ILLECT Recordings (October 15, 2013)
Review by Stephen Maddox
Buy this album: SphereofhiphopStore.com
Let’s get it started set it off right! The chorus on the opening track Ladies and Gentlemen (feat. DJ Aslan) sets the mark and Sivion clearly delivers the right stuff with this one. Always one to buck trends and use his own unique cadence and delivery, this album is laden with classic Sivion rhyme schemes. Deep Space Five affiliate is a well seasoned vet who still delivers relevant rhymes for the times.
The second track Real talk, features one of the fiercest verses I’ve heard from muzeONE and the always on point Jurny Big in the third verse, add DJ Sean P on the cut, and this track feels like some gladiator hip-hop material.
I’m not sure how Sivion arranged the collaborations on this project but they all fit well (like the third track Out to Win with Macho from the Tunnel Rats and Manchild from Mars ILL. I would have never put those two together but it works!).
I particularly like Watch Out featuring Shames Worthy and Zane One, We got What You Want- featuring Propaganda and Sareem Poems, and Ask the Deejay- featuring Ruslan and Kaboose. Honestly all the tracks and collabs are on point.
The production throughout varies from hardcore boom bap to mellowed out neo soul inspired tunes. A chill album to hang out with friends and listen to and absorb the message while enjoying the groove.
The magnum opus of the album in my opinion is the last track Dub Season- featuring DFW’s Finest, a collective of Freddie Bruno, Playdough, Sean P, Von Pea and a gang of emcees I never heard, ALL dope! The beat, an interpretation of a classic jungle brothers drum loop, laden with boom bap loveliness is definitely on point. Sivion and crew prove that there’s more to Texas hip-hop then candy painted dropped cars gangsta anthems.
If you are into the thinner airy sound which pervades much of hip-hop music these days, you might consider this album to be ‘too boom bap’, but if you appreciate great lyricism, well orchestrated vocal collaborations, scratches and production,this album is for you. Plus there is no compromise here in terms of content. Sivion is just as bold about his faith as he is for his love of the culture in this album. Not to mention, he plays a mean sax! Not many emcees can say that. Definitely glad I picked this one up!