Friday, December 30, 2016

The Legion - Welcome To Texas

The Legion is a collective that hails from the ruthless streets of Dallas, TX. The group consists of Boom Man, Dexterous, Lil' Mo, and Mr. Lex. They consider themselves as lyrical outlaws and musical outcasts in this watered down music industry. Welcome To Texas is their debut album and it was released in 2000 on Stretched Out Records. Production is solely handled by Boom Man and he does an admirable job on the rhythms. The beats mostly stay uptempo and are quite energetic in composure. Various notes are used to achieve the final result which is both, eclectic and diverse in nature. The tracks are also catered for easy listening and they can accustom to the listener with their bright composure. Lyrics, is where the album really takes off. The four members are nothing less than fascinating upon the microphone. Their flows are rapid and are delivered with swiftness and clarity. Also to note, is the chemistry that the quartet has and how efficiently it is exposed on each and every track. Rhyme schemes are Southern in construction and word play is given the utmost authority. This then gives their songs a colorful and an unpredictable essence which keeps the listener commendably satisfied. Featuring on the album is the local crew known as, C.O.D. The record closes out with an ample total of fifteen solid tracks. Their subject matter is not limited to one category and is versatile enough to appeal to the masses. Overall, this is a very strong release by the group but one that came just a little too early in publication. In the year 2000, a new Southern sound was emerging from the South and was starting to replace the older, Texas Funk. While the new sound was gaining popularity in the underground, it didn't quite catch on to the mainstreams until the mid 2000's. Now, had this record been released in 2004 or late 2005, it could have done wonders for the group. In the end, it just goes to show how far ahead these guys were in their time. Everything from their sound to their lyrics and even their visions, were all progressing towards the right trend. The very trend that exploded on to the music scene just a few years later and was mainly led by artists from the great state of Texas. Sadly, by that time, The Legion had already came and left without even making a whisper.

Deadly Verses
Everything We Drop

196 Clique - No Love Part 1

196 Clique is a collective that represents from the Northern ends of Memphis, TN. The group consists of Killer B, Pimp CC, Ms. Vicious, Mr. Lil' E and Pimp Lil' D. They initially debuted on the scene in 1996 with their hardcore release called, "Crucifixes." No Love Part 1, is their sophomore effort and it was released in 1999 on Golden Entertainment. Production duties are split between Pimp Lil' D, Mr. Lil' E and Pimp CC. Together, they set a dark and grim atmosphere for the rhythms. The beats exemplify that typical Memphis underground sound. In most cases, a hard edged sample is endlessly looped which is then accompanied by some profound bass lines and topped off with some heavy drums. There are some tracks that are a bit smooth and laid back but the rest strictly stick to their horror core roots. Lyrics are also of a ghastly nature. The members are all fluent in their tongue twisting styles and they can easily display their art with cruelty. Eerie and horrid rhyme schemes are used thoroughly and a good amount attention is given to word play. The songs are composed very bluntly and to the point. There are no special vocal strategies or any alluring efforts involved. Also, some of the hooks and choruses could use some work too. Aside from those two blemishes, the record is pretty solid to say the least. Guest features are made by two of the M-Town greats, Playa Fly and Ska-Face Al Kapone. Overall, it's a decent record and one that can sustain itself only in the underground due to the vile and harsh nature of the core contents.

Deadly Verses
Don't Test My Pimpin

Monday, December 26, 2016

II Nations - Trapped In The System

II Nations is a duo that represents from the wild neighborhood of South Park in Houston, TX. It consists of Showtyme and K-Swift. One might remember Showtyme due to his later prominence in the H-Town rap scene but this release will remind the listeners of is his raw and humble beginnings. Trapped In The System is their debut album and it was released in 1994 on Suspect Records. Production is handled by the masterful John Swift, while being assisted by Don Honoree and Byron Hordge. The beats are a classic example of mid nineties Texas funk. Not only are the groovy on the ears but are also hard and edgy in composure. They display various construction properties such as sampling, scratching, and most importantly, proper mixing. Lyrics are also of worthy of praise. The two members bring upon a diverse force upon the microphone. For example, Showtyme is more blunt and strikes the listener with his powerful voice meanwhile K-Swift is a bit laid back in demeanor and his smooth delivery and overall tone is easy going. Also, the two rappers have great chemistry together and can feed off of each other with ease. Guest appearances are made by Grimm, Papa Reu, Endo, Pistol Grip, Gangsta Profile and Broken English. All in all, this was a decent release that closes out with eleven tracks. Subject matter progresses into various categories such as, the communal struggle, the overwhelming poverty and lastly, the judicial injustice. Overall, it's a strong release by the duo. It has plenty of quality content and timeless material. Even with some of these advantages, the release could not garner any type of meaningful attention. The duo ended up disappearing for a while before Showtyme reemerged in the late nineties and is still present in the music industry today. As for K-Swift, things were not so fortunate, aside from a couple guest spots, he ended up leaving the music scene altogether. In any way, what's important is what they accomplished together and that happens to be a fine work art, that not only oozes style but also gives a good sense of realism.

