Album Review | Planet Asia & 38 Spesh – Trust the Chain

This album was released on February 28th this year. If you’ve followed me for the past year you hopefully know that I’m a big fan of Planet Asia, and I personally consider him to be one of the most under-appreciated underground West Coast legends in Hip Hop. I think this latest album was announced either some time in January or very late in December. It’s just one entry in a long line of albums entirely produced by 38 Spesh from different underground artists including Che` Noir & ElCamino among others. I believe I heard only one single from this album, but I enjoyed it quite a bit, so I have no reason to expect anything other than a very good album.

1. Body After Body featuring Rasheed Chappell

The beat on this track is alright. I just wish it was a little less repetitive, but it’s by no means trash. Planet Asia fucking murdered that first verse though.

Get to the money, fuck you mean? You this close
Meanwhile city lights sparkle like cinnamon on French toast
Sentimental value what I’m hittin’ for
It’s a lot of dudes rockin’, but this is different though

I really like the way Rasheed Chappell comes in for the hook too. His relatively high pitched voice provides a really nice contrast to that of Planet Asia, whose actual rapping is easily the best aspect of the song to me. Both of his verses were very good. Nothing about the song really blows me away, but I definitely enjoyed this track a lot. I think it’s dope.

2. Resurrected Pharaohs featuring The Musalini

Once again, I think this beat from 38 Spesh serves as a nice backdrop for Planet Asia’s rhyming, but the instrumental itself doesn’t stand out much to me. His first verse is pretty great though. I liked the line about fucking a dude up in front of his kids at the daycare center. That was hard. The second verse from The Musalini was okay, but I would’ve preferred another verse from Planet Asia himself. The Musalini is an MC whose name I’ve seen floating around on the internet for about a year or two, but this was my introduction to him. I don’t think he’s a terrible MC, but I don’t find his verse here to be particularly enjoyable. The song itself is still good to me, but it’s far from a favorite of mine.

3. Mystery School

This song easily has my favorite beat up to this point on the album. It’s a lot more melodic than either of the preceding instrumentals. The first verse is really nice. The hook is super simplistic, but I suppose it serves its purpose well enough. The second verse is pretty nice, although I wouldn’t say it’s anything more than what we’ve come to expect from Planet Asia. At this point, one pretty much always knows what Planet Asia is gonna do, and he’s not really doing anything different here. It’s the same quality level of rapping we always get from him. The one aspect that stands out to me the most is the production, but I still wouldn’t say it’s an amazing track or anything. I definitely fuck with it though. It’s dope.

4. God Degree

This beat is even better to me than that of the previous song. For whatever reason it reminds me of the Rock Star levels from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. I really love the first verse. Despite what I said about the preceding track, this song actually has some more focused content than what we usually get from Planet Asia. This shit is woke af.

Freedom or death is what we used to shout
So why we still throwin’ parties inside a burning house?
The devil still tryna turn us out
History repeats what you refuse to learn about

Talk that talk, God! This is easily one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. The second verse was even better than the first one. He murdered this shit. This song is dope as hell.

5. Passport Player

This song has another one of the better beats on the album in my opinion. It sounds kinda familiar to me though; I feel like I may have heard this sample flipped in an older song before. The first verse was pretty good. It sounds like Planet Asia is kinda singing on the hook with autotune, and my first instinct was to slander it and call it trash, but it’s actually not that bad. I think it sounds fine honestly. The second verse was cool. I have to admit that nothing about this song really stands out to me that much aside from the production. It kinda just sounds like more of the same, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for me. It’s just not the most memorable track. I fuck with it though; this is pretty good.

6. Snake Charmer

I’m not really crazy about the beat on this track. I wouldn’t say it’s trash or anything, but it’s just a bit too low-key and simplistic for my taste. It’s very unremarkable to me. Planet Asia’s rhyming is on point as always, but sonically this track leaves a lot to be desired. That’s really all there is to it to be honest. If the beat was more interesting I’d most likely be into the song because his performance was definitely sufficient. The production is just too stale for me to want to return to this song in the future. It’s decent, but I’m not gonna be listening to it again.

7. Learned from OGs (Remix) featuring Fred the Godson & ElCamino

This was the first single I heard from the album, and I really like it. I have no idea why it’s labeled as a remix on Apple Music though because it’s the exact same song. Nothing about it has changed at all. It’s still one of my favorite tracks on the album though.

