SEAN PRICE – MIC TYSON

Sean Price Mic TysonThere is an unwritten fundamental in hip hop that artists can’t help but do, and shouldn’t really do it and that is, promising your fans that there is a new album coming and there is a title for it. What happens next is that the fans get hyped and then their patience is like the countdown clock… it ticks down quickly. Every time an artist would bring out a new track, guaranteed the fans would post a comment on YouTube that would go a little something like this: “Drop the album already”. There is also a saying that ‘good things comes to those who wait’. This worked out a success for Raekwon (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II), or turned out to be an epic fail (Dr Dre – Detox). For Sean Price however, he went out and admitted on an interview that he doesn’t give a f**k about the fans, and his album will come out when it’s ready. The man who is also known as Ruck promised the fans a new album entitled MIC Tyson shortly after his sophomore album ‘Jesus Price Superstar’. The thing with Sean P is that the more ignorant sounding he is, the more the fans love him, and so he has played on that throughout his particular solo career, and has become the star out of the Heltah Skeltah duo.

Finally the album is here. Not to be confused with the boxing legend Mike Tyson, there is a similarity between the album and the’ baddest man on the planet’: They both hit hard. If you think P-Body had ignorant beats and lyrics in his past solo efforts, think again, this album the mic is his weapon and proceeds to beat down apes and punches through school buses and pizza shop windows.

‘The Genesis of the Omega’ is the intro produced by the album’s dominant producer: Alchemist. This is Sean P’s Start of Your Ending, and the last album that said that (Mobb Deep – The Infamous) turned out to be a classic through the ages. Is this a sign of things to come?

Now Sean becomes the ‘Bar-Barian’, this track does what it says on the tin, Sean straight slaying commercial rappers with these bars check it: “Studied under the understudy the one-twenty – P!/Young dummies can’t spar/No life, my flow tight, like your pants are/You don’t got a chance, Pa/Ansaar community, Malachi York fricasse, yo f**k a eulogy! -P!” Sean P has already warned fans not to put him with commercial artists on their playlist as the album continues on its haunting pace on the DJ Premier inspired ‘Pyrex’.

Ruste Juxx joins the fray as Sean becomes ‘Price & Shining Armor’. No need for a record deal now that they got their own Duck Down label that has churned out nothingSEAN P but quality albums. It is safe to say that Duck Down is the new Rawkus, and the ‘Title Track’ has a catchy screw face type sing-a long beat and has another classic Sean Price line that will have the listener disgusted but amazed by his point-blank delivery – “You n!**@$ know the flow is wicked/you b!tch suck d!ck for show tickets –P!” You can actually picture P at this point leaving the booth with his arm raised in victory not realising that he has another verse to record!

9th Wonder just makes ‘Straight Music’ here. He actually takes Sean’s trademark “P!” and loops it up into a sadistic beat. Sean’s punch lines have the listener shaking their head and hands covering their face in disbelief: “I will f**k a n!**@ up but if cash is given/I will split a n!**@ head call it bad division…”

Usually when MCs create sequels to one of their signature tracks by fans request, it is not usually as good as the original (except Redman and his Soopaman Luva series.) Sean Price breaks that mould, with ’STFU Part 2’. Sounding like a cross between Pharoahe Monch’s ‘What It Is’ and Sean’s own ‘Figure Four’, Alchemist has come with a winner here, and he wonders why he won producer of the year. Other producers have no alternative but to simply STFU now.

Ever heard the Bernie Mac of the rap game sing a lullaby? No? Well in this album you do in his version of ‘Hush’ little baby. The album shows no sign of slowing down as P teams with Ill Bill for the medieval sounding ‘Solomon Grundy’. In this track it sounds as if P and Ill Bill are in the lab creating a monster named ‘Frankenberry’, and when it is unleashed, the world will be at the mercy of P and Buckshot.  Trust in P and Buckshot to humorously convince you that they are one of the rappers that can actually rap…

Unwritten rule in everyday society, if you tell someone not to do something, they will do it won’t they? So what was Evidence, P and Pharoahe Monch thinking when they tell white people not to recite a chorus that has the word n!**£r numerous times?! Let’s put it like this: Sales of mouthwash will significantly rise across stores worldwide, and Sean P will have their moms sucking his d!ck with ‘BBQ Sauce’….why? Because he’s MIC Tyson!

