This album was released on January 14th. I’ve never heard a song by AJ Suede, so I’m not really familiar with him, but I wanted to check this album out for a couple reasons. First of all, I think the cover art is fucking awesome. That’s definitely my favorite album cover of the year so far, which is saying a lot because we’ve had a lot of dope artwork already. The second reason I wanted to try this album out is that AJ Suede had a really impressive verse on Iceberg Theory‘s magnum opus, Dispatches from the Kali Yuga. There are also a lot of features from artists that I really fuck with, so I think there’s a pretty good chance of me loving this album. Every track is produced by Televangel too, so that’s a good sign.
The album starts off with a highlight entitled Wake the Wind. I think the jazzy production from Televangel here is gorgeous, and AJ Suede fucking killed it. I love the hook too.
I wake the wind Crossover then I break your shins If we don't make it out we're breakin' in I play to win Rather make hits than make amends I'd rather make fam instead of friends I won't attend Couldn't follow rules and follow trends Gotta speak my mind, I can't pretend
Pretty much every single line on this track had me hooked. I think he rapped incredibly well here. I don’t know who I’m more impressed by between him and Televangel. The beat is gorgeous, and the lyricism is very captivating to me.
Come in first, not last; future, present, past
Kinda like an oil spill how I'm smokin' gas
So mobile, no ExxonMobil
No T-Mobile, but 3 million Scoville
Got another hot one
Every time I make another track, I'm like "I got one"
Got a lot of options, whippin' a concoction
Patch your shit up like some boxin'
And you don't give a damn who's watchin'
Never take advantage of my patience
Or you could be my next mental patient
This was a fantastic way to start the album, and it had me excited to listen to the rest of the project. I think it’s dope as hell. The following track is entitled Vox Machina.
I think the production is phenomenal, and, once again, AJ Suede’s lyricism had me hooked. I really like the hook too. It has a nice five-syllable rhyme scheme.
Talkin' to machines, and they talk right back to ya
Bloodsuckin' parasites, not like Dracula
Both of the verses on this song are really good. The track’s got a pretty straightforward structure, which I appreciate. This song didn’t blow me away as much as the opening track, but I still really fuck with it. I think it’s dope. Track 3 is called Respect the Architect, and it’s pretty exciting for me because it features Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, who I’m a big fan of. The dark, cryptic-sounding production is really great, and AJ killed the first verse.
I fuck with all of y'all, but I fuck with me more
Respect the architect that builds it up from the floor
Brick by brick, now the building is tall
This is Darth Suede and not Vader or Maul
I like how his delivery gets slightly more and more aggressive as the verse progresses. eXquire fucking slaughtered this track though. That’s probably the best verse I’ve heard all year to be honest. It was hilarious.
Fuck every listener you had on your Spotify wrapped
If it was 1.5 million niggas, I will literally
Fuckin' email every one of them individually
Buy they self a virus, and make sure they computer break down
So they never listen to that bullshit you record
'Cause I fuck with your shit, but I fuck with me more
I could go to my crib, I'd rather run up in yours
Like, "put the remote control down, everyone on the floor
Oh, that's your sister right there? I think I fucked her before"
The song is dope as hell. The following track is entitled Cracked, and it’s got a relatively smooth beat. I fuck with it. The first verse from AJ is really nice.
All that other shit is luxury and privilege to me
Business to me, like the shit you sniff on a key
Gotta focus on the mission that was given to me
And I play small shows so intimately
The hook is pretty solid too, and I like the guest verse from Hemlock Ernst a lot. He rhymed really well. I don’t really have any complaints with this track. I’m not head over heels in love with it like I am with the preceding track, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it’s dope. Track 5 is called Terror, and it’s got one of my favorite beats on the album. It makes me think of Resident Evil 4 for some reason. There’s only one verse on this track, but it’s very good.
Products of environment, quotients of retirement
Sum of all fears when the prophecy admires him
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's entitlement
No small talk, no big talk either
Tryna make a noun to a verb like ether
Ask if I'm a student, but I'm closer to a teacher
Pimpin' like a preacher
Watered down your message and your shit is getting weaker
I really like the piano that comes in during the hook, and the record scratches that come in for the outro were a nice touch. The song is dope. It’s followed by Here, which has one of the most melodic beats on the album. The first verse is performed by an artist named Squadda B, with whom I was previously unfamiliar. I enjoyed his verse here though. The hook from AJ Suede is pretty chill, and his actual verse is great. The vocals that come in during the second recital of the hook sound really gorgeous too. I’m not sure if that’s a sample or an uncredited feature, but whoever it was sang their ass off. The song is really dope. Track 7 is called Watch Out, and it features PremRock of ShrapKnel. Once again, I’m loving the production from Televangel. The opening verse from PremRock is fire too. His flow was really nice. I also think AJ Suede spit one of his better flows on the album here.