This is the lead single from Planet Asia’s upcoming album, Trust the Chain. It’s completely produced by 38 Spesh, and it’s set to be released on February 28th if I’m not mistaken. Shoutout to 38 Spesh, man. That dude is putting in a lot of work already this year. He also has an album with ElCamino coming out next month if I’m not mistaken. Or maybe it’s not next month. I know he’s doing an album with him though. Anyway, Fred the Godson spit the first verse on this song, and he was actually pretty great.

I walk with the Desert like Iraq & ’em, preferably the .50
OG gave me same crack recipe for Whitney

I’ve never really been into him that much in the past, but this verse is really well written, and I like his flow a lot as well. ElCamino really killed that second verse too. His flow was fire. He was spazzing on this one. I gotta check more of his work out because I really like most of what I’ve heard.

I used to only rock shell toes with wide laces
Shootouts everyday, I’m livin’ in the matrix
I can make a million off rap, it’s all patience
It might take you years to get on, just embrace it

He did a nice job with the hook too. So, as you can see, I really enjoyed those two features. However, Planet Asia definitely had the best performance in my opinion. He rapped his fucking ass off on this track. I mean, he always does, but still. It’s still impressive. This shit is fire.

PA Medallions, polaroid the post-war
Niggas on my wave now; wow, where’s the coast guard?
Peep the subconscious crack era flash cards
Vivid in the rhyme like crime you didn’t ask for

This shit is fire. I will say that I wasn’t really blown away by the production, but it’s certainly not bad. My focus was on the rapping though. This is dope as hell. Check it out.

8. Tec & a Mink

The production here is less intense than that of the preceding song. It’s a pretty solid beat. Planet Asia actually killed this shit too.

With these broke bitches I’m uninvolved
Know some hoes that’s nymphos with they nose ‘cause how they want it raw
I’d kill myself before I run with y’all
My Glock nine and .357’s related, I call them gun-in-laws

The hook is nothing special, but it serves its purpose well enough. The second verse was okay, although it did seem like he was about to get into some borderline anti-vax rhetoric at one point. He thankfully didn’t go that far, but I feel like if someone directly asked him, he’d probably reveal himself to be an anti-vaxxer. I like the song, but nothing about it truly blew me away. The first verse was really nice, and everything else was just slightly above average to me. I fuck with the song though; it’s pretty good.

9. Juggernauts

I think this song has one of the better beats on the album. For some reason it kinda reminds me of Kilik’s stage in Soul Calibur 3. I know that’s random as hell, and I can’t really explain it, so don’t ask. This might actually be my favorite beat on the whole project. I think Planet Asia sounds perfect over it. The first verse is great, and the hook is pretty nice too.

All hail Medallions, the West kept secret
I’m doublin’ my prices for appearances and features
Through the clock of destiny is how the future was took
Each song is a different chapter, every album’s a book

This is easily one of the best song’s on the album in my opinion. There’s not really anything that I dislike about it. This shit is dope as hell.

10. Winter Time

This song has another pretty nice beat. The content here is far more introspective and autobiographical than that of any of the other tracks. I think his verse here is really, really good, but I wish the song as a whole was more grandiose. They really could’ve gone out with a bigger bang. This would’ve been a perfect outro if the verse was twice as long, and the production was more dynamic. If Planet Asia’s delivery got more passionate and intense as the song progressed, and the instrumental got more cinematic and dramatic, this could’ve easily been the best song. It’s really good as it is, but since it’s so damn short it feels like they could’ve done a lot more with it. I still fuck with the song a lot though. This shit is dope.

This album is very good. I think I said this the last time I reviewed a Planet Asia project, but you pretty much always know what you’re gonna get from him. He kills every verse, so it’s usually just up to the producers and features to match his talent. I will say that I was generally a bit underwhelmed by 38 Spesh’s beats here. I don’t think the production is trash, but they just sound a little generic and very conventional. He doesn’t have a super recognizable style. They’re very typical boom bap instrumentals. It sounds like shit I’d hear on a Nas album, and not one of the great ones. In terms of the features, I think ElCamino easily had the best performance, and Fred the Godson was surprisingly solid as well, but the others didn’t stand out much. It’d be cool if Planet Asia experimented more, at least with his delivery and flow, but at this point he’s solidified his style. There are no surprises here. You can either look at this project as predictable or reliable, and I happen to lean towards the latter. It’s far from his most memorable release, but I doubt anyone’ll be truly let down. It’s a dope album.

Favorite Song: God Degree
Least Favorite Song: Snake Charmer


B flat
Grade: B

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