He’s the bully to end all bullies, he’s the bully that even bullies fear, and now he’s coming with that ‘Bully Rap’…and he voted for neither Obama, Bush nor the other guy!!!! And ‘By The Way’, this album has the punching flows of the Fist of the North Star with punch lines that will blow your mind away! Sean is not done ‘Battering Bars’ with Pumpkin Head over a 9th Wonder inspired amplified beat, and with this, he has proved that he is ‘The Hardest N!**@ Out’, because throughout the album he has bodied all the wack MCs by ridiculing their dances and their tight pants…they know who they are!

iTunes is the new CD, now they have the bonus tracks… this album has two: ‘I See’ and Haraam. The former is another of Sean’s annoying tracks in the way that it ends too quickly and leaves you wanting another verse from the big man. The latter is a straight assault featuring a upset Jamaican to say the least who is fed up of all the nonsense he hears on the radio, sounds like a family member of mine!

This is Sean Price’s most relentless outing to date, and probably just falls short of that album of the year by not including a twisted track like ‘Heartburn’ or  ‘I Love You (B!tch)’ . But that is a minor. This is an album that is absolutely not for baby making, unless of course your partner is into that ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ type affair…this is that music where you can screw your face and by passers don’t actually realise that you are in a good mood. Sean Price is that n!**@ that as soon as you see him you start laughing as he makes being ignorant look cool because it is genuine to him and turns that into entertaining hip hop. All he needs now is his own comedy show. His hilarious skits on YouTube are fast becoming hip hop moments, particularly his Sean Grinch music video which many think is the greatest Christmas song ever. Mariah Carey move over, there is a new star in town, and his name is Sean P!

WU-BLOCK (Ghostface Killah & Sheek Louch)

Wu-Block album coverIf 2012 is to remembered for something in hip hop as well as top quality albums, it is hip hop album collaborations. It’s something not really seen in the early days maybe due to label deals and other politics, but artists have established themselves now to a point where they can pretty much control their own career paths. This year we have seen Ras Kass & Doc Hollywood, Apollo Brown & OC, Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson, and now Ghostface Killah & Sheek Louch.

These Wu-Block collaborations began in the mid 2000’s, on Ghostface’s Pretty Toney album, where The Lox/D-Block featured on two tracks, Metal Lungies and Run respectively. But since then they have appeared on each others albums and mixtapes consistently so, they thought it was only right to give the fans (and the streets,) what they want.

Wu-Block 2012 (the title suggests more collaboration albums from the two camps) is a 14 track album (16 if you count the iTunes version…) strictly for the streets, you will find NO radio joint here, neither will you find a super producer here either (apart from Erick Sermon). A risky move, one might say, but RePPiN4U sees it as artists who recognize hungry producers who may make it big in 2013. So did the risk pay off? Or is it a case of Immobilarity?,

No messing about, no intro, just straight into the bangas. It begins with Crack Spot Stories. You may recognize the beat from J Dilla’s Love It Here, or perhaps Masta Killas new track, Are You Listening? from the Selling My Soul album (which will be reviewed on RePPiN4U top of 2013.) But I think Ghostface, Sheek, Raekwon & Jadakiss flipped this beat the best.

Time to ‘Pour Tha Martini’ with Sheek, Cappadonna over a triumphant beat… both guys go in ferociously, but it’s Ghostface who has to fight the groupies off here.

Photo courtesy of Mike Jackson

Photo courtesy of Mike Jackson

After that they gotta ‘Pull Tha Cars Out’, Cappadonna tags out, Method Man tags in. If Ghostface was fighting the groupies off before, he will have to give in now that his fellow clansman has entered the arena and we know how the ladies feel about Hot Nix…

The wordplay here by Sheek on ‘Guns For Life’ is amazing: “I known him ever since he was nine, now he 22 Thinking he 45, that n!**@ is live, Like to come with me everywhere when I drive Trouble maker same time, keep you alive His ego too big, he be getting pumped I told him chill, he said it’s better when you getting jumped…” Styles and Ghostface tell equally amazing stories about their ‘significant other’… no secret these guys but their gun and they sound as if they almost love it as much as Allah…

Back in ’93, the clan told you to proteck ya neck…. now obviously fake wannabe gangstas have not taken heed the warning. Styles P stays in tow, and now Raekwon joins him and are ‘Comin For Ya Head’. Th joint coalition tell their hustling tales on ‘Cocaine Central’, they make it sound mad exciting. Sheek becomes amusing when he leaves a message on Ghostface’s phone telling him to get his stuff together and do the Wu-Block tour. Reportedly Ghost is making excuses that he has the flu but he left with women the night before….hmmmm!!!

