Saturday, October 12, 2013

2 In 1 ---> Brief reviews of Ces Cru's "Constant Energy Struggles" & Rittz' "The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant"

The respectable reception to my recent review of Tech N9ne's "Something Else" album has led to a "double recommendation" from Juan Hernandez and Matt Gargus (who also recommended the Tech N9ne album), two fellow posters in the HipHopForLife group on Facebook, and of course I thank them for it! This will be the first ever "2 In 1" review for me, so it should be interesting.

Ces Cru and Rittz, who are also signed to Tech N9ne's Strange Music label, will be the subjects of this review. And although I'm fairly, admittedly new to Strange Music, don't let that label name fool you too much. Then again, it is "strange hip hop", but strange in a creative, entertaining fashion as opposed to a confusing one. So, with that brief introduction out of the way, let's get to the first review, Ces Cru!








Ces Cru is comprised of members Godemis and Ubiquidous, and along with the production handled solely by Seven (who also did a very good job on the aforementioned Tech N9ne album), bring somewhat of a futuristic flow to this album. It's a welcomed addition, something different and you definitely wouldn't hear this type of flow everyday, which makes it unique too. "Lotus" is a tight opener, and it sets the right tone for an album like this, followed by  the equally tight, Tech N9ne assisted "Juice". There's a high octane energy on this one and it's possibly the album's best song. I also like the conceptual nature of songs such as "Smoke", in which they talk about a certain woman who is obviously "so hot" she leaves a trail of "smoke" in her way, "Wavy" (a new word for high apparently, lol), a song that the smokers will love and the way Ces Cru talks about it, no one should be that high, lol and "Fuck Me On The Dough" is not just another song about money, but they flip it in a rather creative way when talking about "gettin it" and the ups and downs that come along with it. Other good songs are found here, such as apply titled songs "Perception", with its nice vibes (I was surprised by their singing on this one) and "Confession". "Wall E" is a very good song as well, talking about something that I don't think any other artist has brought up in hip hop, and that's the subject of global warming. Overall, this is a very good, but not spectacular album. I'll go with a solid 3.5 star rating, but had the pacing been a little better (album has about 3-5 songs too many), it would've been a little better.



Rittz is another artist I'm just finding out about for the first time (I like this album cover too), and the fact that he's white had no influence on whether I would check this album out or not. The "Intro", again, sets the right tone for this album, one hell of a welcome if you ask me. From there, we head right into "My Interview", a dope concept of a song where he's having a "hip hop interview". I noticed right off the bat that he has a rapid fire flow and he maintains that throughout this album. And speaking of rapid fire flow, he and Tech N9ne come tightly on "Say No More" (Tech has won me over hasn't he, lol). In addition to "My Interview" and "Say No More", there are some more highlights to be found. "Wastin Time", featuring Big Krit, has a UGK esque vibe to it, and I'm sure it would've made the late Pimp C and Bun B proud, the motivational tone of "Like I Am", prayers going up on "Amen", "Fuck Swag", in which he debunks the theory that you need swag in order to be hot ("these dudes need a lesson before they get behind the mic"), showing how real he is on "For Real", as well as other apply titled songs like "Misery Loves Company" and "Goin In", where he does just that, go in. The excellent closer "All Around The World" talks about his experiences being on the road as an artist, some 15 years in the making. Man, seems like an almost flawless album. Respectively it isn't, as I most definitely could've done without "Sober" and "Switch Lanes". All things considered, this is a 4.5 star album, a solid recommendation and another addition to my Best Albums of 2013 list. His flow never grows tiresome throughout this album and I hope to hear more from him.


And once again, thanks to Juan Hernandez and Matt Gargus for the recommendations!!

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