Monday, 22 April 2013

Common and Cocaine 80s - Congratulations

A No I.D. produced mellow joint featuring Common and some new dude called Cocaine 80s.  The joint is dope with a mellow Hammond organ sounding sample from the Chicago producer.  Common drops a nice narrative verse covering the wedding of a close friend passing social commentary as he goes.  Common has become adept that a rhymes like this and this is a perfect example of the type of mature lyrics that differentiate him from today's "hot stars".

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Rest in Peace to GURU

Three years since the passing of GURU (Keith Elam).  Rest in Peace to him. Alongside Premier they made up the most consistant Hip Hop group ever and the best Hip Hop dou to ever release music.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Adrian Younge presents Twelve Reasons to Die starring Ghostface Killah album review

Twelve Reasons to Die is the tenth studio album from founding Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. It is a concept album based on a comic book of the same name, it is based around Ghostface Killah's alter ego, Tony Starks as he reads the comic and writes songs to it.  The story is set in 1960s Italy, in which Starks fights against a crime organization, falls in love with the kingpin’s daughter, and seeks revenge when he is murdered. The album is entirely produced and composed by Adrian Younge, and executive produced by the RZA. The album was released on April 16, 2013 by the RZA's Soul Temple record label. It is a relatively short album made up of 12 tracks and coming in at just under forty minutes. Ghostface has been my favourite Wu member since he dropped his first solo album prior to that he was really just another background voice on the multitude of Wu albums. With Ironman I really started to take notice of Ghost but Supreme Clientelle I became a major Ghostface fan and this has continued ever since even including the off beat soul poetry album Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City. Therefore I not only get excited for a new Ghostface album but there is also an expectation from me (and many other Wu fans too I expect) that this is going to be another strong album. Some members of the Wu have failed to produce strong albums without the Rza's direction and production however Ghost is not one of these and he has shown he can produce a strong track despite who produces it. Adrian Younge, the producer behind this project has in the past produced film scores with a distinct hip-hop influence on his music. He has produced scores for a number of projects, most notably his soundtrack for the recent film Black Dynamite.

The album has a distinct sound that harks back to the soundtracks of late 60's Hammer horror films and weird 70's Kung Fu flicks.  This is a good thing.  The album begins with the "Beware the Stare".  This song starts off with a somewhat haunting yet somewhat soulful intro before jumping into a mid tempo track with a heavy bass-line, crisps snares and dusty piano chords.  However this is not a regular track and after the first verse we return to the soulful singing from the intro before stepping into another beat and melody for the next verse; a similar beat but this time with a more ominous piano loop accompanied by a double bass sample hanging around in the background.  The singing returns again after the second verse but the beat has picked up a harpsichord sample this time that works really well especially when the singing comes in again for the ending of the track.  Ghost sounds relaxed and confident like only he can and although he may not be a story teller of Gza's calibre his rhymes are on point on this joint.  "Rise of the Black Suits" is the second track off the album and it is a slower track than the first but again features nice drums and this time a simple but effective organ loop.  When Ghost comes in with his lyrics he is joined by a nice simple piano sample but his lyrical skills are more evident on this track although the subject matter falls into the Ghetto Kingpin category than Ghost does so well including his trademarked slang.
The third track of the album is " I declare war" and features Masat Killa.  The beat is of a marching tempo and features a nice orchestral sample that would not seem out of place on a spaghetti western soundtrack conjuring up images of a Sergio Leone epic.  Its nice to hear Mastat Killa again and the beat changes for his verse using something that sounds like a pipe organ sample.  As the song comes to an end The Rza adds a short vocal epilogue. The next track up is "Blood on the Cobblestones" and features U-God and Inspectah Deck.  Its a fast beat with snappy drums and and some nice horns alongside some subtle strings.  All three emcees represent superbly dropping exciting fast veres that remind us that few can match the chemistry of the Wu when they come hard.  Cappadonna joins Ghost for the fifth track of the album, "Center of Attention" which starts off with rain falling and a vocal sample before dropping into a mellow ode to a lost lady.  This track reminds me of the Ghost classic "Camay" from his first solo album, Ironman.  This track however has the lyrics played out between Ghost and Cappadonna as a conversation between friends ; one trying to convince the other of the value of their lady whilst the other tries to tell him she is no good.    It works well, the beat is pleasant enough and the interplay between Ghost and Cappadonna has always worked well.