Deadly Verses
Sit Back Relax

Album Notes
* A big thanks goes out to save_undaground and syko187 for providing this one.
* Since this is a tape only release some sound quality issues are to be expected.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Big Slack - Ready For Combat

Leroy Slack, better known as Big Slack, is a rapper that represents from the notorious third ward of New Orleans, LA. His first recording as an artist came on Doleamite's 1997 release, "Ruff-N-Da Ghetto." He was featured on two songs and both of them are now considered to be cult classics. After developing a small fan base with an aggressive soldier demeanor, he eventually came under the watchful eyes of George "Big King" Murry. At the time, Big King, who is an accomplished entrepreneur, had a fashion line, a local car wash and most importantly, a recording studio. Although King had the studio and all the necessary equipment, what he didn't have was an aspiring artist. He immediately signed Big Slack to his newly founded label and work soon began for a full length album. Ready For Combat is his debut album and it was released in 2002 on King's Entertainment. Most of the solid production is handled by DJ Tee and Big Roe while KLC, Dart, Juvenile and Ed all lend a helping hand. Together, they try to bring a different kind of sound to the table. A sound that incorporates elements from the infamous genre of Bounce while also fusing aspects from soldier-esque themes. A style, which has a strict set of drum cadence that is followed by a jubilant synth and concluded with gentle bass lines. It was this distinct rhythmical pattern that really caught the attention of the city of New Orleans in the mid to late nineties and it has been prominent there, ever since. Also, a lot of artists picked up on the soldier mentality that Master P and his No Limit camp were so famous for pushing. Not only did Master P and his crew flooded the market with that infamous campaign, they also inspired others to be just like them in sound, character and demeanor. Slack is a strong lyricist. His size along with his rough tone, allows him to overpower his listeners. He is energetic on his tracks and delivers them at a fair rate. There are times where he can really excel and go for the final blow in his rhyme but instead he ends up choosing the simpler route and thereby finishes humbly. It's this type of selfishness that brings the lyrical content to the next lower tier. Though, Big Slack understood this discrepancy which is why he invited a star studded guest list to help him in the lyrical department. Guest appearance are made by Juvenile, 6 Shot, 39 Posse, Full Blooded, Hot Boy Ronald, Josephine Johnny, Mr. Marcelo, Queen D, Big Ramp, The Royal Family, Lil' Elt, Ziggler Wiggler, The Three Kings, Pretty Boy, Young Assassin, Slugga, Hussle Man and Ms. Elisa Williams. Overall, this was a solid release by the artist and it's one that carries something for everybody. Whether the style on display is Bounce, Street, or Conscious, the listeners will get a small taste to acclimate themselves into their favorable areas . The album's versatile song list is its' strong point. The artist, along with his label, were both on the same wave length in construction and development. They knew exactly what the public wanted and they delivered just that. Although it may not be a masterpiece or a classic, the release is still rewarding to experience. An all rounded record and one that King's Entertainment and Big Slack can be truly proud of.

Deadly Verses
Give'em Props

Album Notes
* Big Slack's nickname is the Overweight Hot Boy.
* This was very the first album to be released under King's Entertainment.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mr. Low - One Man's Vision

