Album Review | Stik Figa & August Fanon – Heresy

This album was released on March 4th this year. Stik Figa has been putting out some of the best music of his career over the past few years, and August Fanon is pretty much my favorite active producer right now, so I was pretty excited when I found out that these guys were collaborating. I kinda regret not covering Stik Figa’s previous album, Joyland, which was produced by Conductor Williams, who’s also another one of my favorite producers. That shit is great. Definitely check it out if you haven’t heard it yet. Anyway, everything August Fanon touches is gold, so I’m expecting this to be one of the best albums of the year so far.

The album starts off with a highlight entitled nicodemusks. I love the lighthearted, jazzy production on this track. I feel like Rav would fit over this beat like a glove honestly. It sounds like something that could’ve appeared on Beneath the Toxic Jungle. Stik Figa rapped super well on this track too. I think the hook is pretty solid, but it’s really the production and actual verses that sold me on this track.

It's no such thing as coincidence or accidents
But if it happens then I recommend an ambulance
The afterlife is better, it's always accepting candidates
That's on the dead homies, my mama, and tetragrammaton

It’s really just a great beat with some really good rapping. They don’t really throw any curveballs at the listener. Everything is just super well done. I think the song’s dope as hell. The following track is entitled lamplight, and it’s not really a highlight for me on this album, but I still enjoyed it to some extent. The beat just didn’t blow me away like a lot of the others did. I mean, it’s definitely a good instrumental. It’s just not one of my favorites. Stik Figa thankfully rapped really well here though.

From Jewell Ave, it wasn't exactly poverty
Lower middle class, still niggas was plottin' robberies
Some grew to be shooters and others damagin' property
Every step I take, just hopin' the homies proud of me
Wore the Star of David but ain't never been to synagogue
Say a prayer, faith that they sins have been absolved
Burn bridges, fall in the water, you can swim with Jaws
Pierre said "don't get involved, it's best to get a job"

The hook isn’t really anything special to me, but it serves its purpose as a break between the verses. The main reason I enjoy this song is just the actual rapping on the verses. The beat is solid though. The song’s pretty good overall. The following track is called sumthinboutbathsheba. I think the beat is pretty great. This is random as hell, but the first rapper that came to mind when I heard it was Tyler the Creator. I don’t know why, but I just feel like he would fit over this beat well. Freddie Gibbs would work too. Anyway, I think the hook from Stik Figa on this track is pretty solid, and I really dig the lyrical content about love. I had to search Google to see who Bathsheba was, and once I found out things kinda clicked. I mean, the title made more sense in relation to the lyrical content.

I heard you say pain's love without pleasure
Pretty women always got me under pressure
How deep your love? It's hard to measure
Heart broke, gave a half-hearted effort

As someone with an absolutely miserable love life, I appreciate the lyricism here a lot. I think the song’s really dope. It’s followed by a highlight entitled covenant. This was one of the most exciting tracks on the project for me because it features Sleep Sinatra and Bodye. I really love the joyful-sounding, horn-driven production. Sleep killed the opening verse.

Scars numerous
See profits like I was rockin' a tunic fit
They told me I got the glow, now I'm luminous
When it come to that flowin' know I'm the rubric, kid
These documentations of gods in a toxic nation
My creation got 'em sayin' I'm dope, so they probably basin'
It's not for nothin' been known for functionin' off the hatred
I can grow from adversity, cursin' me just blossoms greatness

He sounds great over this beat, and there’s not a single filler bar. The second verse from Stik Figa is just as good too.

Quick confession: you not impressive
Don't pay attention and I can't get too invested
Don't put a lot of stock what you market through this profession
You internet bangers that got wifi connections

I actually think Bodye might have my favorite verse on the song though. He was featured on Stik Figa’s collaborative EP with DJ Sean P, but he was just speaking on an interlude, so this is my first time hearing him actually rap. He killed this shit though. His lyricism had me hooked. His voice kinda reminds me of A$ton Matthews, except it’s a bit deeper. Anyway, I think the song is dope as hell. I don’t have any gripes with it. It’s followed by another highlight entitled prosperitygospel. This song features Vic Spencer & Anwar HighSign. I really love the smooth production on this track, and all of the verses are fire.

Brainstorming, it's a flood when I think
Got it out the mud, dug a grave with the ink
Wash my hands of the suckers, now it's blood in the sink
Let 'em judge, cuh, I don't wanna link

I really like the way the verses are structured. Each MC kinda takes a short break between each quatrain. The second verse from Vic is fire. I related to those lines about not liking rappers a lot. I mean, a lot of rappers are really nice to me, but I feel like most of them are conceited, oversensitive douchebags. Can I say that? Am I gonna get heat for that comment? Fuck it. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that most of them are like that. I probably shouldn’t even say that a lot of them are like that. I’ll just say “too many” are like that. Anyway, Vic Spencer killed his verse, and Anwar HighSign did the same. It was really cool to hear him over some August Fanon production. Speaking of Anwar HighSign, I didn’t get a chance to review it, but his Live N*gga Prophesy EP from this past February is really good. Check that shit out if you haven’t heard it yet. So yeah, this song is fire. I think it’s dope as hell. It’s followed by another highlight called canon. This track has one of my favorite beats on the album. It also has another great verse from Bodye.