Half way through the album and Ghost gives us another ghetto talke over a more mellow beat with someone called William Hart providing a nice vocal sample for the chorus on "Enemies All Around Me".  The beat, like some of the others on this album changes throughout the song, introducing new samples as it moves along.  A nice joint which fits in well on this album.  The seventh track on here is "An Unexpected Call [The Set Up]"  and features Inspectah Deck.  Its a good track with a nice harp sample over a upbeat drum track with Ghost and Deck each dropping a verse.  The track is good and would make a nice album track however its too short, coming in at only two and a half minutes.  The subject matter is again Ghetto warfare  ut they do it so well that its not boring but interesting.  The eigth track of the album is "The Rise of the Ghostface Killah" which was also the first promotional single released to the radio from this album.  Its a Ghost solo joint and he is on point evening taking the opportunity to pay tribute to ODB utilising the "Ghostface Killlahhhh" chant from "Da Mystery of the Da Chessboxin".  The beat is faster than the majority of the album up to this point and features a nice bass guitar sample and crisp snare drums.
"Revenge is Sweet" if the ninth track of the album and features Masta Killa & Killa Sin (of Killarmy of course).  The song starts off with some off key singing which I am not particularly fond of but it is somewhat short lived in comparison to the rest of the track although it does return fo the chorus.  Ghost represents first with a nice verse and MAsta Killa and Killa sin drop the second and third verses respectively.  the beat varies from verse to verse never changing too much but enough to differentiate the verses.  "Murder Spree" featuring U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck & Killa Sinis the album's tenth track.  Although this track has more emcees on it than any other on the album it only comes in at two minutes fifty one seconds.  This means of course that each emcee drops a very short verse over a fast paced beat.  A shame really as all of the emcees on here have enough skills to represent nicely but in the limited bars they have it is difficult to really get a feel for their lyrical depth before the next emcee comes along.
The albums penultimate track is "The Sure Shot, Pt. One & Two" which is another track featuring an evolving beat which starts off as a sparse fast paced beat for Ghost's first rapid fire verse.  Then for the second part of the track te beat slows down somewhat with some really nice drums and an electric guitar riff.  Ghost also slows down his rhymes to match the beat.  A strong track, which as the title suggest is really two songs both pretty strong in their own right.  the album's last track is an instrumenatl joint showing off Adrian's production skills.   It starts off with another monologue from The Rza and then a nice piano loop comes in.  Flutes and electric guitars join the piano in this cinematic ending to the album.  It builds to a crescendo of horns and strange noises although never really taking off into a full Hip-Hop instrumental but more of a piece of atmospheric music from a strange 70s film.
This is a very strong but short album.  All emcees represent nicely giving their fans exactly what they would expect; hard rhymes and stark Ghetto stales.  Adrian Younge's production is enjoyable and unique although he clearly has been influenced by The Rza, Havoc,  Ennio Moricone and probably the men behind some 70's horro films and Cop shows.  The tracks are often too short leaving you wanting another verse at least.  The project as a whole could be beefed up to make it longer however there is a deluxe version of the album but that only includes instrumental versions of the whole album.  I would like to give this album a higher rating that the four out of five i have given it but its length is simply too short.  It only leaves me wanting for "Supreme Clientele Presents... Blue & Cream: The Wally Era" the next project from Ghostface.  However this album is enjoyable and original in its concept and should fit nicely into any Wu Tang fan's collection.  Ghostface does not disspoint and Adrian Younge has sparked my interest in his production style which means I will check out anything else he drops.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Ill Bill - The Grimy Awards Review

This is the fourth studio album by Non Phixion member Ill Bill and is the follow up to the 2008 Hour of Reprisal.  Ill Bill has always been a hardcore underground emcee with impecable taste in producers and this album does not vary from that route.  In fact the album’s production credits could read as a who’s who Hardcore Hip-Hop’s best producers; DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, El-P, Psycho Les of the Beatnuts and DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill.  The list of guests is pretty impressive too; Lil Fame of M.O.P., Jedi Mind Tricks, O.C., Cormega, Shabazz the Disciple and A-Trak. A small point though before I progress on with the review if you are easily offended by bad language, conspiracy theory’s and or hardcore Hip-hop beats then this album is not for you.

