Album Review | Vic Spencer & Doc da Mindbenda – Still Here

This album was released on April 15th this year. Vic Spencer released one of my favorite albums of 2021 with Psychological Cheat Sheet 2, and all the projects he’s released since then have been good as well. I wanted to make sure I covered this new one in particular because it’s fully produced by Doc da Mindbenda, who I discovered last year through his work with IAMGAWD. I kinda regret not reviewing Hell’s Angels & Heaven’s Demons, so I figured I’d make up for it by covering this new album. I think I heard one track prior to listening to the full project, but I don’t remember which one it was. I know I enjoyed it though, and the features here are pretty exciting, so I’m pretty sure I’m gonna dig this project.

The first song is called Isolation x Separation. It starts off with a bunch of audio clips from old Vic Spencer songs, and they all sound fire. I don’t think I’m familiar with the songs that were previewed here, but they sounded awesome. The actual beat for this song drops after about a minute, and it’s really nice. It sounds really celebratory, which kinda goes with the theme of the album. It’s a celebration of the fact that the weak ass rappers Vic Spencer is beefing with couldn’t take him out of the game, and he’s still here.

Find the rhymes in the lines
It's like reading books when you listen to mines
I like to climb on the broken ladder, chatter taught me ignorance
Niggas always talking shit, better fix they lips
Critics still wanna tell me how I should move
Like I ain't do a lot of show and prove in the groove
I beat the challenges, scrambled with the weakest of rappers
Had me thinkin' like I ain't know what I was after

I immediately got the coveted involuntary head nod as soon as the percussion came in. The beat is great. The outro of this track is pretty straightforward, but it works well. I don’t have any gripes with this track. I think it’s a great way to start the album. It’s really dope. The next track is called Creamated, and it’s got a really nice Gil Scott-Heron sample. This one has one of my favorite beats on the album. The verse from Vic is really nice too.

Used to wanna be the fly on the wall
Now I wanna be the poisonous bumble bee that stung your kid at a Pooh Bear theme party
I'm fucked up in the mind
I'd rather be that nigga than niggas that spread a lie
Dead ain't the word if I'm workin'
I'm chillin' with this nigga Doc
Bass got the speakers hurtin'
Brass rollin' up and Don on the way
How the fuck did I die yesterday?
Buried alive, that's how I'm fried
All the chicken companies wondering how I survived

The whole track is pretty much just one verse, but it’s very good. Once again, I have no real complaints. I mean, maybe a good hook could’ve pushed this track to the next level, but it’s still dope as it is. I fuck with it. Track 3 is called Laugh at You, and it features Oh No. This track has one of the most interesting beats on the album. Doc actually included audio of people laughing in the beat, and it’s really cool. Vic killed the first verse.

I get the party jukin'
You get the hoes drunk, they start pukin'
And then they say they life game improvin'
Niggas fuckin' sick of the rap god
Bodied so many niggas, could fill up the backyard
You fuckin' around, you stuck to the ground
Puncturin' sounds, clutchin' the pound, puffin' the brown

That line from Oh No about how rappers went from backpacks to fanny packs was pretty funny too. This song has one of the coolest beats on the album in my opinion, and it makes a lot of sense for Oh No to be featured on it. It sounds like some classic Stones Throw shit. This song really grew on me after repeat listens. I liked it the first time I heard it, but now I love it. I think it’s dope as hell. It’s followed by another highlight entitled Pirate Gold. This track easily has one of the best beats on the album to me. I love how it takes a while for the percussion to kick in. The beat is jazzy and melodic, and it switches up for the second verse. Vic’s rapping is really entertaining too.

I write so much, I used every pen
That's the reason every rapper rappin' raps in the phones
Got the Notes app takin' up space
The love of the bass
One verse is graffiti paint all in they face
I hate rappers that don't say nothin' when they rappin'
They must want me to get a nap in

This song feels a lot more fleshed out than most of the other tracks just because of the beat switch, along with its relatively long length. Honestly, this is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard from Vic in my opinion. The production is fantastic, and Vic sounds great over it. The song is dope af. It’s followed by Death Pits, which has another really nice beat. I don’t have too much to say about this track honestly just because it has a pretty similar structure to most of the other tracks. There’s no hook or bridge or anything like that. It’s just Vic Spencer spitting dope lines over a really nice instrumental. Even though I don’t have too many thoughts on this track, it’s not like I think it’s any worse than the other songs. I like it a lot. I think it’s dope. The next track is called Contemporary Section, and it’s another highlight for me.

