likely not yet thought about. But the beat by Leprechaun is not able to follow the quality of the lyrics, it not being of the same deepness, leaving us rather indifferent to it. The same can be said about DJ Tommee's beat on "Testament". JAQ's lyrics are again the winner on here, especially them being spoken with a comfortable voice. This talks about how hip hop should be, but at times sounds like it criticizes things that itself commits the very moment. The beat of "Blessed", the Soso featuring Epic track, has us pleased, while the lyrics at the beginning seem to be easy to relate to, before they then goes into something gone madly wrong, what was rather uncalled for. Erosadis is somewhat lyrically providing the anti-thesis on "Rotten Apple". The drum is unfortunate on here though, while the other sounds would have been dark, meaning good, enough.

And so, to wrap this up, let's put a disclaimer in here: it's not that I don't like this record. The whole thing is, that many of the cuts start on the right path, but then unfortunately add a something to the song, that make it result in a bitter bite overall. That makes it easy for haters to call this pseudo-intellectual, philosophical whining, that seems to look for a shoulder to feel sorry for itself. And they will complain that at times this lacks to entertain or give reason why we should spend our time with it. A neutral person would say, that much makes this an uncomfortable record, it almost demanding a depression from you to be in a depressed state to soak this up. But the same person would also not fail to acknowledge the artistic integrity and honesty that went into these tracks.

review: tadah

2000 - 2012.08 by urban smarts | contact