The album kicks off with the Ill Bill produced intro, “What does it all mean?”.  This is very a typical Hip-Hop intro with vocal samples from government info records, old radio shows and scratches of various Hip-Hop artists saying grimy.  Straight to the point and does its job.  Following that is the MoSS produced “Paul Baloff”.  MoSS always comes with the nice drums and this does not disappoint in that way coupled with the heavy guitar riffs and Ill Bill’s hectic word play and metaphors you are left with an impressive track.  The song is named after the late Exodus lead singer Paul Baloff who passed away in 2002.  Up next is a quick Uncle Howie skit, anyone with knowledge of Ill Bill will know all about Uncle Howie and what to expect from one of his skits.  Track 4 is “Acceptance Speech” and is produced by Junior Makhno who I have not heard from before.  The beat is interesting and features a nice strings sample that sounds like it may have been taken from an Indian film soundtrack.  As you would expect A-Trak shows off his skills on the turntables supplying a nice mini scratch routines for the chorus and an extended one following the last verse.  A strong track impressive for a producer I had not heard off before this album.

Pete Rock supplies a more mellow beat for the fifth track, “Truth”.  I can’t place the exact sample used but it is very familiar featuring a horns sample (for a change Pete) alongside a vocal sample and nice snare drums.  Ill Bill drops three verses around the idea of truth with references to drugs, The Exorcist and some subjects that may offend some more sensitive people.  A nice track although Pete Rock does not break any boundaries at all on it whereas Bill’s lyrics and flow are impressive.  ”Exploding Octopus” is the sixth track and first of the two tracks that Bill produces on the album.  Nice bass and drums alongside a keyboards sample, simple but effective.  The first verse is the story of a child genius who goes AWAOL similar to the Unabomber, second verse focuses on another society drop out who turns to violence however the underlying theme of the track is the dangers of technology and not handing ourselves over to it entirely.  The seventh track is “Forty Deuce Hebrew”, the second full track produced by Bill and you can hear the influence of Necro, produced al lot of Bill’s earlier works.  it is harder than the previous track and features a dark guitar sample of crisp drums.
“How To Survive The Apocalypse” is the eighth track on the album and is produced by Psycho Les from the Beatnuts.  Its features a harpsichord sample over a marching drum break.  Bill returns to the subject of society failing when let down by technology in particular the loss of power.  The chorus has some dope scratches on it and Bill’s lyrics are interesting to say the least.  I expected more from a Beatnuts beat but its not bad just not as good as I had hoped.  The album’s ninth track is “Vio-lence” featuring Shabazz the Disciple (where has he been ?) & Lil Fame from M.O.P.which is produced by DJ Skizz.  Fames drops the first verse which is very typical of him which is cool as I’m an M.O.P. fan.  The second verse comes from Bill and the third from the old Wu affiliate Shabazz.  Shabazz still has a nice flow even after all these years and the beat is good enough to allow the emcees to showcase their different styles.
The album’s tenth track is called “Acid Reflux” and the is the first of two tracks produced by Queensbridge legend Large Professor and it doesn’t disappoint.  Its harder than Large Pro’s recent efforts and its laced with nice organs, snares and cymbals along with a cool Gravediggaz sample.  Bill goes all out on the totally sick lyrics, referencing killing pigs, Timothy Leary, Satan, taking contaminated acid and the Grateful dead.  The beat is a little similar to Gza’s “Fourth Chamber” which is not a bad thing. Up next is another Queensbridge producer Ayatollah, who I have not heard from in a number of years.  The track features Q-Unique from the Arsonists and someone called Meyhem Lauren who both drop nice verses reminiscing back to the NY of the eighties as does Bill.  Next up is a DJ Muggs produced track called “Power” which features OC and Cormega.  The track is hard and upbeat with some nice scratches alongside the tight snares.  OC drops a dope verse and Cormega sounds hungry and focused dropping a nice 16 bars before Bill come sin with another heavy verse sounding even hungrier than Cormega.  Muggs shows he still has dope beats in him and all three emcees represent nicely.

Pete Rock provides another beat this time for “When I Die” featuring Tia Thomas.  Its starts off with a sample from a Bob Marley interview with Alan Wicker, I think.  A touching track featuring verses about those Bill has lost over a mellow Pete Rock beat featuring flute samples.  Bill shows another more honest and mature side on this track especially when talking about his feelings about a friend who used crack.  However the track itself is let down by the lacklustre singing from Tia Thomas which is not only unnecessary but actually detracts from the joint and Bill’s lyrics. ”Severed Heads of State” featuring and produced by El-P is next.  It’s not the crazy production that El-P is capable of but a more dark journey into the minds of both Bill and El-P.  Its heavy with strong electric samples, scary drums strange noises that match the nocturnal nature of their lyrics.  Both emcees bring their A-Game on this joint matching each other in their deeply disturbed lyrics.

