Album Review | Sean Price & Small Professor – 86 Witness

This album was released on February 8th this year. This is the second posthumous album from Sean Price. It’s probably the last one we’ll ever get too. It’s entirely produced by Small Professor. I’ve listened to every Sean Price solo album, and every Heltah Skeltah album. I’ll probably post my rating of his discography—minus the mixtapes—tomorrow. I also checked out the EP version of Songs in the Key of Price, which was pretty good. Anyway, looking at the tracklist, I’m really not sure how I’m gonna feel about this project. It looks more like an EP than a full album. There are a few remixes, and there aren’t any songs without features, unless you count the interlude. This’ll probably feel like more of a Small Professor album than a Sean Price album. I’m sure I’ll enjoy a lot of the material on this project though.

1. Bear Witness featuring DJ Revolution

This is really more of a DJ Revolution and Small Professor song than a Sean Price song. It doesn’t feature any rapping from Sean Price. It’s just a dope beat with some scratches from DJ Revolution. It’s more of an intro than a full song, so I don’t have too much to say about it. I enjoyed it for what it is though. It’s dope.

2. Refrigerator P! performed by Heltah Skeltah featuring DJ Revolution

This song first appeared on Sean Price’s previous album, Imperius Rex. That version didn’t feature Rock though, and it had a different beat. I think I like this version a little bit more. I prefer the beat from the Imperius Rex version, but this one feels a bit more complete. The hook from Rock is really dope. Sean Price did a great job with the verses. He rapped about kicking over kids’ strollers & selling crack to women in their third trimester. A verse from Rock would’ve been the icing on the cake, but I guess the song is supposed to be named after Sean Price, so it wouldn’t really have made that much sense. The scratches from DJ Revolution at the end of the track were dope. This is a really good track. Like I said, I think this is superior to the Imperius Rex version. It’s dope.

3. Latoya Jackson featuring Quelle Chris & DJ Revolution

Goddamn. The beat on this song is fucking awesome. Sean’s flow on the first verse was really nice. This is definitely the best song on the project so far. I love this shit. The scratches on the hook from DJ Revolution are great. Quelle Chris’ verse was fantastic. Sean Price killed that last verse too. The way the beat switched up about halfway through his verse was a really nice touch.  I don’t have any issues with this track. I love it. I think it’s dope af.

4. Midnight Rounds featuring Elucid & Castle

Oh, wow. I really wasn’t expecting to see Castle on this project. I haven’t heard from him in a long ass time. His 2013 album Gasface is really fuckin’ great. I’ve never listened to any of Elucid’s solo work, but I’m a fan of his group with billy woods, Armand Hammer. Anyway, the beat on this track is awesome. I’m really impressed by the production on this album so far. The hook from Castle is nothing special. The first verse from Elucid was pretty nice. Castle’s verse was better though. Sean Price actually had a really great verse too. The way that vocal sample was inserted into the middle of his verse was hilarious to me. This is another really good song. I don’t have any issues with it. It’s dope.

5. P’s Theme (Interlude)

This track is pretty much just an instrumental with a few vocal samples. I didn’t expect this to be a track that I’d return to, but it’s actually a really good beat. It’s definitely the least entertaining track on the album so far, but I still enjoyed it. This is dope.

6. John Gotti featuring AG da Coroner, Guilty Simpson & Your Old Droog

This was the lead single to this album. I liked it when I first heard it, but it didn’t really blow me away like I wanted it to. I still think it’s a really good song though. The beat from Small Pro is nice—slightly too repetitive though—and Sean Price did a great job on the first verse. I’m not super familiar with AG da Coroner, but he did his thing on this track. Guilty Simpson’s verse wasn’t that great to me. I’ve never really been a big fan of him. It wasn’t a wack verse. It just wasn’t as good as the others to me. The lyrics were kinda cool, but his flow was lackluster. Droog killed it though. His verse was great. I think this is a really good track. It’s dope.

7. Think About It performed by Heltah Skeltah featuring Illa Ghee & DJ Revolution

The beat on this track is pretty good. The first verse from Sean Price wasn’t amazing or anything, but it was cool. Illa Ghee did his thing. The way he used the word “rock” was dope. The hook’s super short & simplistic, which is probably for the best. Rock definitely had my favorite verse, but none of them really blew me away. The scratches from DJ Revolution at the end of the song were cool. This is definitely one of the most underwhelming tracks on the project, but I still enjoyed it. It’s a dope song.

8. Word to Mother featuring DJ Revolution

This is the shortest song on the album if you don’t count the intro and interlude. It’s just one verse from Sean in which he uses the word “word” about 20 times, followed by some scratches from DJ Revolution. The beat is solid, and I enjoyed the verse from Sean. However, as a whole the song is pretty unfulfilling. I definitely enjoyed it to some extent, but it’s far from my favorite track on the album. The Mike Tyson sample was a nice touch, considering the title of the final album Sean made when he was still alive. This is a pretty solid track. I fuck with it. It’s dope.

9. John Gotti (Philly Blunt Remix) featuring Reef the Lost Cauze, Curly Castro & Zilla Rocca

I’m glad Small Professor decided to change the beat for this song instead of just changing the features. I think I prefer this beat over the original one. The verse from Sean Price is the same, but the new features did a pretty good job. Honestly, I think this is the superior version. Reef the Lost Cauze actually dedicated a large portion of his verse to Sean Price. It was kind of bizarre when he got off topic and started talking about how he’s fuckin’ other niggas’ bitches though. Curly Castro did his thing on the second verse. I’m not really familiar with Zilla Rocca, but his verse was solid too. Honestly, neither versions of this song are amazing to me, but I think both of them are good. If I had to choose one over the other I’d take this one, even though I really liked that verse from Your Old Droog. This shit is dope.

10. Refrigerator P! (Peaky Blinders Remix) featuring Rob Kelly

The beat on this version of the song is a lot jazzier than the other two versions. I think I like this one the most in terms of production. However, I think I’ll stick with the other version that appeared on this album because I like the hook from Rock. Also, this Rob Kelly verse at the end of the song is kinda bizarre to me. I mean, it’s fine lyrically, but Rob Kelly is Irish, and his accent just sounds weird to me. Is that fucked up for me to say? It’s like when I listened to that Australian rapper; it’s not bad objectively. It just doesn’t sound right to me with the accent. It’s kind of hard to take seriously. I kinda feel bad for saying that. I gotta be honest though. Overall, I still think this is a good song. I just prefer the other version on this album.

This is a very good album, especially for a posthumous release. I don’t think there are any bad songs on this project. It’s kind of obvious that they didn’t really have that much material from Sean Price to work with though. Most of these songs only have one verse from him. The only exception is Refrigerator P!, but we already had a version of that song on a previous project. That issue should be expected though. I mean, he died four years ago, so it makes sense that they’re running out of unreleased material from him. I was pretty satisfied with the production, and all the features were solid. Sean Price did his thing too. I don’t really think there are any major flaws with this project. I liked pretty much every song. This shit is dope to me.

Favorite Song: Latoya Jackson
Least Favorite Song: Refrigerator P! (Peaky Blinders Remix)


Grade: B

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