Wu-Block are urging you to ‘Take Notice’ here. Sheek continues is stories of fantasizes about president first ladies, and Ghostface is going on like he does have the flu…. he doesn’t sound like he’s rhyming through his head!!!

‘Driving Round’ features the album’s only non Wu-Block guest – Erykah Badu. Think of the clan’s video for It’s Yourz when it switches to Older Godz, but slow that video right down. Instead of Raekwon, Sheek is in the car. Now you get the picture. Masta Killa’s flow suits the chilled out pace of the track, and ironically enough, GZA, who also appeared on Older Godz, compliments the track. These guys are driving round observing the state of the projects and letting the misguided know how it really goes down instead of all these other artists sugar-coating everything.

Don’t you just love at the start of tracks either Ghostface or Raekwon go on a random rant before they go in? Ghostface, Sheek Louch & Inspectah Deck show no

Photo courtesy of Mike Jackson

Photo courtesy of Mike Jackson

matter where they are in the world, doesn’t matter if they are in ‘Different Time Zones’, they all connect and get their hustle on regardless on a beat that sounds tailor-made for Killarmy. The Fifth Brother tags out, in comes Jadakiss. as they pay homage to Method Man & Redman’s Blackout as they become the ‘Stick Up Kids’.

The next banger may solidify Wu-Block as the ‘modern day All In Together’ crew, and they intend to keep it all in together in the club if guys be frontin’, Ghostface warns those who think snitching is a good idea: “Trust me, you ain’t convincing/And this’ll be the same club you get lynched in/And it’ll be the same blood you get rinsed in/Doctor bills don’t play they expensive…”

The chemistry between Sheek and Ghostface is almost reminiscent of the Cuban Linx saga, as they speak on half-ass rappers wearing all this fake jewelry and having a suspect chin, and fabricating hip hop. They are letting them know this on the Erick Sermon produced ‘Do It Like Us’, featuring a more vicious sounding Raekwon. It’s good to hear that side of Rae as opposed to the more mellow side that we hear now. Raekwon tags out, tags in a shining Method Man on the shady lady tale ‘Stella’…. “It’s survival, homey, you ain’t never lied, my lord But the Pretty Toney baby ain’t never lied before That’s a hundred lucci, word to Bully, I smoke too many loosies I know her history, if something fishy, must be the coochie It ain’t no mystery, your finger itchy, if she a groupie Once you go up, once you go down, let’s keep it Gucci…”

Finally Sheek and Ghost go line for line on the humorous ‘Been Robbed’… Ghost’s robbing game is so tight that he even has the most ferocious dog acting like a puppy, while Sheek takes off with hustlers jewelry and their ‘podium’… insinuating that they are b!tches.

‘Bust Shots’ is the hidden bonus track on the album, and arguably the most Wu-sounding, reminiscent of GZA’s Liquid Swords. The iTunes version has an equally impressive remix by Andrew Kelley, which has a more Bulletproof Wallets feel.

Wu-BlockThis is a very solid effort by the Wu-Block coalition. On first listen,  some tracks sound uninteresting and skippable, that is after learning that the clan’s abbott is absent in the album, maybe due to his Man with the Iron Fists project…it is also a shame that they didn’t include their anthem track that was produced by RZA as well as a bonus track…but give it more listens and you find that they have maintained a consistency. This album is not as immediately catchy and absorbing like other quality albums that has come out this year, but throughout the album you can see that they have remained a constant unit, no slacking from either camp, plus the fact they kept the guest appearances within the two camps and just let Erykah Badu come through to lay those necessary vocals. With the Wu’s presence, D-Block definitely brought their A-game. Here’s hoping that now the Wu will make that dream collaboration with Boot Camp Clik, we have already seen great stuff from them collectively in the Chamber Music and Legendary Weapons albums, but as we enter 2013, the clan’s 20th Anniversary, we don’t mind waiting on that dream. In the meantime we can enjoy this, The Man With the Iron Fists Soundtrack and Masta Killa’s Selling My Soul without ruining our appetite.

Film: THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS (2012) Dir. The RZA

RZA IRON FISTTrue story: It has been 5 years…. since I was overly excited for a film, so much that I would call up my crew and say ‘let’s go to cinema and watch this on day of release’.  Spiderman 3 would be the last film since I made a claim like that. Sure, there have been many blockbuster movies since then, and yet, I lacked interest and excitement, even when they came to DVD. I thought it was my age, that I had actually grown out of this sort of thing, or that everyone at my age started going to the cinemas with their partners instead with the crew….until now.