As we head towards the end of the album Jedi Mind Tricks join Bill for ”120% Darkside Justice” produced by C-Lance.  Tight drums and another harpsichord sample make up this track.  Jedi Mind Tricks work well alongside Bill to make up this energetic track, their aggressive and at times rugged rhymes sit well together.  ”Canarsie High” is the penultimate track on this album and its produced by Large Pro.  A dope beat with a mid tempo flow and a nice strings sample.  Bill drops some socially conscious lyrics displaying a real talent for telling stories that focus on those in the ghetto who have fallen on bad times.  Its touching especially following the new flash intro about two abandoned little girls in the Bronx.  This is a strong track with good interesting lyrics and a dope beat.

With this album they definitely saved the best to the last with a fantastic DJ Premier produced joint called “World Premier”.  A superbly produced joint with equally dope verses from Bill.  The beat itself is quite fast and features crisp snares with vocal and strings samples alongside that signatures Premier scratching for the chorus.  Bill’s rhymes are great telling us how he loved many of the producers he has worked with on this album although he never though he would ever get the chance to make music with them.  The pays due to Pete Rock, Large Pro, Psycho Les, DJ Muggs and above all DJ Premier.  A great track to finish a very strong album off.

In summary this is an album with an incredibly strong list of producers working alongside side a very talented emcee, Ill Bill who has chosen a very interesting a list of guests to feature on these impressive tracks.  I enjoyed almost all of the tracks on here and will find myself listening to them again and again.  I would however say that the track “When I die” was spoiled by the unnecessary singing but other than that I have no complaints about this album.  Strong tracks include “World premier”, ”Canarsie High”, ”Acid Reflux” and ”Severed Heads of State”.  I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

MC Lyte “Eyes on This” Re-Release Review

Hip Hop has always been a male led genre and it seems now more than ever.  However that has not always been the way.  Over the years numerous talented female emcees have reserved places in our memories; of course Roxanne Shante, on the more commercial side Salt N Pepa, Latifah, Monie Love, Jean Grae and maybe even Yo Yo for those Left Coast fans but one name that cannot go without a mention is of course MC Lyte.  MC Lyte (Lana Michelle Moorer) burst onto the Hip-Hop scene at the tender age of eighteen in 1988 with the classic album “Lyte as a Rock”. This album featured the instant classic, “Paper Thin” and was mostly produced by her brothers Audio Two.  Although it also features an early prince Paul production credit on “Mc Lyte Likes Swingin’”
Lyte followed up her debut almost a year to the day with “Eyes on This” which like her first album was released on First Priority Music and distributed by Atlantic Records.  Also like her first album this too featured production from her brothers, Audio Two, as well as The King of Chill and Nat Robinson.  The album reached a low position in the mainstream charts but in the Hip-Hop album chart it managed a respectable number 6, which was a first for a female emcee.  Thirteen songs strong the album brought us three singles, all of which could be considered hits and each of which made it in the top 10 on the Hot Rap Singles chart.

The album start of with the superb “Cha Cha Cha” which samples Kraftwerk’s “The Man-Machine” to create an upbeat track which allows Lyte to display her witty and strong lyrics perfectly.  The track has nice crisp drums and a nice electric loop alongside some horns.  Scratching typical of the time makes for a nice chorus and along with the other elements of the track create a perfect late eighties Hip-Hop classic that could comfortably sit alongside the likes of Special Ed’s “I Git it Made” and Rakim’s “Microphone Fiend”.

The second track “Slave 2 the Rhythm” starts off with an electric bass line and some nice 808s.  A more up tempo track than the first has Lyte striking a little harder lyrically dropping swear words that give it that harder edge than her singles.  The third track is “Cappuchino” which was the second single off the album and was actually quite dark for a single.  The track tells a tale of Lyte getting involved in a shooting on the way to getting a Cappuchino.  The songs treads into the realm of social responsibility by discussing death and drugs but does it as well as can be expected for a track aimed at the charts.  The track itself samples  ”Spaced Out” by The Blackbyrds a favorite of mine.

The fourth track was the third single from the album is a lovely joint featuring a stripped down simplistic beat that allows you to concentrate on Lyte’s lyrics.  The beat is reminiscent of a style that Rza would use years from then with Cappadonna’a first solo joint.  Of course the lyrics are up to par with her previous tracks but the almost experimental nature of the track itself is incredibly refreshing considering the year it was released.  The fifth track “Throwin’ Words at You” has a real nice beat with crunchy drums and subliminal guitar loop in the back.  Her lyrics are again strong with snappy witty lines and a nice hook for the loop.

