Album Review | Ransom & Big Ghost Ltd. – Heavy Is the Head

This album was released on July 23rd this year. This is one of my most anticipated projects of 2021. Big Ghost Ltd. already put out one of my favorite albums of the year with Conway the Machine called If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed, and Ransom dropped my two favorite extended plays of 2020. I kinda regret not reviewing IIBICBK because it’s my second favorite album of the year right now. Ransom delivered my favorite guest verse of the year on Kill All Rats. That song is fucking amazing. That’s a big part of why I was so excited for this album. I had really high expectations.

There aren’t any tracks that I don’t like on this album, so I’ll write about it in the proper order of the tracklist. As you probably could’ve surmised from the title and cover art for this record, it’s got a medieval war theme. It didn’t really add much to the project for me personally, but I’d be lying if I said it really bothered me at all. The opening song is called Lord Stark, and it has a minute long intro. Again, the intro skit doesn’t really do much for me, but I will say that it’s really polished and well done. The shit sounds mad professional. The actual beat that comes in after about 50 seconds is really dope. As far as song structure goes, Ran is just rapping the whole time with no hook or bridge or anything like that. He killed it too.

Who you know better? Don't make the wrong choice
I play this game without stretching 'cause I destroy joints
Ran is at it again, I am fully mad with this pen like
Lonzo & LaMelo, this fellow's ill with a ballpoint
But then again these niggas all moist
No soul with a rich heart that spits with a poor voice
Let's find a trophy we can all hoist
You tryna flip a 9 to 5? Somebody call Royce

His flow is smooth as hell here. The whole verse is pretty much on par with the level of greatness I’ve come to expect from Ransom. The song is dope as hell. It’s followed by All the King’s Men, which features Mickey Factz & J. Arrr. I think the first verse from Ransom is one of the best performances on the whole album to be honest.

Lord to the ghetto, king to the street corner
Police swarm us, this is where life expectancy meets karma
Street sagas, told by a tortured sinner who preach horror
Speak martyr, demon whisperer, labelled a beast charmer
Pete Parker, swinging through broken cities that we fathered
Teach toddlers, flashy convicted felons who beat charges
Peach cobbler, food for your thought if you want your peace larger
We robbеrs, gun in my joggers, don't gotta reach farther
Thеse are the rules but they don’t apply to a weak blogger
Heat sparker, flamin' filet and spray 'til the beef darker
Sweet talkers, drug-dealing killers, known as concrete chalkers

His flow is so precise on this verse. It’s pretty mesmerizing stuff. He fucking slaughtered this shit. The second verse is performed by Mickey Factz, who pretty much had the same exact flow as Ransom. It was a really great verse, but for some reason I was more impressed when Ransom did it. J. Arrr’s flow wasn’t really that different either, but his voice stands out a bit more than that of Mickey Factz, so I enjoyed his verse more. He’s been featured on multiple Ransom projects in the past, and he always performs really well. I wouldn’t mind checking out a solo project from him. He killed his verse on this track too. That Stakes Is High line was fire. I think I would’ve enjoyed the song even more than I already do if they all had different flows, but it’s still a very entertaining song to me. I think it’s dope. It’s followed by one of my favorite songs on the album, Ransom the Destroyer. I think the beat on this track is fucking amazing to be honest. Big Ghost put his ass in that beat. Ransom fucking slaughtered his verse here too.

Never wilt under pressure
Score a hundred plus in this game, I'm like Wilt under pressure
Spend a hundred plus on this chain, blood spilt on this dresser
No a fiend that struggle with 'caine, body built like Nadeska
All I'm sayin' is when your everyday struggle mix with your hustle
It's a tussle, be aware 'cause they still might arrest you
I was known as a savage when I was average
Now I live lavish in a palace with a Porsche and I'll still buy a Tesla

The whole song is just one amazing verse over an incredible beat. The structure is simplistic, but everything is so well done that I can’t help but love it. This shit is dope af. It’s followed by another major highlight entitled The Red Wedding. This one features a killer verse from RJ Payne right at the beginning of the track.

