featuring: mcenroe, birdapres, mars ill, lost won,
the unseen, paradigm, starving artists crew, others.
|1. mcenroe feat.
Birdapres "One More Tomorrow"
|2. FuseONE "Trail
|3. Mars ILL "My
4. Logic "Dull
|5. Lost Won "Suicide
|6. Pip Skid "I
Rap, You Listen"
|7. iCON The Mic King
|8. JAQ "Testament"
|9. Genelec & Memphis
Reigns "Ground Zero"
|10. The Unseen
|11. Paradigm "Freedom
|12. Soso feat.
|13. Erosadis "Rotten
|14. Starving Artists
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
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
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.