From 1993, two things became clear from the get-go; one, that Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA had a love and passion for kung fu movies, and two, he had produced most clan and solo albums like a movie… it was only a matter of time that he would try a hand in directing. We first saw this in music videos in the mid 90s (RZA’s own ‘Tragedy’ and Gravediggaz ‘The Night The Earth Cried’). Known to most Wu-Tang fans, RZA actually made a short film out of his own budget based on his Bobby Digital alter ego but it never really took off and very few have seen it. Since then he has made many cameo acting roles in movies such as Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai, Derailed, and American Gangster, and scored the music for films such as Kill Bill and Blade Trinity. Now with the knowledge instilled in him along with additional guidance by movie icon Quentin Tarantino, RZA is ready to make his true directional début.

The Man With The Iron Fists is the first film review by RePPiN4U, the first of many film reviews that are hip hop related. Unlike so-called movie know-it-alls and faceless internet keyboard warriors who were quick to blast the movie months before it came out, RePPiN4U actually went out and checked the movie for ourselves so we can give you an unbiased review. So, has the RZA successfully made a masterpiece that he says is compared to his full production of Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers album?

Before I go on I want to speak on the lack of advertising and the treatment it received from the venue I visited to see this film… Usually films are advertised on billboards, buses and newspapers… I saw nothing of the sort. Disrespectful to the clan’s Abbott. Then when we checked for the box office at the venue in question, there was nobody there to check for tickets, and you had to buy our ticket through machines (remember I haven’t been cinema in five years, and my Peoples that were with me haven’t been to cinema even longer so it was completely new to us.) The machines told us it was ‘sold out’…. which made no sense because it wasn’t like it was a blockbuster film like say The Dark Knight Rises. Apparently the reason being was because the movie projector was ‘conveniently broken…’ After total confusion and outraged RZA fans and movie fans alike, the staff realised that this film was bigger than initially presumed…suddenly the movie projector was ‘fixed’ and it was on with the show.

The movie opens with various fast paced fight scenes complimented with the classic Wu joint – ‘Shame On a N!**@’. Then The RZA, who plays as the ‘Blacksmith’, narrates and tells the story how he became a freed slave and made a living making weapons for various clans in nineteenth century China, and uses the payments to free Lady Silk (played by Jamie Chung) from prostitution led by Madame Blossom (Lucy Liu – of Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill fame.)

Meanwhile Zen-Yi (Rick Yune) seeks revenge after his father Gold Lion is betrayed and killed by Silver Lion (Bryon Mann) & Bronze Lion (Cung Le), only to find that Silver & Bronze have a secret weapon in the form of the main villain Brass Body (Dave Bautista – Of WWE and MMA) whose skin turns to metal on impact and seems invincible. Brass defeats Zen-Yi within an inch of his life and an observing Blacksmith rescues him after Zen-Yi’s men sacrifices himself by attempting to bury Brass Body under heavy stone.

Silver & Bronze suspect that Blacksmith and Zen-Yi are working together so they capture Blacksmith and put him under torture to get him to reveal the whereabouts of Zen-Yi, when Blacksmith refuses to talk, they make sure that Blacksmith never makes weapons again by getting Brass Body to chop off Blacksmith’s arms à la Wu-Tang Forever’s Severe Punishment.

Meanwhile the Emperor’s undercover emissary Jack Knife (Russell Crowe – of Gladiator fame) had followed Blacksmith and manages to save him from certain death, Blacksmith tells Jack of his past and how it got into Shaolin (We see a cameo appearance from Pam Grier here) and then Jack helps him build the Iron Fists which can help channel the chi that Blacksmith acquired in his days of Shaolin. Blacksmith goes on to use these fists and teams with Jack Knife and Zen-Yi to take on Silver, Bronze and Brass Body.

As you watch this film it is clear to see that RZA has learnt a lot from his ‘teacher’ Tarantino’. From the names of the characters, to using cinematic effects that is seen in Tarantino movies, to using a diverse cast and ‘borrowing’ ideas from other film influences – there is a fight scene between Zen-Yi and Silver Lion among a room full of mirrors like the classic Bruce Lee film Enter The Dragon, for example, and the Brass Body character was derived from the villain in the ol’ school kung fu flick  Born Invincible. Like all other kung fu villains, he does have a weakness, it’s just a matter of finding it.  The fight cheoreography is more modern than ol’ school kung fu… bear in mind that RZA is an ol’ school kung fu fanatic I would have hoped for scenes to be more like that however what RZA has done here is blend the two – keep it modern with ol’ school traits – like when Gold Lion gets killed with exaggerated blood coming out of both sides of his head, and him not realising that he is dead until 10 seconds afterwards when he suddenly drops his head on the ground. Yes the blood is over the top but that was the idea… it’s all entertainment. It is also a nice touch that RZA used the Clan’s 8 Diagrams track ‘Unpredictable’ to go with one of the fight scenes. It is something that Wu-Tang purists will appreciate, but film buffs will dismiss.

