After a long 6 years devoid of any Sean Price solo work, Price comes through with his 3rd official solo album.
It has been a while since Sean Price gave us a solo album, in between the last solo and now he has kept himself slightly busy with a few YouTube video songs, another criminally underrated Heltah Skeltah album “D.I.R.T”. There was also the equally slept-on work with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson on Random Axe. After threats of quitting and claims of not wanting to release another album on twitter it seems as though he finally gave into the fans and he finally delivers the long anticipated “Mic Tyson”.
When I first heard this album I knew immediately that there is not a whole lot that I can actually say about it…….in a good way. It is best described by the title of one my favorite songs on the album “Bully Rap”. There are a set of words I can use to describe this album and I am sure people will then say I am trying to put this album in a box. In a sentence, this album is that New York, grimy, boom bap, hard body, pardon-my-language-but-after-rocking-this-album-all-I-want-to-do-is-get-gully shit. I’ll say it right off the bat this album is definitely not made for everyone. If you know anything about Sean Price then you will not be surprised by anything you hear and would know pretty much what to expect. If you are completely new to Sean Price and are a fan of the more synth and 808 driven sounds of contemporary rap then you will be extremely disappointed.
I think what Sean Price gave us in this album is something tailored and aimed directly for his core fan base. There is nothing remotely commercial sounding on this album, no hi hats and 808′s, no screwed and chopped hooks (you are lucky if you get a hook at all lol) and no R&B singers for miles. The album plays out like Price sitting in on a Toca Tuesday session and Tony touch just switching up beats every two minutes or so. Its 40 plus minutes of Sean Price going IN over what I can only describe as some of the dirtiest New York style beats you will hear in any album post 2010. Other than Sean rapping there is very little structure to this album. No concepts, no real stories or guiding theme are to be found on this album, what you have is what I think of as a lyrical exorcism with Sean Price letting loose on the mic. Sometimes, especially as a hip-hop head who grew up through the so called “Golden Age” you just want to hear an emcee spit over some tough beats and this album does not disappoint in that department. Sean Price’s usual mix of threatening hard nosed rhymes and witty dark humour produce many a quotable throughout the whole album. As he describes it…
“Hardcore rap at its worst/Move from the morgue truck to the back of the hearse/ Move from the back of the hearse to back in the dirt/”
The album starts with the Alchemist produced plodding but menacing beat of “Genesis of Omega”. Alchemist shows up again on the song “Bar-barian” and brings that Rza like feel to the beat. “Alan the chemist” shows up a total of 3 times on the album and his sound is the perfect background for Sean to give the proverbial suckers emcees that work. A few other lesser known producers also show up such as the Amp produced Pyrex. Sean gets a bouncy but still menacing DJ Premier inspired beat and brings that wonderful mix of hard-body lyrics with a humorous sometimes self-deprecating twist.
“You a happy meal n***a,with a toy in the box/ I clap the steel, n***a, put your boy in a box/ P. /and the gun that’ll slap ya/ I’m lying,/ just like the rest of these dumb ass rappers”
As I said before the trend of heavy beats with Sean lyrically slapping everyone around continues throughout the album. One of the highlights is “Straight Music” with 9th Wonder, a relatively smoother track that follows one of the hardest songs on the album “Title Track” produced by a producer unknown to me called Eric G, all I know is that it is HARD as hell and another definite standout for me. As I already mentioned “Bully Rap” is also one of the highlights for me. With Alchemist once again providing a trademark banger for Sean to get busy on. Another banger in an album full of them is the last joint on the official retail version of the album “The Hardest N***a Out”. The title of the song basically describes the song. One of my pet peeves with artists sometimes is that the songs do not live up to their titles. There are no such issues with this particular song though. The Beat Bullies live up their name as well and deliver a drum heavy, head nod inducing slapper.
“I am Chow Yun Fat Rap/Gat to ya temple/stay in your lane lame/ plain and simple”
One of the small disappointments is the Khrysis produced “Hush”, but I don’t think it is because of the beat, it has more to do with Sean’s lazily harmonized hook. There are a few other moments of laziness throughout the album. I would say the biggest downside of this album is that the contempt that Sean has for the current state of hip-hop shows through in a tendency to not put his all into it at all times. However I would say overall that as someone who enjoys what some would call 90′s New York style hip-hop this album delivers everything I want in a hardcore street oriented rap album. If you have been a fan over the years, pick up this album, for those who are new to the scene or have need for more uplifting material, this may not be the album for you.
Rating: This one is must buy for the hardcore headz