This is a great project from a legendary group. Not only does it show that there is still a way to make unique sounding music, but it is the best farewell they could ever give to Phife Dawg, may he rest in peace.
The production is full of the jazz influences you would expect to hear from this group. They use the instruments to create great atmosphere throughout the project as well as affect the energy as it flows through the songs. There are some moments that are sudden changes but they are out there for effect and are not mistakes as they are part of how the project plays out.
The lyricism is great with each member who raps doing a great job of showing their signature flow with enjoyable rhymes to make tracks that are thought provoking and yet easy listening. maybe a few more changes between flows could make slightly more impact, but there are no weaknesses in the performances on this album.
The features are great as each shows off their own impressive skills while showing great chemistry with the group. All are uncredited on the album which means that on first listen through they are a surprise and are somewhat refreshing. This is a nice touch as there is a good balance between singers and rappers which leads to a smooth project on each listen through.
Overall, this is a great alternative project from what is popular in the mainstream and should help show people that rap is more than the generic pop tunes. Each member should be proud that they could make Phife Dawg’s last project as great as this.
This album has a lot of elements to take the listener back to a different time in Hip Hop. If it wasn’t for the topical content, this could have been a ninties project.
The production is very laidback and eases in the listener to the whole experiance. It is easy listening for the most part with a few sharper moments that lend itself to the more politically inclined lyrics. A few more beats with a modern feel could show that Slum Village accepts the modern era of Hip Hop, but thier beat selection fits extremely well with thier style.
The lyricism is strong and flows through the whole project. Every member does a great job layering thier rhymes to help with the imagery as well as the rhythem of the tracks. There are very few improvement to be made of thier individual performances.
The features all add to the feel of the tracks and build up the lyrical repetoire. All of them add good verses and have a great deal of chemistry with the group. A few features with more of a presence in Hip Hop could help attract a few new listeners, however Slum Village have selected thier guests well.
Overall, this is a good kickback album with a lot of good points and no clear bad ones. All of Slum Village should be proud of keeping thier sound all these years.