Cedric Jackson, better known as Low-Down or Mr. Low, is an artist from the upsetting streets of Opelousas, LA. He first appeared on the scene in the year 1997 with his debut album, "Tales Of Da South." One Man's Vision is his second album and it was released in 2001 on Elusion Records. Bulk of the production duties are mainly handled by Bird or Rick Colomb, while Noke D, Sal, Mixso and Gamebinno' are all credited for a few tracks of their own. The beats are from the new millennium so the listener pretty much knows what to expect. They are not dull in any way, shape, or form and neither are they groundbreaking in any facet. It's an average batch of rhythms with a select few standouts here and there. Most of them are thumping with solid bass lines and a hard hitting set of drums. This strict structure and methodical approach happens to sustain the listener with at least the necessary amounts of entertainment needed to enjoy the album. Lyrically, Mr. Low fairs well upon the microphone. Although he does seem to have lost a step or two since his last outing, his Southern tone and dialect are still the same. And while the fundamentals of key song writing elements are there, it is the choruses and hooks that need some work. Not enough attention is given to them on most tracks and that is where the core content really suffers. Other than that, there are no major blemishes and the artist does have a solid rhyme scheme in place with decent amounts of verbal wit. Guest appearances are made by Lil' Keke, Profound, Ltd., II Deep Down South, WildCat, Miss CoCo, Grey and TonĂ©. Overall it's a stable release that rounds out with a total of fourteen tracks. Aside from a few minor shortcomings, the album eventually does pick up and finishes on the right foot. Also, there is really no type of comparison to be made between his debut release and this one. The two are miles apart from each other in terms of quality, sound and temperament. Now, that may not be a bad thing in most cases but it just goes to show that sometimes changing one's artistry to evolve with the times is not always the brightest idea. In the long run, it is simply better to hold on to your unique individuality and strong intellect to leave an everlasting impression on the listener.

Deadly Verses
Nothing Like Da Game ft. Lil' Keke

Mad Flava - (Rare & Unreleased)

Mad Flava is a collective that represents from the roguish boulevards of Dallas, TX. It consists of Cold Chris, Hype Dawg, Don Kassan and DJ Baby G. The group was formed by Cold Chris in the late eighties but was a trio with DJ Baby G and Don Kassan. It wasn't till the early nineties when the group inducted their fourth member, Hype Dawg who is originally from the city of St. Louis in Missouri. Together, they released their one and only full length album which dropped on Priority Records, known as, "From Tha Ground Unda." This album is a compilation of B-Sides, rarities and unreleased material from the group which was recorded between the years of 1990 to 1998. The record was put together by Hype Dawg circa, 1999. Most of the songs are either recorded under Raw Deal Records or Du Damage Entertainment. Production, as always, is led by the magnificent, Hype Dawg and he certainly does not disappoint. His production pattern is so unique and intricate, that it becomes hard to classify. His choice of samples is exceptional and it tends to become the dominant portion of the beat. His creativeness also plays a huge role when constructing and it immediately indulges the listener from the very first track. The rhythms are hard hitting and very groovy to say the least. They are a perfect illustration of that Old School Hip Hop sound and are thoroughly enjoyable. Lyrics are also of an exemplary nature. Extra emphasis is given on the technique and proper delivery of a rhyme. Word play is immensely used which then makes their vocals very unpredictable. Rhyme schemes and patterns are one of a kind and each member can wreak havoc on any given track. The songs have a strong sense of direction and are conveyed in such a fashion, that it's up to the listener to understand and decipher them. The compilation signs off with a total of fifteen bonafide tracks with a wide range of subjects and topics. This is not a official release, it is merely a compilation of tracks that Hype Dawg dug out of the vaults of the underground. While it may not be formal in appearance, it is still authentic in character. What it lacks in actualization, it more than makes up for it in the core quality of content. After listening to this material, it is baffling to understand why the group fell out of favor with Priority Records. The label had such flexibility with the group that the only thing they had to do was market them properly. And since the major label failed to do just that, the group did not stand a chance. In the end, Mad Flava dissolved into the depths of the underground and eventually became a victim of their own time.

