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Kasseem Dean aka Swizz Beatz, husband of Alicia Keys dug deep into his beats library and he released an album on the on the second of November 2018. After listening to this album: all I can say is that it a chronicle of little black kids living in America in the 80s and 90s. An album that features rap heavy weight MCs takes a lens and pointed it at the lives of young African American children growing up in the hoods of America. As usual and always, at cillacritics, we don’t really analyses the music made by producers because they are not official lyricist but with this album, it has too much info that one cannot throw away what these MCs vomited with their rhyming vocal cords. Poison album review is going to look at this album using the usual three major categories of analysis because this album has some real message in it.

One other commendable attribute of this album is the diversity of beats used in this album. From pure boom bass rap, classical sounds to some Caribbean Latino sounds. Swizz went ballistic showing the world that it is not just with Trap sound that you can use in making Rap music. Also this man played with instruments such that you can hear any piece of instrument that you can ever think of. Swizz must have been in his zone all the time he was cooking the beats of this album.

THE THEME

This album which was opened up by the spoken poetry Aine Zio paints a picture of what Swizz intended to say in the album. She mixes metaphors with straight words stating that music was his (Swizzbeats) saving grace and weapon through which he was able to conquer his world. He declared that he and his brothers were strapped with music all their life.

The message is centralized on telling the stories of kids who were born in the 80s and how they adjusted to life in the hoods they grew up to live. Cold blooded paints a picture in lyrics of the life of an average black kid living in violent black neighborhood. Pusha-T did an excellent work passing the messages of why the kids back then were so broken. He talked about growing up with single mothers because their fathers were lazy running away from their responsibilities. He talks about discrimination that they faced because they possessed black skins. Giggs in the song “coming again” talks about the life while being a controller of the streets. He talks about the ladies and life of affluence in the hood and how dead one can get when your enemies gets the memo that you are weak.

Nas came on the 6th song of the album and came with his own story in the song titled “echo”. He talks about the particular house in the projects he grew up in when he was a kid. He talks about looking outside the window and seeing the police violate human rights. He talks about a lady murdering her husband because she was tired of the domestic violence she has been facing. He accounts that all those horrible up bringing shaped the kind of man he became which to some people is negative in a way. Lil Wayne got himself on the second song on the album titled P.O.M.S. He talks about the street life of always walking around with a gun strapped to waist. He talks about the way everybody just gets ready to shoot any enemy when they show up. In “Preach”, Jim Jones still goes on telling his own story of growing up in the projects. He talks about being brought up by drug leaders and how he had to give himself some kind of vision in all those blindness he was exposed to in the hood.

“Something Dirty/ the pic got us” has a small school of MCs in it and they go on telling their own tales of growing up in the projects. The selling point of this song is the chorus and a point black massage to people who are not African American. They declared that “if you are not black then you don’t know sh*t about us”.

For more on the song, it is best learned from the album when listened to.

THE PRODUCTION

An album produced by swizz beats with few help form Bink and Araabmuzik has some of the diversity of sound and instruments in it. The base line used for the song “Cold blooded” served as the Lead guitar and tune on that song. It gave it a wonderful diversion from usual sound that are dominated by octaves. Boom bass came to life with song “come again” having this steady percussion line that is dominated by Drum kit Hi-hats. The Hats sounded like the pedals were let lose all through the song.

Apart from the story telling which dominated the song featuring Nas. One other dominant feature of the song is the reoccurring loop of the word “echo”. It blends in some of the best ways with the base and solo-tenor lines.  Also the absence or reduced volume of the kick line on the mixer is another sauce that makes this song even better. Swizz went ballistic on the grand piano like his wife on P.O.M.S. He created some really wicked keys on the boom bass drum line.  The piano line in the second verse of P.O.M.S is pure mastery on the keys.

Another very wonderful feature of this album is the way he uses horn instruments in this album. Boom Bass is a wonderful brand of Rap hiphop; when you use the right instruments with it makes it groovy. This is what Swizz achieved in this album when you relate it with his use of trumpets and Clarinets in songs like “something Dirty” and “SwizzMontana”.

POSSIBLE HITS AND FLOPS

“SwizzMontana” and “Come again” has the inbuilt ability to become club banger because of the beat and the style of rap used by French Montana and Giggs. “25 soldiers” is a sound that one will tend to like as time passes. It has the possibility of becoming a fan favorite overtime.

“Cold Blooded” Something Dirty and Echo are song that will be much appreciated by the African communities in America because it is like a lyrical museum or archive of black American kids. It has the tendency to become a classic because of the message and careful selection of featured MCs.

“Pistol on my side” will be loved by most instrumentalist because of the ingenuity of the producer on the piano. Lil Wanye jumping on the beat also gives the song a jump start because Lil never disappoints. In conclusion, one can’t say that the songs in this album will flop because they have very serious strength in the beat, message and featured Rappers. This is obviously a nice album from Swizz beat and another win for Rap HipHop in 2018.

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