12 steps to perfection, you're halfway there
But you still can't come around rarefied air
Life ain't fair, better off bettin' on self
Increasin' the odds, so I can redistribute the wealth
Feast with the gods, potluck, bring your own dish
Tryna watch a rap snitch make a knish
I love the way the beat kinda switches up for the outro too. It added a lot to the song for me. I think the track is dope overall. The following song is called Elysium, and it’s got one of the weirdest beats on the album in my opinion. I like the instrumental a lot though. The hook is pretty good too. I really like the content about drugs.
Overdoses in your belt, but the pain isn't felt
When you chew and press pills 'cause they don't even melt
Please don't get me started on the fent' and the coke
Makes your heart slow down, start to cough, and you choke
Watch my favorite fiends shootin' fent' with the dope
Black as the tar, he might not return from the stars
So I think I'd rather stick to the tree
And I'd rather roll the flower, ain't no dabbin' for me
Last time I took a dab, they heated up the degrees
And my lungs started burning, so it wasn't for me
It’s a pretty slow-paced song for the most part, but I really like how it switches up for the final minute or so. The beat gets more fast paced, and AJ switches his flow up completely. It really breathes new life into the track in my opinion. I think the song’s dope overall. Track 9 is called Reaper, and it has a pretty melodic instrumental that I like a lot. There’s just one verse on this track, but it’s really good.
You think Osama did the towers?
I hope that you can smell them when they give you your flowers
We're just pawns of higher powers, and high on sour
They just watching from the ethernet and router
Put a sticker on your webcam
I puked out foam the first time I did a keg stand
I'm a virgo with the left hand
You might've seen me in that video with Redman
I love how those extra horns come in for the outro. They sound really goddamn good. This is another dope song. I think it’s one of the better tracks on the album. I fuck with it. It’s followed by 3 Hours Late, which was another one of the more exciting tracks for me because it features Ceschi and Hemlock Ernst. This track probably has my favorite instrumental on the whole album to be honest. I think it’s incredible. The first verse from AJ is pretty nice, but Ceschi kinda stole the show on this song for me honestly. I mean, I guess I can’t say that he completely smoked everyone on the track because AJ’s verse was really good, and Hemlock killed it too. He just stood out the most to me. Anyway, this is easily one of the best tracks on the album to me. I think everyone involved in this track did a fantastic job. The production and rapping are magnificent. The song’s dope af. Track 11 is called Master Shake, which is cool because Aqua Teen Hunger Force is my favorite show of all time. The horns in the instrumental of this song borrow the melody from Mac DeMarco’s Chamber of Reflection, which is cool. It sounds pretty amazing honestly. Both of the verses from AJ on this track are really good, especially the second one.
If you're here currently
Always keep your word because you trade it like currency
Everything is business, so don't ever take it personally
Arm, leg, leg, I could make the devil work for me
Magic don't work on me
Ain't no one impressin' me
Ain't nobody matchin' my telepathy
Ain't too many people mentioned next to me
Once again, I really dig how the production kinda switches up for the outro. This is another highlight for me on the album. I think it’s one of the best tracks. It’s dope as hell to me. The penultimate song is called Rubies. I think the production on this track is pretty amazing, especially when it switches up about halfway through the track. There’s just one long verse from AJ on this song, and it’s very good.
Here's a little omen for your homing device
If the cops gon' pull you over, hope you knowin' your rights
And you think you're Robinhood, but you're the one with the tights
Used to get the piff up in Washington Heights
These are gems, these are crystals from the future
I'ma see you in your dreams, Freddy Krueger
These armchair activists fighting on computers
You got no heart, but you're singin' Barracuda
The song’s got a very straightforward structure, but the multiple beat switches help keep things interesting. It’s a dope song. The closing track is entitled 5 x 10. I think the production is pretty good here, although this song doesn’t have one of my favorite beats on the album. It’s the shortest song on the album, and I can’t help but feel like it’s kind of an underwhelming way to close the project. I definitely like the song, but it doesn’t really tie things together the way I would like it to. It just feels a bit anti-climactic. It’s still a nice track though. The verse from AJ is very good, and I fuck with the production. It’s a good song.
This album is great. There’s not a single track that I don’t like. As someone who was previously unfamiliar with him, I think it’s a pretty great introduction to AJ Suede’s work. The beats from Televangel make this one of the best produced albums I’ve heard so far this year. AJ’s lyricism was pretty interesting as well. I’d say that’s the main appeal of pretty much every track here for me. Every feature came through with a dope performance as well. There’s not a single wack verse on this album. I don’t have any consistent gripes with it. It’s one of the better albums I’ve heard so far this year. Check it out. It’s really dope.