If you went into this film thinking it’s gonna be another classic like Ong Bak or Ip Man, you fail to realise that this is an American production as opposed to a CineAsia production. But as American fighting films go, this one is not bad at all, however the rookie director has made a few mistakes, while he gives us background on the Blacksmith character, the audience have no idea how Brass Body got those super powers in the first place. Maybe it became an outtake that may be featured in the blu-ray and DVD extras, and maybe RZA thought that it may slow down the pace of the film. I still feel as though we deserved an explanation. The other eyebrow raising factor is the Iron Fists themselves… Blacksmith had both his arms chopped off, so when he fuses himself with these weapons, how is he able to control the fingers as a means of eating and be able to clench his fists??? Is it a mind over matter thing?

Despite these few mis-steps, it is a valiant effort by the rookie director. It’s not an outstanding film, it could have been a lot worse (Tekken, Dragonball Z, Street Fighter:RZA Iron Fist Soundtrack The Legend Of Chun-Li etc), but it ticks the right boxes as far as being an entertaining movie. Furthermore, if RZA can bring together such a cast that has individual success in awards and other sports achievements, The RZA is going in the right direction and we are going to see a lot more of RZA as a director in the future. I will most definitely buy the DVD to check out the deleted scenes and making of the film, as I am convinced that some of those scenes could have been left in to fill the missing pieces of the puzzle. With this, the rest of the clan’s multi-talented skills plus their seeds now rhyming and making a name for themselves, it is justifiable that Wu-Tang is indeed Forever.

SKYZOO – A Dream Deferred

Skyzoo DreamLet’s go back a bit, around the mid 2000’s. After countless rap battles, Ruff Ryders sign Chinese MC Jin. This guy has bodied many MCs in his time. In his tenure, one of the opponents he faced was an unsigned MC named Skyzoo who matched him for lyrics, line for line. Little did we know two things, one, that Jin’s career never really took off, and The Rest was History, and two, that his formidable opponent would be going for Album Of The Year 2012. So Jin went to Ruff Ryders, while 9th Wonder pulled Skyzoo up to one corner, and created a project with him called Cloud 9: The Three Day High, an outstanding conceptual mix tape that was released back in 2006. From hearing this I knew this is an artist to watch. Fast forward to 2012, and everything I have heard from Skyzoo thus far has been consistently good, from ‘The Bodega’, to ‘Under Pressure’, to the ‘Kitchen Table’, to ‘Written In The Drums’, and his latest mix tape “Theo Vs JJ: Dreams Vs Reality” was a conceptual prelude to this highly anticipated album. Boasting tracks like ‘Be Well’, ‘By Any Means’ and ‘Look What We Have Here’ set the tone and the hype nicely to what Sky calls his best work to date.

A Dream Deferred starts with a quote sample from the film Fresh. There has been one other time when an album started like that and it turned out to be a solid hip hop classic. Yes I am referring to Big Pun’s Capital Punishment. I sense an omen from the get-go, then the ‘Dreams In a Basement’ can begin. Featuring the beautiful Jill Scott, the track has you zoned and mentally dreaming away…Sky takes a play on the classic Nas Line on Illmatic: Right in a basement loaded with ambition/Smothered by it they wanna eye it but can’t listen/Sleeping with the cousin of sleep and her hands vivid/Turn for the win but most of em can’t pivot…

Sky and 9th Wonder set up the Jansport Strings, ‘One Time for Chi-Ali’. To secure his run at the title this year, Sky enlists Chi-Ali himself to appear on the remix the day before the album’s release. If that is not calculated hype, I don’t know what is.

The next track, ‘Pockets Full’ features a rejuvenated Freeway on a seemingly Nas inspired beat. Yes – I said Freeway. Roc-A-Fella was a loooooooooooooong time ago!!!