Got it out the mud, you bottom feeders better learn to swim
Choose your own adventure, call it off when the preserver rips
Venerated leaders that can handle any skirmishes
While medics in the field distribute bandages and tourniquets

I don’t know whose performance I prefer on this track to be honest. Bodye and Stik Figa both rapped really well here.

Been asked for worship, only loyal to the meds
In the name of Yeshua with sacred oils in his dreads
Deep into the cash crops where we toil for the bread
If the victors go to spoil 'til the soil in it spreads
My blood boils, screamin' into the abyss
To be sure I lost my voice, the frequency is like a hiss
Faint distress signals with distortions to the rich
Tryna catch the tempo of heartbeats when they skip

I really like when Stik Figa goes in this more abstract direction with his lyricism. The song is dope as hell. It’s followed by a major highlight called lambsblood. This might be my favorite track on the album. I don’t know. As of Wednesday, March 23rd, I haven’t solidified a favorite song yet. This is definitely a strong contender though. This track has my favorite beat on the album. It’s the darkest instrumental on the project. It sounds really tense and ominous. I love it. I think this track has Stik Figa’s catchiest flow on the record too. I got the coveted involuntary head nod as soon as he started spitting. His breath control is really impressive too. The song features an artist with whom I was previously unfamiliar named Seuss Mace, and he fucking killed this shit. He kinda spits with a chopper flow akin to guys like Tech N9ne, but it doesn’t come off corny at all.

Breakin' down the anatomy of a psychotic killer is truly imperative when you talk about Seuss
I bruise your caboose like Dazed & Confused, I'm truly a gem, every bar is a jewel
Leak blood on the fabric of facial expressions
Shocked when I blaze, ain't no savin' 'em, reverend

Out of all the features on the album, I think Seuss Mace had the most impressive flow. He killed this shit. Pretty much every aspect of this song really impressed me. I love the production, and both of the MCs that rapped over it did a fantastic job. The song is dope af. Track 8 is entitled gethsemane, and it has one of the more traditional sounding instrumentals on the album. It still has kind of an off-kilter flair to it though. I think the production is great. The lyrical content is a bit more emotional than that of the preceding material. I really like the hook on this track. I think it’s one of the better hooks on the album.

All I ever wanted was my pops to be proud
All I ever wanted was my moms to sleep sound
That's how the ball bounces, I grab the rebound
Worthy 'cause God said it, we never needed crowns

I feel like Joell Ortiz would fit over this beat really well. Anyway, there’s not really anything that I don’t like about this track. It’s really dope. It’s followed by theprodigalsun. This track’s got a pretty lighthearted-sounding instrumental that I like a lot. I think Miles Bonny’s vocals on the hook sound really great. He only sings like three words in the background, but it really adds a lot of flavor to the track. Stik Figa of course rapped really well here too, especially on the second verse. I love these lines…

I'm Posdnuos mixed with Pac off of juice
Not a street nigga, but they see me, they salute
'Cause I'm never fakin', something haters can't compute
When you're really from the soil gotta take it to the roots

The song isn’t really a highlight for me on this album, but I don’t have any gripes with it. I think it’s dope. The penultimate track is entitled doubtinthomas. I like the smooth horn-driven production, and Stik Figa’s rapping is great. The hook isn’t really anything special, but it gets the job done. This isn’t really one of my favorite songs just because it’s kinda slow. It’s definitely not the most exciting song on the album. If the rapping wasn’t as good as it is then I probably wouldn’t like this track very much. Thankfully the rapping is enjoyable enough to keep things interesting for me. I think this track is pretty good. The closing song is a major highlight entitled Fun Times! inperpetualpurgatory.

This track is fucking awesome. It was one of the most exciting songs in the tracklist for me because it features Iceberg Theory & Denmark Vessey. It’s honestly probably my favorite track on the project. The production from August Fanon is fantastic, but it’s really just the actual rapping that pushed this track to the next level. These guys killed this shit. The opening verse from Stik Figa is fire.

Yah created Heaven and Earth
Blew breath into a man after measuring dirt
We blow smoke, but was never in church
After rollin' up the pressure for whatever it's worth
For better or worse, we're left to traverse
This oppressive desert while forever in search
Of a land of milk and honey, but accepted at birth
Flip that, enter the covenant, we never reverse
They said we was cursed, success in the turf
Prayin' God would bless it, but what's faith without work?
Speakin' in tongues when I'm layin' a verse
Havin' Satan sequestered, leveraging pleasure and thirst

He killed this shit. The hook is really simplistic, but I think it works really well. The second verse from Iceberg Theory is fucking awesome. It’d been a while since I’d heard him rap, so it was really nice to hear him here. His flow was fire. That might actually be my favorite feature on the whole album. The final verse from Denmark Vessey is fire too though. There’s really not a single aspect of this song that I don’t love. It’s easily one of the best tracks on the album. I think it’s dope af.

This album is really goddamn great. I think it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year. It’s pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. There’s not a single song here that I don’t like. August Fanon’s production is still as great as ever, and Stik Figa is in rare form throughout this project. I feel like he’s just been getting better and better as an MC over the years. All of the features really came through for him on this record too. There’s not a single mediocre performance here. I don’t have any consistent gripes with this record at all. If you’re already a fan of Stik Figa, you definitely don’t wanna miss this project. I think it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard from him. Don’t sleep on this shit. It’s really dope.

Favorite Song: Fun Times! inperpetualpurgatory
Least Favorite Song: lamplight


Grade: B+


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