Now, onto the review. . .
1. V3d1T1 (1:50)
The music begins and immediately sets a very serene tone. I’m sitting here bathing in every single note and key. It clears my mind and I’m actually feeling pretty good about life. . . and then at around the 0:30 mark the same lady who did the intros for your first two albums speaks and slowly a smile comes across my face. Your two voices contrast so much as hers is so pure, almost angelic, but because she is speaking the words you probably wrote for her it makes it almost comical (in a good way).
At the 1:20 mark she talks about the listener being provided with a “scrambling thought provoking experience. . . Behold!” and at this point I’m thinking this is nuts because you got the Celtic singers in the background doing their thing and just the fact that she uses the word “Behold”. . . it makes me think what can be so grandiose to deserve such an intro. And then I realize what it is: The return of T-Double.
The mind soothing music then starts to slow down like a record player that just lost its power which is fitting because at this point I’m hungry for some new tracks. The intro did its job; my mind is now a clean slate ready for the vicious flow that I’ve been addicted to these past few months. I am instantly rewarded for my patience because the next track starts almost instantly.
Bottom line: As far as intros go, this one is perfect. A little funny because of its grandiose nature and the slow earthy tones sets up the listener to get kicked in the face by the hard hitting beats the next track, Ozone.
2. Ozone (2:54)
So this track plays for a bit before you start flowin and for the first 0:16 secs I’m thinking, “Hmm. . . this beat is aiiight” but then you start to spit, “Since I’m so prone to ozone, I focus on. . .” and that’s was it. That’s was all I needed. I’m pretty sure I shit my pants and every single type of liquid came out of my body because this is exactly what I was waiting for. The word play was there and remains throughout the whole track, plus the beat was hot. (Tell your boy DZ that the beat that you flowed to here was one of his better works).
At the 0:35 sec mark you start clownin on dunce-cap rappers ending it by identifying yourself as the enemy of many beats. These lines are straight money. I love it when you call out all the weak ass “rappers” on your tracks.
If you haven’t been nodding your head at this point, then the chorus should take care of that, unless you’re dead. . . or Russian. This is a perfect chorus for this track and also perfect placement of this particular track. By that I mean the chorus kinda addresses the fact that you’ve been gone for so long and that you put this as your first flow in this 3 disc series is pretty smart.
Another thing I’d like to point out, your references. I love all these obscure/random references that you use throughout most of your tracks. This one you reference Friday the 13th starting off with T-Double Voorhees and ending with Crystal Lake. Man, that movie came out in the early 80’s. You were probably -4 when that movie became popular. In another track on this disc you reference Bloodsport, specifically the part when the main bad-guy blinds Van Damme in the final fight. I don’t know how you’re so money with these references but this is one reason why your flows are so tight.
Bottom line: This is an amazing track to start with. Classic T-Double: fast unique word play, random references, crazy beat by DZ which goes perfectly with the flow. Too many great lines to quote.
***** (5 of 5 stars!)
3. GreenRainDrops (4:40)
This track reminds me of Little Blue Backback in that you never directly say what’s going on but if you listen to the track a few times you gotta be dumb piece of shit to not understand what is going on. Well if that’s the case, I might as well make myself a new home in my own butthole because after listening to this one over 20 times I had no idea what goes on at the 3:45 sec mark.
In LBB, you seem to be alluding to something more morbid then what is actually going on and by that I mean the listener thinks that a kid is bringing a backpack full of guns to school when it is actually a kick ass jetpack. In the case of GreenRainDrops at first I thought the protagonist was all about making some greens like his older brother so he decides to get into the drug business, but instead it’s a paper route you’re talking about. Love it.
So at 3:20 I’m still with it. The hummer comes back again and the dude comes out again wearing a rain coat. I think I still know what’s up but when he pulls out the human skull, I’m totally lost. He asks the kid if he knew what happened, kid says no, lightning and green rain drops appear. Here’s my take on it: I was thinking about it and maybe on one level the skull with the check in it is a symbol of what’s going on. The kid finally got a job as a paperboy and this marks the beginning of the end for him. He transitioned from a young boy to a guy working for the check and thus a part of him died. There’s no way for him to know this happened, so when the man asks him if he knows what happened, the kid replies na-naa-na-naaa. That is indeed quite a stretch but seriously man, I’m clueless.
Also, the beat on this track is a little off. I feel like there is a lot going on with the beat on this track. It’s the Master P beat with some other noise going on. It doesn’t really complement the flow.
Bottom line: Good premise, but I got real lost at the end. Get back at me on what goes on at the end of this track. The beat on this one takes away for the track.
*** (3 of 5 stars)
4. Laser (3:19)
So this one starts off really good. As soon as the track plays you hear a few notes of the beat then you come in with “DZ on the beat like” and then the bass kicks in. I’m lovin it already. This track is real good. I remember when you put this one up on your MySpace a couple months ago. It was good then and I like it just as much now. One part that I want to point out is at 2:25. The last verse before you end is especially good. That verse you were flowin real fast and you end it strong.
Bottom line: This track does everything right. DZ made a unique beat and your flow is strong.