The sixth track on the album is called “Not wit a dealer” and although the beat is nothing amazing it is a standard beat for that time.  Again Lyte visits the subject of drugs although this time it is about ladies who choose drug dealers and the dangers of taking that path.  The seventh song on this album is called “Survival of the fittest Remix” which features drums that Hip-Hop heads will know from the Jungle Brother’s classic “Jim Brownski” it also samples Led Zepplin’s “When the Levee Breaks”.   Alongside the tasty drums is a nice electric guitar loop hanging around in the background.  Again Lyte’s voice and lyrics finish off the track nicely.

The next track up is substantially slower than the rest of the album and also has Lyte taking an even harder stand, lyrically challenging other emcees.  Lyte earned her lyrical stripes on her first album and again with tracks like “Shut the Eff Up! (Hoe)” she showed how much she deserved the props her got.  She even takes a subliminal jab at EPMD with the line “I’m MC Lyte a/k/a MC Payback,  Payback is a bitch, and I’m givin you no slack, Unfinished Business, that shit was wack, So Lyte made no attempt to strike back”.  Clearly making reference to EPMD’s 1989 classic album “Unfinished Business”.

The ninth track “I am the Lyte” samples Bobby Byrd’s 1972 classic “Never Get Enough” as would Diamond D three years later on his classic “Best kept Secret”.  It’s a great song and in my mind would have made a great single.  The beat is great and Lyte is on point with her lyrics as she is for the majority of the album.  After “Cha Cha Cha” its one of my favorites on this album.  “Rhyme Hangover” is the tenth song on the album and it features a double bass and drum led beat.  This is shortest song on the album coming in at just over two minutes.  To be honest it’s a not a bad track its just not as strong as the rest of the album.  The tenth track on the album is a funky little joint called “Funky Song” and features some tight drums, horns and a James brown vocal sample.

The penultimate track is the slower more mellow jam called “Please understand” where Lyte gives us a narrative on a various relationships.  Unfortunately like a lot of Hip-Hop romance songs none of them end well.  The album finishes off on the upbeat “K-Rocks Housin” which is a typical late eighties mainstay of most Hip-Hop albums, a DJ track.  Its good enough for when it came out and provides some fairly decent scratching.

In summary this is strong album that deserves a place in any decent Hip-Hop collection if not for the 6-7 strong standout out tracks but Lyte’s lyricism.  Alongside her debut album this is easily one of the most important female emcee albums.  The biggest joints on it are obviously “Cha Cha Cha” followed by “I am the Lyte” and “Cappuchino”.  This rerelease gives anyone who missed it the first time round and has a taste for great golden era Hip-Hop a chance to pick it up and I would advise you to do so.

Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric – Czarface Review

When you have a core member of the Wu Tang Clan, Inspectah Deck joining forces with underground Hip-Hop stars 7L & Esoteric you know that you will be left with an album that will appeal to true underground heads.  But does Czarface live up to the expectations of the underground fan-base ?  For those that are unaware Czarface is the collaborative studio album from Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric which features many serious Hip-Hop generals; Ghostface Killah, Oh No, Roc Marciano, Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire, Action Bronson, Cappadonna and Vinnie Paz.  The album is released on indie label Brick Records and is produced by 7L, Spada4 and DJ Premier.  It comes in at just over 46 minutes, is 14 tracks long and is available on vinyl (for true heads), CD and Download.

The album starts off with a sinister sounding intro featuring interesting vocal samples and Deck telling us what plan is for this album.  This slips straight into the heavy “Air ‘em out”.  An upbeat track with a heavy electric bass line and nice crisp drum and cymbals.  Deck drops the first verse inline with expectations before Esoteric brings in his distinct vocals.  The beat is by 7L and Spada4, it works well as an intro to the style of this project.  Track three features Roc Marciano and is called “Cement 3′s”.  Again 7L and Spada4 provide the beat which would not sound out of place on a Gza album.  It features a great ODB sample for the chorus with some nice but simple scratches.  All three emcees represent nicely over this overtly 90s East Coast inspired beat.

Oh No joins the group for the fourth track, “Czar Refaeli”.  7L and Spada4 provide the beat and its another banga’ with a heavy electric beta and snappy snares.  Oh No works well with Deck and Esoteric providing more unapologetic rhymes offering no morals or positivity which is nice for a change.  The track ends with a strange vocal sample over a deep double bass loop. “Rock Beast”  Is a more upbeat joint with a nice organ lopp and some dope strings.  This time Esoteric goes first and manages to fit Batman, Ras A’ Ghul and Wu Tang into one rhyme before handing the mic over to Deck who shows that he still has those skills that made that first verse on the classic Wu joint “Triumphant” so memorable.

