Don’t Sleep | Phill Harmonix & Fresh Kils – MISCELLANEA

Don’t sleep on this latest collaborative album from MC Phill Harmonix & producer Fresh Kils. I wasn’t planning on writing about this project, but after hearing it I knew I had to tell y’all about it. Phill Harmonix is an MC with whom I became familiar through his work with Mega Ran. I’d never heard any of his solo albums before this, but I always come away from his guest features impressed, which is why I chose to check this project out. On the other hand, Fresh Kils is a producer who also has done a lot of work with Ran, as well as ShrapKnel, and Duncecap & Vinny Vinny Video. Most recently, they helped produce that self-titled Ockham’s Blazer album that I covered a few days ago. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any work from these artists that I didn’t care for, so I had a feeling that I would enjoy this record to some extent.

Since this isn’t really a full review I’ll just write about a handful of highlights. The album begins with Leviathan, which features a pretty dope hook from Mega Ran. I really dig the melodic production from Fresh Kils on this track. The drums are pretty hard-hitting, which I appreciate. Phill Harmonix’s voice sounded really familiar to me when I first heard this song, and it took a while for me to recognize who he reminded me of, but after listening multiple times I realized that he sounds a lot like Evidence. Thankfully his flow and vocal delivery is a lot more animated than that of Evidence though. I really appreciate the wordiness of Phill’s verse on this track. It’s really well-written.

The rollin' of the die, the tempting of the fates
The thunder from the sky accentuating debates
Facin' an amalgamation of a mouth insentient
With a brain racing, focused on ascendence
Broken all dependence, look, a book of verses like a penance
From Phoenix out to Venice, still acknowledged a menace
Through any given mosque, to any synagogue, feel the hand of God
Through the bars, paint a picture flawed

The synths that come in for the outro of this song sound fantastic. I think those are synths. I don’t know. I’m not very good at identifying instruments, so it might be something else. It sounds really goddamn good though. I fuck with it. The song is dope. The next highlight I wanna talk about is called Imposter. I really love the tense-sounding production on this track, and Phill Harmonix killed it. He rhymed really well on this track. The verse is super well-written.

The rote bravado, feeling emptier and hollow
The path I followed, using lyricism as the model
I always felt I could reach the summit of the roster
Perhaps I’ve never really been good, just an impostor

Once again, this track ends with what sounds like the same instrument that was used on the outro of Leviathan. It sounds fantastic. I think a second verse and a good hook could have pushed this song to the next level for me, but it’s still really dope as it is. There’s a nice remix of this song at the end of the album too. The following track is called Technocrat, and it’s got another really nice melodic, kind of Electronic-sounding beat. Phill sounds fantastic over it too. The first verse is really nice.

I had a plethora of unreleased diagrams
I simply shredded, instead trusting the writing hand
Salute the effort, I’m steady just looting letters
To arrange, like a line of cocaine, in this endeavor
Look, gotta perpetuate the knowledge for the masses
My ancestors were survivors of the middle passage
Never forget the chains, whips, rape, and lashes
Without direct acknowledgement we never getting past it

I really like the Del the Funky Homosapien sample that they flipped for the hook, and the record scratches sound great. The second verse from Phill is even better than the first one in my opinion. This couplet was dope as fuck to me…

The pithy monograph I pen amongst a drained carafe
Will get you jumping like needles on Trump’s polygraph

The song is really dope. In fact, I like it more now than I originally did when I first heard it. The last song I wanna talk about is called Bar It Up, and you can probably figure out what the lyrical content is about just based on the title. I’m just gonna say it now; this is my favorite song on the album. I fucking adore the production on this song. The percussion is really hard-hitting and dusty, just the way I like it. The first verse from Phill is fire.

I heard that slick talk, it’s ain’t for me
Because I’m everything in talent that you dying to be
And I don’t spend effort, everything I write is for free
You ain’t Invincible, I’m Battle Beast in punishing beats
And few of y'all, better than me, please
You antivaxxers, the only thing denial getting you is deceased
Stupid, rhyme cocky, skills you couldn’t copy
Production slap harder than Kamotsky, you couldn’t stop me
Been dope since producers had to load a sample using floppies
Entire catalog a working copy

The horns that come in between the two verses sound great, and the second verse from Mega Ran is really great too.

Stepping outta class in your school clothes
Key around your neck, home alone 'til the moon glows
Dad tryna find a gig, mom got two of those
They know you oppose, but they gotta leave you alone
Unstable like a francium isotope
Too broad to ever be under a microscope
Hold on to the slightest hope
That if you put Ran in front of a hot mic it’s dope
Rhyme twister, take a hit of the elixir
Find a riddle wrapped inside a mystery of an enigma
Stick your neck out, I disconnect it then I step out
Guaranteed to get to the bag like self checkout

If you’ve been following this blog for a while then you know I’m a huge fan of Mega Ran, but I honestly came away slightly more impressed by Phill Harmonix on this track. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like he killed Ran. I probably was just expecting Ran to slaughter Phill, and that didn’t really happen. I guess I should’ve had more faith in Phill Harmonix. Anyway, this song is dope as hell. Again, it’s my favorite track on the album.

This is a really good album. There’s not a single track on it that I don’t like to some extent. When it comes down to it, this album just has really good beats and rhymes. It’s as simple as that. I wasn’t crazy about the sung hooks on this project, but they weren’t bad. I just didn’t love them as much as the strictly Hip Hop songs. The production from Fresh Kils is really great though, and there’s not a single subpar verse from Phill Harmonix on this project. I look forward to hearing more work from him in the future because he’s a really talented lyricist. This shit is dope. Check it out.

Favorite Song: Bar It Up
Least Favorite Song: 70’s


Grade: B

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