Don’t Sleep | Vega7 the Ronin & Machacha – The Lead Lined Wall

Don’t sleep on this collaborative album from MC Vega7 the Ronin & producer Machacha. It was released this past March, but I didn’t discover it until last night. I pretty much knew nothing about Vega7 the Ronin before checking this project out, but I had seen his name floating around here and there, so I was curious enough to give it a listen. I was already familiar with Machacha through their work with artists like Mickey Diamond & Ty Farris, so that gave me even more reason to try this project out.

Since this isn’t really a full review I’ll just write about a few highlights from this project. The album begins with Sage Mode. It has a pretty straightforward, kind of stripped back instrumental. I think the beat is pretty dope, but it’s the type of production that would only work with a really dope lyricist. I would not wanna hear a passable, sufficient MC over this instrumental. Thankfully, Vega7 had me convinced of his competence almost immediately. As soon as I heard the first few bars I knew what type of MC he was.

Wrestling terms, that's at the curtain right out by the entrance ramp
Monks transcribe my words and convert the verbs into a Tibetan chant
The newest version of the Method Man
The fool who spare the snake bares the fate of nursing the serpent that bit the blessèd hand
I am the bird feathered medicine man
Who sifted through that dirt, and lifted the curse from a peasant's land, percs and credit scams
12 dropped the verdict and reprimand, your mans barely worked with a leg to stand
I was birthed by the virgin of Bethlehem

It’s not just the lyricism though. It’s also the way he flows. His cadence works perfectly over this instrumental. The production is nice here, but Vega7 himself is the star of the show. I think the production does a good job of putting the spotlight on him. I think this track works really well as an intro too. Like I said, I knew exactly what kind of MC he was once I listened to this shit, and it had me excited to hear the rest of the record. The song’s really dope. Track 3 is a major highlight entitled Water Style, and it features Ja’king the Divine. He’s an artist I’ve been meaning to check out since his latest album has been getting a lot of hype, so I’m probably gonna give it a listen as soon as I finish writing this. I really enjoyed his performance on this song though. He had a pretty nice Shyne reference in the first quatrain of his verse.

Vega said don't bask in the moment of lapsing time
With an ego trapped in the form of your physical acting mind
So I maximize my glass of opportunities, I'm minor size
Tryna be notorious like fat guys, I need to shine

I thought Ja’king killed his verse, but then Vega7 came in and completely demolished this track. That’s definitely one of the best verses on the album in my opinion, which is saying a lot.

Face hidden, stay pitchin' way past the 8th innin'
Raiden wisdom, age of my physics, my beard is gray and thinnin'
Shapeshiftin', hackin' the matrix system where agents livin'
Days of digging, came back for Kane, the grateful Abel risen
Vega different, sniper headshot it, on my stomach, prone
Mad Max with this battle axe, it look like the Thunderdome
Stand atop a hill of a hundred bones in my huntin' zone
While dead flesh all under my feet, I need a pumice stone

I wish someone would do one of those videos where they break down the rhyme scheme of a verse for this song. He fucking slaughtered this shit. I still haven’t decided what my favorite track is from this project as of 1:13 AM on December 31st, but this is definitely a strong contender. Even the production is really good. It’s definitely more detailed than that of the first couple songs on this project, but I like how there’s barely any percussion. This track is dope as hell. It’s followed by another major highlight entitled The Lost Knife of a Hunter. Rohan of The Rap Music Plug Podcast described the production on Lupe Fiasco’s DRILL MUSIC IN ZION as “nonintrusive,” and stated that it made it easy to lock in on Lupe’s actual rapping. I believe the same phenomenon occurs with Machacha’s production on this album. The beat on this track is certainly enjoyable, but it doesn’t feel like the main appeal of the song. The drums are pretty soft on this track, but they still influenced a head nod from me. Needless to say, Vega7 killed this track. He somehow kept the same rhyme scheme going throughout the entire song, and it’s really impressive. The hook on this track serves its purpose well enough too. This track might actually have the best verse on the album honestly. I don’t know. I think this shit is dope as hell though.

This album is great. There’s not a single track on it that I don’t like. This was a really impressive introduction to Vega7 the Ronin, and it has me excited about the future of his career because the dude is incredibly talented. This project is under half an hour long, so it left me wanting more. In a good way though. It doesn’t feel incomplete or anything. The production, like I mentioned in the body of this review, isn’t too flashy or anything, but it’s enjoyable enough and serves as a good backdrop for Vega7’s lyrical wizardry. You aren’t gonna hear any super catchy hooks or danceable instrumentals, but you will hear a cornucopia of jaw-dropping rhymes. I’m really glad I finally gave this project a listen, and I had to tell you guys about it. Check it out and let me know what you think. I think it’s dope.

Favorite Song: Water Style
Least Favorite Song: Dakota Arms


Grade: B+

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