Sintax the Terrific and DJ Kurfu “Prince With A Thousand Enemies” album review

ILLECT Recordings (June 21, 2011)
Review by Undercover

Prince with a Thousand Enemies is an album that is destined to be under-appreciated. Sintax the Terrific, well known for his role in Deepspace5 and many collaborations, has joined with DJ Kurfu to produce a thoughtful masterpiece.

To appreciate the album fully, you must realize that it is inspired by “Watership Down,” and it is recommended that you read the book alongside the music. “Watership Down” is a children’s book about rabbits who believe they are blessed to live next to a farm, but soon realize that their home is a rabbit farm. After discovering the truth, they set out to establish a new home at a place called “Watership Down.” The album, like the book, explores themes of spirituality, belief, politics, comfort, and survival. Thankfully the liner notes include some explanation for each song and some of the phrases used. For example, the track Hard Going includes the bridge, “Lord God bless your servant El-ahrairah we will not fail,” and the notes explain that,

“El-ahrairah” is “the legendary rabbit folk hero. The name (Elil-Hrair-Rah) means “Enemies-Thousands-Prince” = The Prince with a Thousand Enemies.”

There’s a lot of depth here, but it requires a bit of homework.

All that depth is great, but do Sintax and Kurfu deliver? Lyrics are sharp, witty, poetic, and real. Beats fit almost perfectly with the content and offer that “head nod” quality that keeps you tuned in for the whole track. Overall this is a solid product and will please Deepspace5 fans very much.

The content, although foreign at first, stays interesting and hits relevant spiritual and physical topics. It’s hard to pick knockout tracks as the album kind of runs together, which is kind of a good thing in this case. Sintax is solid in his rhymes throughout, and Kurfu’s beats are full of emotion. A Watership Beat Down starts it off right with mellow piano and horns, then in comes the slow kick, kick, snare followed by Sintax: “I feel death in the wind, fear in the warren like the breath of the Reaper waking up in the morning…” Many points of this album are very serious, but there are also some fun points. Pimp My Hrududu just kind of sticks in your head, and you’ll find yourself humming, “Hrududu and the ride is nice y’all.”

The next to last track on the album, The Outskirters stands out both musically and topically, and doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the tracks. It has a weird mix of horns, off-tempo drums, and other odd noises thrown in that sound a bit awkward. The topic is “Who is your neighbor?” Sintax claims “It’s not an immigration song,” but it sure seems like it is. While this track may be the low point of the album, it does have some serious raps to be enjoyed.

This is a quintessential “thinker’s” album, made for headphones accompanied by a book and a pen. Like a true poet, Sintax does a great job of taking themes from fantasy and bringing them right back to reality. With so much depth, this album could definitely be enjoyable for months, or as long as it takes you to read “Watership Down.”

[Writer’s Confession] I did not have time to re-read the book. I only have dim memories to go off of, in which I mostly remember a scary tractor. I am looking forward to picking it up from the library soon, and will check back in with some comments.

For fans of: Deepspace5, Mars Ill, Beat Rabbi, Watership Down by Richard Adams

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  1. this album is deep wut a masterpiece now this is art if u lou hiphop reel hiphop that means sumthing gotta have this one masterpiece

  2. An incredible ALBUM. Not just a collection of songs, which is what most “albums” seem to be nowadays. It has a cohesive playability that flows from one song to the next. Yet, each song is capable of standing on it’s own, outside of the album. Reminds me of a Low End Theory or Bizarre Ride II in that way…

  3. I agree Isaac. I’m being anal and splitting hairs here, but if this album isn’t a complete ten–will there ever be a ten to come out of our genre? This thing is phenomenal and dare I say AMAZING! I also agree with Spoken Nerd in saying that this is the best album I’ve heard from Sintax and I don’t say that lightly. The first time I listened to it, I was stunned by how DEEP it is. It will literally take a hundred listens to really grasp what Sintax has laid down for us in this CD.

  4. I, personally, tend to think this one is absolutely brilliant. I’d have scored it a bit higher myself but either way… it’s excellent.

  5. I’m just a perfectionist and not sure if I believe in “10’s”. I think this album was close… Also this was my first review and I would feel silly giving the first one a 10.

    Plus I need to keep room in the scale for Braille’s new album 🙂

    Honestly though, I love this album. It’s one of my all-time fav’s. With that said there were a couple of weak points that stick in my head.

    Also, Josh you can’t rate an album that you had a hand in making :0

  6. I have 8 dollars to spend on iTunes.. Enough for 8 songs. So, quesion, what are the best 8 songs on this album??

  7. I have just seen the 1978 cartoon movie of Watership Down, and I found nearly every vocal sample that I heard on the album. I understood the album much more when I had seen the film. Maybe I’ll read the book some day too. Very good album.

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