This was the track that I mentioned in the preamble that I’d already heard before checking out the full album. I think it’s a great choice for a single. Once again, the production gives me old school Stones Throw vibes, and I think this track has some of the best rapping from Vic on the whole album.

The dead rappers, I clipped ashes on they foreheads
Walked past 'em in Air Force 1s that was cold sore red
Been nice with the art, man, that's some real shit
I never run out of ideas, I never steal shit
Got nothin' but workers on my team, we always build shit
And I'm all about the dollar bill, bitch

Even the music video for this song is cool. I have no gripes with this track at all. Like I said, it’s one of the best songs on the album. I think it’s dope as hell. The next track is another highlight called Ridiculous. This one stood out a lot from the rest of the tracklist just because it features 38 Spesh. I really love the hard-hitting production here, and I feel like Vic kinda stepped things up lyrically because he probably didn’t wanna get outrapped by Spesh.

When I popped out in '81 crack was invented
What a coincidence, hella niggas up in the kitchen
Replacing mom dukes, sharp cheddar inside the chilli
She wanted to sing like Chilli, but she was Milli Vanilli
Crushing the airwaves, fuck that weak shit that get airplay
And the country choose sides, nigga, what the bear say?
Dropkick pelicans, slap box with kangaroos
You not worth bullets, so niggas don't wanna aim at you

I think I may have misquoted one of those lines, but it is what it is. I tried my best to transcribe the lyrics accurately. The hook on this track is pretty simplistic, but it’s dope. I think 38 Spesh sounds awesome over this beat.

A lot of people came and went, but I remain
Cops want me detained, what I got on my keychain
My cars and houses in the 1.3 range
Every CD I drop free game
You runnin' around with three chains
But don't own one thing to your name, nigga, how you think we same?
I'm advanced, so I seem strange
I left school and I got all of my education from out a fiend's veins

He killed this shit. The song is dope as hell. The following track is entitled Head Nod Theory. This one’s got a really nice, jazzy, albeit repetitive instrumental. I don’t even really mind how repetitive the horn loop on this track is because the song is so short. I mean, it’s not that short. It’s shorter than all of the other tracks though. Vic still managed to spit a full verse and even include a nice little hook at the end of the track. This isn’t really a highlight for me on the album, but I still like it a lot. I think it’s dope. Track 9 is called Freezer Burn, and it was another exciting track for me because it features Planet Asia. I really like the production on this track, and Planet Asia killed the first verse. I wish y’all could’ve seen my reaction when I heard this line…

Playboy planet, my slave squirts alkaline pussy juice

Vic Spencer killed the second verse too. I actually think he had the best verse on this song. Everyone that contributed to this track did a great job though. I think it’s dope. The following track is called Smooth with a V, and it features SmooVth. I’ve heard a lot of features from SmooVth in the past, and he never really stood out that much to me. I don’t think his performance here is bad though. It’s actually quite good. He reminds me a lot of Planet Asia here to be honest. The beat from Doc da Mindbenda is pretty good, although far from my favorite on this album. The second verse from Vic Spencer is better than that of SmooVth in my opinion, but I might be biased just because I prefer Vic’s rapping style. This is a good song, but definitely far from a highlight for me. I still fuck with it though. The penultimate track is entitled Indica Pizza to Go. I like the kind of simplistic production on this track. I appreciate the lack of percussion. The verse from Vic is pretty good too. I mean, nothing about this track really blows me away, but I definitely enjoy every aspect of it to some extent. I like how the beat switched up for the last 70 seconds of the track. Much like the preceding song, this is far from a highlight for me on this album, but I definitely still fuck with it. It’s a good song. The album ends with the title track, Still Here, which is definitely one of the most interesting songs on the album lyrically. I think the simplistic production is pretty good, and the storytelling from Vic about his history working with Doc da Mindbenda is really well done. It’s kind of a short song, but I don’t even mind the brevity. This shit is dope.

This album is pretty great. There’s not a single track here that I don’t enjoy to some extent. I feel like if you’ve been a fan of Vic Spencer up to this point then there’s pretty much no chance of you disliking this record, unless you for whatever reason just aren’t into Doc da Mindbenda’s production. I think these beats are really dope though. In fact, I actually like this project even more than Doc da Mindbenda’s record with IAMGAWD, which is saying a lot because that project was great too. This album is tied with the first Psychological Cheat Sheet as my second-favorite Vic Spencer album. I think some good hooks and more diverse song structures could’ve pushed it to the next level, but that’s honestly just a nitpick. The rapping and production are too good for me to not fuck with this album. This shit is dope. Check it out.

Favorite Song: Pirate Gold
Least Favorite Song: Smooth with a V


Grade: B+

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