“Savagely Attack” starts off with a Super Friends sample and a heavy guitar loop.  Deck drops the first verse over an upbeat track before handing the mic to Esoteric who is soon joined by our good friend Ghostface Killah.  Any track that features Ghostface automatically appeals to me but if its a faster track then I know I’m in for a treat and 7L drops a nice fast beat.  This does not disappoint, from the lyrics dropped by all three to the super hero samples its works well all round.  The seventh track on the album is “Marvel Team Up” with a deep bass line and what sounds like an organ loop.  The emcees represent nicely on this joint with decent lyrics and a nice to and fro chorus over the 7L produced beat.

Spada4 joins 7L again for the eighth track “It’s Raw” which features popular newcomer Action Bronson.  Bronson provides a nice verse showing off his word play before handing the mic to Esoteric and Deck who provide two dope verses.  The beat is features what sounds like a paper and comb sample over somewhat subdued drums.  Track nine is “Let it off” and the beat is produced by DJ Premier.  It is a trademark Premier beat and although some people complain that Premier does not vary his style enough its still incredibly dope. Yes it does have that same tempo he tends to use but it has its own unique traits; the deep piano stabs, the strings building to a crescendo and the killer scratches help to make it another Premier banga’.  Both Deck and Esoteric bring their A game to this joint matching their lyrics perfectly to the beat. One of the best tracks on a strong album.
Track ten is “World War 4″ and I love this joint; its fast, has a nice flute sample, both emcees represent with upbeat verse and 7L brings some funny vocal samples along too.  This one is produced by 7L alone and he flips piano loops alongside the flute samples perfectly.  Another strong joint.  Track eleven is another 7L only produced joint called “The Dead Zone”.  A slower beat than the last joint but it features an unusual vocal sample and heavy drums with a lot of cymbals.  Scratching for the chorus is always nice especially when it mixes samples from a such diverse sources.

Track twelve, “Poisonous Thoughts” is another 7L joint with crisps drums, cymbals, Hi-Hats and a sick electric guitar samples nicely chopped upo by 7L as well as some nice scratches for the chorus.  Deck and Esoteric are joined by  popular up and coming emcee Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire who rips up the track as you would expect.  But thats just the start of the track about halfway through the beat changes up bringing in some more samples and a different loop although its just as good as the first part.  This joint really shows off 7L’s skills behind the boards.  The penultimate track on the album is “Shoguns” and features another Wu Tang member, Cappadonna as well Jedi Mind Tricks member Vinnie Paz.  The beat features a long electric guitar sample alongside some strange percussion and flutes at times.  ’Donna shows us he still has the style that made him popular in the late nineties and Vinnie shows us he is still angry, which is good.  However Deck and Esoteric do not take this track lightly and both come heavy on this joint, especially Deck who kicks the track off.
The album ends with another 7L & Spada4 produced joint, “Hazmat Rap”.  This track features a nice blues guitar sample over what sounds like it could be the Skull Snaps drum break, which is a good thing.  Its also has some dark sounding synths that sound like they could come from a Georgio Moroder soundtrack released in the mid 80s.  Both emcees finsih off the album nicely with respects being paid to ODB by Deck and Esoteric mentiuons a few 90s legends too.  Nice scratches from 7L make up the chorus and the fade out.

To summarise this is a strong album that fans of East Coast 90s Hip-Hop will love.  Some may say that releasing an album now that sounds like the 90s is a bad thing however they would be sorely mistaken as although its does have a distinctly 90s sound this album features emcees and beats that are comfortable being released today.  The guests on the album do not detract from the group but compliment them.  7L shows that he has grown as a producer since those early releases in the late 90s.  Deck proves he still has the skills to make him a formidable emcee and Esoteric shows that he can hold his own alongside Deck.  You will not find positivity here nor moralistic preachy rhymes but just straight up battle lyrics alongside braggadocio rhymes, something that a lot of hip-hop artists have forgotten of late or replaced with false tales of drug dealing and listing one’s monetary status.  This album is a treat for real hip-hop heads and deserves to be bought (preferably on vinyl) and played over and over again.  Highlights; “Let it off”, “World War 4″, “Poisonous Thoughts” and  ”Savagely Attack “.