**** (4.25 of 5 stars)
5. MetalDouble (3:35)
This track kinda has a slow beat/feel and I had to listen to it a few times before I began to really appreciate it and after a few runs through it became one of my favorites on this disc. Your flow has a really good pace but what I really like on this track is the amount of clever references you use. 0:40 I really love the Bloodsport reference, and right after that you make a Metal Gear Solid reference that had a good flow. I thought it was mad clever how you integrated the stutter when you referenced Ruben Stoddard.
1:16 you start to flow at mach speed like how you did on your old track, Twist2, and what I like about when you go off like that is that you still sound crisp. It’s not like Bone Thugs where nobody knows what is going on and what is being said.
I’ll also mention the brief skit in the middle where you’re conversing with yourself. You pull it off real well. I love your ad lib and your creative skits. I’ll give this one track one minor criticism that keeps it from perfection: There are a few parts on this track when the music slightly drowns out your flow. At 0:29, 1:15, and 2:52. I mean, I can pretty much hear what you say but at times I have to strain, especially at the 1:15 mark. I don’t know man, maybe it’s just me.
Bottom line: This track was sneaky. I didn’t think much of it on the very first run, but after really listening to it I really began to appreciate the brain you use when you spit on this record and the slow beat is so money. One of my faves on this disc.
**** (4.75 stars of 5)
6. thePlightofMidnight (2:33)
Alright! I love these stories where it all comes together in the end. Kind of like that one track Roger, where the people start at zero and at the end you flow about their success. This time we’re dealing with a lonely ugly dude and a lonely fat girl. The funny thing about this track is that you ended it early. Seeing how this review is about that track, since you stopped in the middle and cut it short I guess so will
7. DumbDouble (4:01)
Let’s say it’s 10 years from now and you’ve continued to make brilliant music and evolve as a hip-hop artist, I guarantee you that if you decided to make a 7-track greatest hits disc, this one would easily be on it. Easily. Not only would I put money on that statement, but I would also bet every single one of my ribs. This track is by far the gem of disc 1. It replaced my past favorite, Fresh and Vicious, which I still think is one amazing straight flow. I have no idea where to start with this one so let’s just take it from the top.
The beat starts off on that long single note and then you chime in “T-Double. . . Battletoad, what” setting the mood. The VERY first time I heard this I knew you were going to go off and this one would be crazy. I think I was one of the first people to comment on this video on YouTube, but anyways. . .
Not only is everything on this track done right, but it is done perfectly. I have no constructive criticism to give you on this one because I honestly view this as hip-hop perfection. I only wish that this was your beat because you do it so much more justice than Lupe’s Dumb it Down.
I definitely would like to point out some things:
-0:40 calling out all the squirtles and their weak ass raps. Love it.
-1:17 your transition from the level design to a flow based on H20 was nice and later on your flow using the different detergents as a theme was brilliant.
-2:15 I really love this part here
-3:30 “I manage through my skill alone, single-handedly T-Double will own. . .” this line ultimately leads to one of the greatest 20 or 30 seconds of wordplay in hip-hop history. I had to rewind the track to this point a few times to understand what was going on at the end and it was all straightforward, but brilliantly put together. This track was simply amazing.
A little personal side-note about this one: It’s ironic that you choose to shoot the video of this track in black and white because when I listen to this one your words evoke a bounty of colors in my head. The blue of the Squirtles, the green of the Lipton tea leaves, the colors associated with the detergent boxes, etc. . . Whatever.
Bottom line: Regarding the day you recorded this on one take: What was it like waking up that morning and pissing excellence?
***** + (o) (5 stars AND my girlfriend’s titty out of 5 stars!!!)
8. DrugStore (2:45)
I don’t really have much to say here. This one has a smooth pace and tells a story about some guy who might be having a drug problem. At the very end of the track you find out that homeboy just got some really sweet ass shoes. I like it. The chorus helps build my curiosity throughout the track on what this guy’s deal is and at the end you wrap it up real nice. I like.
Bottom line: Nothing fancy just a good story with the usual twist at the end. Nice smooth pace.
**** (4 of 5 stars)
9. 100Hits (3:54)
Ah yes, the famous Balrog is back and this time the focus is on E. Honda. The very first time I heard you spit, it was the track about Zangeif. When I was listening to that one I thought, “This shit is good. I can clearly hear the quality and talent. If this guy flows about stuff other than Street Fighter I bet it would be amazing.” And that is when I downloaded your 2 albums and was instantly hooked.
Anyways, when you do these Balrog tracks I can’t help but compare them to previous ones. I would give all the tracks you’ve done so far as Balrog really high scores because they are so clever, the beats are hot, and the ending skits are just plain funny.
Like the previous tracks, the verses are good, the ending skit at 3:21 has the same charm and comical value, Saylen Strayer provides you with another good beat. . . there is only one thing that I wasn’t too crazy about: the chorus. The first time it comes it’s right after 1:08 when you find water on the floor. I didn’t really get what was going on with that. It’s probably just me. Every other time the chorus came you led into it real well, but the first time just threw me off. But even the other times the chorus came, I still wasn’t feeling the sound of it. . .”oye oye oye oye oye (heeeeey) x3”
In retrospect, the chorus’ for your other Balrog tracks may be repetitive but they all sounded great so I know that isn’t it. YupYupYup was catchy as hell. I can’t put my finger on it but, for me, the chorus on this track took away from the song.
Bottom line: Another good Balrog track. Quite the treat for SF fans. In comparison to previous Balrog tracks, the chorus falls short.
*** (3.5 of 5 stars)