Deadly Verses

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Foul Mouf - Talkin' Sh*t

Foul Mouf is a rapper that represents the atrocious streets of Houston, TX. Now, with an alias like Foul Mouf and a title like Talkin' Sh*t, one might expect this album to be full of barbaric amounts of vulgar content but that is not the case. The artist along with his material, is only as offensive as any other release from the southern region. In fact, some might even complain that he is not brash or profane enough for their liking. Nevertheless, this release holds a significant amount of importance for the individual and the accompanying parties involved. Talkin' Sh*t is the artist's debut album and it was released in 2002 on Draper, Inc. A new label which was founded by the intellectual, Tony Draper. The creation of this label marked an end of an era for the infamously successful, Suave House Records. Tony Draper decided it was time to close the curtains on one of the most prominent labels in the South, mainly because of most of its' profitable artist had either retired or moved on to a completely different or rival label. Suave House had an incredible run in the nineties and shutting the label down was definitely a difficult pill to swallow. Tony knew it was time to move on though, music was steadily evolving in the South and that hardcore sound mostly associated with Suave House, would not last at all against the new generation. So, he found himself an inspiring and upcoming artist in Foul Mouf and Talkin' Sh*t became the first release under Draper, Inc. Production on this piece is split between the legendary, T-Mixx or Q-Stone and Sean Blaze. They team up to provide a nice selection of beats that integrate concepts from the new wave sound. The rhythms tend to stay upbeat for the most part. There are some tracks that are reminiscent of T-Mixx's days with Suave House but even those sound watered down when compared to their counterparts. Foul Mouf is at an above average level lyrically. His rhymes will surprise the listener and will also keep them from discarding his genuine efforts either. He has a typical delivery pattern and his use of word play is adequately scattered. His Southern tone on the other hand, is of top quality and it's one of his main areas of strength. Also to provide extra help in the lyrical department are guest features of Bun B, Devin The Dude, Butch Cassidy, T-Lo, Dez and Ming Xia of the Spooks. The album closes out with a decent total of thirteen tracks with varying subjects. Overall it's a versatile record which tends to cover all the themes and topics associated with the South. For example, the album boasts everything from profound street anthems to groovy club bangers and everything in between. It can be considered as a complete package and one that is competent enough to be a label's debut release. Although, Foul Mouf did manage to get some attention for his work and there were even plans for music video shoot, the recognition simply wasn't enough to propel him into the mainstreams; which ultimately was the goal set by Tony Draper and his newfound record label.

Deadly Verses
Life Goes On

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Black Ghost - The Crossroads Of Life

Alvin Ray, better known as The Black Ghost, is a rapper that represents from the revolting boroughs of Oak Cliff in Dallas, TX. He is also a former football player for the University of Arkansas. It was at this acclaimed university where he met Derrick Dansby, a local DJ who goes by the alias of, DJ-D. The two of them decided to work on an album and officially enter the music industry. The Crossroads Of Life is their debut album and it was released in 2002 on Uniq Records. Production is guided by DJ-D, who tends to keep things simple for the most part. The beats are all derived electronically and are free of any sampling. Their originality oozes style which gives the record an overall refreshing feel. At times the rhythms can get a bit passive and lethargic but that's only because of their straightforward approach. Lyrically the album is at a stable and steady level. The Black Ghost can surprise the listener with his unique word play and technique. His flow is conveyed with a thick southern accent and is delivered at a fair pace. The rhymes show a lot of promise and are also quite intellectual in nature. Guest appearances are provided by G-Style, Fred T., Dahlia Evans and DJ-D. The album closes out with an ample total of sixteen tracks with varying subjects and topics. Overall this was a solid effort from the Oak Cliff native and while it won't break any barriers musically, it is still worth a listen. Since this is an underground release that hardly got any attention in its' heyday, one can only imagine what the artist can accomplish with a full fledged label and an experienced production team.

Deadly Verses
 The Crossroads Of Life

Album Notes
* A big thanks goes out to golfcoast for providing this one.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Aggravated - Accept

Aggravated is a collective from the vicious streets of Houston, TX. As a whole, the group represents for the city of Houston but some of the members are from smaller cities in the vicinity such as, Pasadena and Freeport. While membership has varied throughout their active years, the original group consisted of Grimm, Filero, Balazo, Shadow, Lord Loco, Pranksta, Slinkey, Ikeman and Troublemaker. Now, the birth of Aggravated was laid by another local group in the early nineties known as the Mixed Colored Mafia. The Mixed Colored Mafia consisted of Big C, Lord Loco, A-K and Troublemaker. Under unfortunate circumstances, Big C and A-K were incarcerated. This then led to Lord Loco and Troublemaker hooking up with Grimm and Filero. This formation was billed as Aggravated and work soon began for a full length album. Accept is their debut album and it was released in 1995 on Aggravated Records. By the time Big C and A-K were released from jail, the album was near completion but both A-K and Big C did manage to get a guest spot in there. Production on this piece was led by Filero and Balazo with Grimm and his brother, Shadow also lending a helping hand. The beats are an ensemble of dark, synth filled rhythms that really set the theme for the entire album. Their edginess is surreal at times and their composure embodies the sound of the streets. While most are original in nature, there are some that are sample driven. The most notable one coming from the famous song "Burnin' And Lootin'" by Bob Marley & The Wailers which is used heavily on the track "I Am Your Future." Lyrically the record also bodes well. All the members carry a distinct style and they can all dominate the microphone with ease. Their rhymes are delivered sharply and vividly. Word play and various schemes are kept at a canny level. Meanwhile, extra emphasis is placed on the character and structure of a song. Also with such an extensive membership, there is never a dull moment. Mainly due to the different artists being used on different tracks, with some even getting a solo or a duet. Guest appearances are made by DJ Screw, K-Rino, A.C. Chill, DBX, Geto African, Hollowpoint, Ruff Eyque, Strych 9, Big C, A-K, Dren, Lil' Chuck and Acie. The record signs off with a modest total of eleven tracks all the while leaving the listener craving for more. This release was able to garner a good bit of success which eventually put the group into an ordeal with their record label. John J. Hernandez, the owner of Aggravated Records, wanted to take some members out and replace them with some other ones. He also wanted to change the group's distinct sound and powering image. Grimm and his fellow band mates wanted no part in this horrendous idea. This then became an internal conflict which was resolved by a litigation through the judicial system. John won the case and kept the rights to the name of the group. He then acted on his personal agenda and made his own version of Aggravated all the while releasing albums under that moniker. The original group moved on and signed with Jam Down Records and eventually became the group known as, The Most Hated. Accept will always be looked upon as a diamond in the rough type deal. It's a compelling work of art that also a brings upon an ominous feeling because of the group's unfortunate demise.