Some artists like to try a little twist in their music….and Skyzoo is no different. Sky and !llmind attempts to blend Dub Step Grime with hip hop. The result? A stroke of genius. Don’t believe me? Listen to the track. Not convinced? Listen to it again. I think you’re hearing me now don’t ya? For someone like myself who is not a fan of the genre, ‘Give It Up’ featuring DJ Prince is a winner and will have you jumping up and down on the dance floor like a jungle rave way back in the 90s.

The pace continues with ‘Glass Ceilings’. You gotta love Sky’s play on words here: Damier’s all around it, guess a dream might run you/And the run’s a 100 yarder, the dash mite barter/And you tryna shake a Dash like a Carter/I’m tryna play the back as a starter, the irony in that… making reference to the Roc-A Fella split with Jay-Z and Damon Dash.

Everything Skyzoo puts out, has been quality. The man works hard and does this for us. Check Range Rover Rhythm, Sky will gladly explain it to you in his own words…try and keep up, he isn’t the easiest of MC’s to initially understand.

You are about to enter a three-part tale of Sky meeting and having a conversation with an attractive woman in a club, decides to take her home for some one night love,Skyzoo official bad man and then may realize that he may have blown his real chance due to his own blindness. All three tracks flow together and make a wonderful trilogy not seen since Pharoahe Monch‘s offering from the Desire album. In ‘The Knowing’, Jessy Wilson plays the thoughts of the girl who feels like even though he’s a stranger, she feels like she knows Sky. The amusing skit that follows shows Sky tryna keep his game tight by taking the girl home, and styling out the claim that he was deliberately playing the Jessy Boykins III Pantyhose track in the car giving cryptic messages. R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn scores another winner on the standout track of the trilogy ‘Drew & Derwin’. Produced by Focus, the track almost sounds as if it was Part 2 to Phonte’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night from the Charity Starts At Home album. Hoping he doesn’t fall in love, the ‘Realization’ hits the fan.

‘The Rage Of Roemello’ sees Skyzoo bring out more of the Jay-Z influence that’s scattered throughout this album. Haters can say what they want about Shawn Carter and his alleged associations, but there is no denying that he has influenced this years biggest hip hop albums, (Check the RePPiN 4U review of Rapsody: The Idea Of Beautiful). Skyzoo hails from Brooklyn. Is there any wonder? Afterwards he delivers a stunning speech towards the end of ‘How To Make It Through Hysteria’. Calling out various Hip Hop icons by their first real name and hoping that one day he too will make it among them… this is a near 30-year-old showing these newer artists how it’s done, restoring the C.L.A.M.P. in Hip Hop.

Detroit’s favourite producer alive Black Milk drops by to lace a beat for Sky entitled Steel’s Apartment. Sky sums up his interview he had on ‘The Come Up Show’ in just a few lines. Black Milk has been quiet this year, expect to hear a lot from him in 2013.

Spike Lee gets his own entrance music and pyro as if he’s a WWE superstar!!! This is a track that along with Talib Kweli, Spike Lee would be proud of. Never before has a Spike Lee tribute sounded so right and fitting. Skyzoo and Kweli name drop, and compare their lives to Spike Lee’s vivid catalogue of films.

‘The Cost Of Sleep’ is produced by ‘Tall Black Guy’…this is another producer to watch…the album started mellow, it is only right it ends mellow. Here you hear him look up to his other Brooklyn influence: If he looks up to Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G. won’t be far behind… “Cause me I’m never faded, I made it where he made it/Hope it don’t end the same but we get the same payment/Hope that I get my name scripted in the same cadence/Know I be in my ways but I feel like I’m the greatest..” He wishes for the same success Biggie had but none of his downfalls.

Those who have the iTunes edition of the album will have the bonus track ‘Live For The Moment’. This is also another experimental track this time going towards a ‘poppy’ angle, yet maintaining integrity and showing no cornyness at the same time. It sounds slightly odd at first how the guitars come in for the chorus by Colin Munroe, but just like ‘Give It Up’, it is not too bad.

For months, I have raved on that Skyzoo’s A Dream Deferred will clinch the title, so here comes the question: Has Skyzoo done it??? Maybe the title is so-called because he dreams of having that title, only that because he’s not in the mainstream eye that’s why it will be deferred and not realised. You will need several listens of this to absorb all the lyrical content, and that’s a good thing because Sky is showing longevity. This year we are looking at a photo finish for the title, and if you think that Nas has clinched the title by landslide, I suggest you ‘Stop Fooling Yourself’.

Gregory Skyler Taylor: You have come a long way.