My pen is sharper, authentic author, my image darker
Mic disciple, the sniper rifle will strip a blemish of you
You know my sentiments, every sentence a pencil scorcher
Mental torture, catch me in central Georgia, the Benz or Porsche

He’s super technical and precise with his rhymes. I think he delivered one of the best verses on the whole album to be honest. He’s easily my favorite feature on the project. Ransom came through on the second half and killed the song too though.

Release the curses I received in churches, believe in worship
But I'm dark as the suits and shades on the secret service
You meatless burgers gettin' beat and murdered
When they reach the verdict, we deserved it
You come with problems, you leave in hearses
I'm a machine, you gotta feed the circuits
Get people nervous, Matthew 13:11
Eve when she sees the serpent

I really can’t say who had my favorite verse to be honest. They both slaughtered this track. I think it’s amazing to be honest. The song is dope af. It’s followed by Kings Intermission. Again, I really don’t care for the speeches about royalty and kings and shit. I just like this track because the instrumental in the background is really dope. I think it’s a cool interlude. The next actual song is called Tyranny, and it’s another highlight for me. The production here is pretty smooth and chill. It’s really the actual rapping from Ransom that makes the song so entertaining to me. He killed this shit.

I come in peace, but can't guarantee you won't leave in pieces
Be discrete with those civilians who tend to believe in secrets
See the streets is not for the game so leave the bleachers
We the reapers and will leave pools of blood by the feet of preachers

Once again, the song has a very simplistic structure, but the rapping is so good that I don’t even mind. That Superman line was fire. Not only is the rapping top notch, but the production is amazing as well. The song is dope af. It’s followed by Blackwater, which features Rome Streetz. It has a pretty good instrumental, although far from my favorite on the album. The opening verse from Ran is great. This is one of the few songs on the project with an actual hook. It’s not amazing or anything, but it serves its purpose well enough. The second verse from Rome Streetz is pretty great too. It’s far from the best performance I’ve heard from Rome, but he still killed it. I think the song is really dope overall. It’s followed by a posse track called Off with His Head, which has features from Lou from Paradise & the Heavy Metal Kings. Ransom easily had the best verse on this track to be honest. He went first and he fucking demolished it.

It's no escapin' when I cause disaster, lord and master
Force of rapture, I'll assault a rapper, just a heartless slacker
I'll carve and stab you in your soft cadaver, Boston crab you
Toss & drag you, Ransom's the rappin' version of Marvin Hagler

The second verse from Lou is pretty cool to be honest. He may be one of the biggest dickheads I’ve ever interacted with, but the dude can rap. I loved that line about how he could go 16 minutes if Ransom didn’t tell him to keep it to 16 bars. That was hard. The third verse from Vinnie Paz was kind of disappointing to me to be honest. It was a solid verse overall, but it didn’t really stick out much to me. I kinda feel like he was operating in autopilot. The same kinda goes for the final verse from Ill Bill. I think his verse was a little better, but it still didn’t really blow me away. I’d say Ransom easily had the best verse, then Lou, and then Bill & Vinnie were kinda on the same level. This is one of the weakest songs on the album to me just because the features aren’t that great, but overall I still think it’s really good. The penultimate track on this album is called King’s Landing, and it’s just another 53-second long interlude. I unfortunately don’t care for this one as much as Kings Intermission just because the music in the background isn’t as entertaining to me. I’m not gonna pretend to have a huge issue with this interlude, but I’d be lying if I said it added anything to the album for me. The last actual song is called A King’s Ransom, and it’s fire. I think the production is great, and Ransom of course killed the verse. It’s got the same simplistic structure that songs like Tyranny & Lord Stark have. It’s just one superb verse over a big, grandiose sounding instrumental. I don’t have any gripes with it. I think it’s dope as hell.

This album is really damn great. I’d actually say it’s one of the better albums I’ve heard in 2021 so far. At this point Ransom has proven himself as an elite MC, so it’s really up to the producers and features to live up to his level of quality. Thankfully Big Ghost delivered some really awesome beats on this project. Honestly, I think this is my favorite album from Ransom yet. I can’t wait to see how he follows this up because the dude is only getting better in my opinion. Don’t sleep on this project. It’s dope as hell.

Favorite Song: The Red Wedding
Least Favorite Song: Off with His Head


Grade: A-

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