Deadly Verses
I Am Your Future (Radio) ft. Klondike Kat

Deadly Video

Album Notes
* Aggravated is also part of the South Park Coalition.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Chief-A-Tree Family - Lone Star Ballaz

Chief-A-Tree Family is a trio that represents from the wicked streets of Fort Worth, TX. The group consists of JFK, Head Turner and the in house producer, O.Z. Lone Star Ballaz is their debut album and it was released in 2001 on Off The Hook Records. Production is led by O.Z., who tends to bring a contemporary Down South production pattern. A type of pattern that is upbeat and customary for nearly any post millennium release from Texas. It may be a typical palette but it does not have any shortcomings. The rhythmical atmosphere is flexible enough to be enjoyed and not be too complicated or complex. Lyrically the album is at a respectable level. The two rappers are fluent in their vocals and their styles are modest to say the least. Both of them rely on simple rhyme schemes with moderate amounts of word play. There are a few tracks where the artists really do step out of their comfort zone and truly excel upon the microphone but for the most part things are kept simple and to the point. Guest appearances are made by Crystal, R. Sneed and Lil Wet. The album sounds off with a competent total of fifteen tracks with varying topics. All in all, it's a satisfactory release from the group and one that flirts with the lines of average and good. The record does have a few highlights but the straightforward approach from the artists seems to hinder any progress. And while the release won't take home any majestic awards, it is still quite commendable to see the group's dedication and devotion to their art.

Deadly Verses
Big Momma

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ms. Tee - Hot Girl

Trishell Williams, better known as Ms. Tee, is an artist that represents from the vile swamps of New Orleans, LA. Known throughout the Southern region for her soothing voice and providing vicious backup vocals, Ms. Tee first started off with Cash Money Records. In fact, she was the first female artist signed to that infamous label. After three somewhat successful albums with Cash Money Records, she would end up leaving them over a royalty dispute in the year 1996. Hot Girl is her fourth album and it was released in 1997 on the rival label, Untouchable Records. As with most Untouchable releases, production duties are assigned to Merrill "Real Roc" Robinson and Gary "Ozone" McKee. Together, they provide a spirited collection of rhythms that strictly define that classic New Orleans sound. A type of sound that seems laid back but is hype at the same time. The beats incorporate vivid notes from the genre of Bounce as well as various Southern elements to complete their composition. Now, the blend mentioned above only works flawlessly on a few cuts. Some tracks on here seem to have too much going on at one given point and almost become an audible distraction. Some of these faults could be blamed on the mixing and mastering department but not all of them. Not to worry though, because the composers do a good enough job of camouflaging these blemishes by spacing the tracks properly. The record also has its' ups and downs in the lyrical section. Ms. Tee is no ordinary songstress. Her tone is quite mollifying and she can change her pitch and tempo instantaneously. It's her blunt approach and vulgar themes that tend to go downhill. Although, one could overlook the vulgarity due to the record's underground nature and let it pass but it's truly hard to ignore the subject matter. The songs end up taxing the listener at one point or another and their motives become very unclear. Also, there is hardly any originality to her rhymes. Almost every verse or hook is an interpolation of a popular R&B song, Ms. Tee just presents it with her Southern flair and outlandish demeanor. Thus the end result is a mundane one even with the artist's superb voice. Guest appearances are made by L.O.G., Fila Phil, Lokee, Pimp Dogg, Charlie Hanseen, S.A.C. Mafia and Mike Love. The album rounds out with a total of fifteen tracks and with the discrepancies mentioned above, it becomes impossible to finish it in one sitting. Although the record can sustain itself because of the lavish guest list, it just doesn't have anything long term for the listener. Neither lyrically nor musically. The end result is a sub par effort from the artist, especially when considering the fact that she was known for providing the deadliest choruses and hooks money could buy in The Boot.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Zed Zilla - Da Franchise

Zed Zilla is a rapper that represents from the sprawling streets of Memphis, TN. An accomplished artist who has been recording since he was fifteen years old. His alias was given to him by a close friend who described his as the legendary fire breathing monster Godzilla, due to his vocal flair on the microphone. He was discovered by Yo Gotti, who immediately saw the raw talents of Zed and quickly began to mentor him. Da Franchise is his debut album and it was released in 2003 on Open Mouth Entertainment. Production on this joint is provided by the veteran, Blackout. He brings his intense style of craftsmanship to the table. A style that incorporates heavy sampling as the main hook and then builds upon it with a rapid cadence of drums and bass. This method is used throughout and tends to be a perfect fit for the artist. Lyrically Zed Zilla is quite strong on the microphone. His flow is fired quickly and energetically. His tone is somewhat sharp and his use of word play is clever. There are times when he does get a bit repetitive but the album is so well spaced that it is hardly noticeable. Guest appearances are made by Terror, Mon Goddi, Young Assassins, Lil Bird, Cardell, Pasae Watkins, Mac E, Stebo, Bigg Baby, Playboy and C.E.O. All in all, this is a substantial release by the artist that closes out at a total of fifteen tracks. The versatility that the record displays gives it the longevity that most desire. While Zed is still going strong in the rap industry today, most have forgotten his humble beginnings. This release stands as a testament for them and shines like a jewel from the boulevards of South Memphis.

Deadly Verses
Ying Yang ft. Mon Goddi, Bigg Baby & Terror

Album Notes
* Zed Zilla has also recorded under the alias, Lil' Zed.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

MC Overlord - A Better Funk

Donnell Robinson, better known as MC Overlord, is an artist that represents from the appalling streets of Austin, TX. Although he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved to Austin, Texas in 1987 and has resided there ever since. A veteran in the underground rap scene, Overlord has been around since the early nineties and is still active today. He is considered by many to be a pioneer in the vast city of Austin and is appropriately dubbed as "The Godfather of ATX Hip Hop." He is known for performing with live instruments and creating a genre defying atmosphere with the congenial mix of thought provoking lyrics over awe inspiring rhythms. His love for music runs deep since he was brought up on the genre of Funk & Soul. It wasn't until his teenage years where he eventually developed a taste for Hip Hop. He would rap for fun at his local high school and could freestyle of the top of his head for hours on end. While attending Austin Community College, he made an overwhelming decision. Instead of pursuing a degree from the acclaimed school, he would turn his past time hobby into a full time career. He decided to become a rapper and soon dropped out of school altogether. A Better Funk is his second album and it was released in 1995 on Lordship Records. The record is beautifully produced by DJ Cassanova, Charlie Redd, Micheal Hale, David Garza and Ter'ell Shahid. Together, they incorporate the use of live instruments into each and every track. Everything from percussion instruments to various guitars, keyboards and even saxophones are used to their ultimate apex. The beats are crafted from the ground up and are a treat to listen to. A couple of them are sample driven but the rest are all as original as can be. The record is also strong in the lyrical department. MC Overlord's powerful rhymes include a steady dose of word play and his burly tone delivers each line with precision. His subject matter is also diverse because it touches on various topics such as race, unity, equality, community and other compelling ideas that affect humanity as a whole. He indulges the listener from the very first track and keeps them hooked till the last. The album closes out at a humble total of eleven tracks which are all equally entertaining. Guest appearances are made by Dee, Ter'ell Shahid, Dah-Veed, Smooth Nelson and Charlie Redd. It is certainly not easy to record with live instruments which is why most producers stick to an electronic drum machine to provide different sounds. Overlord's unorthodox approach which involves live instruments is extremely thought out. The musicians provide an impressive foundation for the artist to freely express himself. In return, the emcee excels on the microphone and makes sure that their efforts are not wasted. This is an excellent work of art that has the unique ability to reach individuals on a conscious level. The album did not get any mainstream attention or appreciation but it gets plenty of love and respect from the deep vaults of the underground.

Deadly Verses
Put 'Em Up (Rasta Mix) ft. Dee

Deadly Video