Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Sean Price Project


Wow, I certainly didn't expect to do a project on Sean Price, however, with the news of his unfortunate, untimely passing, that in itself has necessitated this project, which will be my tribute to him. Respectively, I've already shared a few thoughts on my R.I.P. post, as well as covering two out of three Heltah Skeltah albums, which you can certainly revisit in the blog archives. In this project, I'll be covering his three solo albums ("Monkey Barz", "Jesus Price Supastar" and "Mic Tyson"), the EP with M-Phazes ("Land Of The Crooks") and of course a "real time" review of his new album, "Songs In The Key Of Price", which drops today. 


Update ---> My initial plan was to close this project with a review of the aforementioned "Songs In The Key Of Price", and in the worst possible timing, I found out it was pulled due to "artwork copyright infringement". In addition, the versions found on iTunes and Amazon have only 8 songs, whereas the physical copy has close to 30 songs (it's also being viewed as a mixtape). Due to these unfortunate events, "Songs In The Key Of Price" will not be included in this project. 
 

So, with all that being said, let's get things started immediately with his solo debut, "Monkey Barz"!




Release date: May 31, 2005



1. "Peep My Words"
Produced by Kelph Dollaz

All you have to do is peep Sean P's words for this dope, 2:31 opener.
*4 out of 5*


2. "One Two Y'all"
Produced by MoSS

"I got a glock wit a clock on the top/So when you pop it or not, you know what muthafuckin time it is"


Complete with a slight throwback vibe, Sean P wastes no time going in on the mic, no doubt about that.
*4 out of 5*


3. "Onion Head"
Featuring Tek (of Smif N Wessun)
Produced by Khrysis

"Niggas said I lost my image when I cut off my dreads/But I'm the nicest nigga out duke, fuck what you said"


Sean P said that best in the lines up top, and now when I think about it, while he was dope with the dreads, he did proceed to get better when he cut them off. Featuring more hardcore rhymes, Tek on the hook and a dope Khrysis beat (featuring a well worked Bobby Bland sample courtesy of "I'm Just Your Man"), this was a winner.
*4 out of 5*



4. "Fake Neptune"
Featuring Steele, Louieville Sluggah and Buckshot
Produced by Phat Babyz

I had to laugh at the song title a bit, lol. Now, all involved here were not dissing Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of the Neptunes in any form, but instead this was the "fake" version, if you will, lol, of a Neptunes production and something that wouldn't grace the radio, then and now. Steele and Louieville's verses were ok, but they paled in comparison Sean P's, respectively.
*3.5 out of 5*


5. "Heartburn"
Produced by 9th Wonder

 In typical Sean P fashion, specifically the first two verses, he talks about the things he loves, even with some being legit and others coming with a dose of sarcasm (likely intended for laughs, lol). Good song, with another well worked sample thanks to 9th Wonder and The Independents' "Our Love Has Got to Come Together".
*4 out of 5*


6. "Shake Down"
Featuring Starang Wondah & Steele
Produced by Star.com & Justice

Although the hands could come into play, this is a lyrical shakedown across the board, BCC style.
*4 out of 5*



7. "Mad Mann"
Produced by P.F. Cuttin

"I'm a motherfuckin' mad man, off the chain/Cranium crack, when gun clap, off with ya brain, bitch"

 "I'm all tight with it, you all right with it/You type nice but not, Sean Price with it"

Ayo, I need dollars/So I'm beastin niggas up in the game, wit a tech, like Rasheed Wallace"


Well, in terms of the lyrics from this "mad mann", the above lines paint an obvious verbal picture in a nutshell.
*4 out of 5*


8. "Brokest Rapper You Know"
Produced by Ty Deals

Oh man, for obvious reasons I won't rate this song. Part of me (still) doesn't want to believe Sean P was that broke, but after revisiting this song again, it sounds like true stories (then again, why would he make up such details). Listen for yourself.



9. "Boom Bye Yeah"
Produced by Tone Mason

After the sad note that was the previous song, things pick right back up with this banger, full of aggression.
*4 out of 5*


10. "I Love You (Bitch)"
Produced by Dub Z

Based on the lyrics here, I don't think Sean P was talking about hip hop as a metaphor throughout. No matter how you view this song, it's still relatively decent.
*3 out of 5*


11. "Bye Bye"
Featuring Buckshot
Produced by Khrysis

In my view, this one was more about showing certain ladies to the door (moreso than the previous song that's for sure). The sample, Aretha Franklin's "No One Could Ever Love You More", was well worked for this one too.
*3 out of 5*


12. "Spliff-N-Wessun"
Featuring Ruste Juxx
Produced by Ayatollah

Had Sean P and Ruste went back and forth, a la Jadakiss and Styles P (not to be biting of course), this song, while good, would've been a bit better.
*3.5 out of 5*


13. "Jail Shit"
Featuring Rock (of Heltah Skeltah)
Produced by Agallah

You come home to the streets, niggas raising hell
Fightin', cuttin', damn it's the same as jail
Only the grimey get over, ain't no making bail
Get torn out the frame, if ya frame is frail


This hook, performed by Rock, accurately defines this one.
*4 out of 5*


14. "Monkey Barz"
Produced by Ty Deals

 Ty did a TIGHT job incorporating the ape and monkeys sounds to fit this beat, and of course Sean P is as hard as ever lyrically.
*4 out of 5*



15. "Slap Boxing"
Featuring Rock & Ruste Juxx
Produced by Edward Maximillion III

Sean P, Rock and Ruste go in something fierce here. Lyrical slap boxing, nothing but hardness.
*4 out of 5*



16. "Rising To The Top" 
Featuring and produced by Agallah

Video game fans will recognize and remember this appearing on "Grand Theft Auto 3". Truly a fitting way to close this album.
*4 out of 5*





Before I get to my thoughts on Sean P's debut, I gotta mention a historical fact about this album. Back in 2005, this release was part of Duck Down Records' "Triple Threat Campaign", along with subsequent releases from 9th Wonder & Buckshot ("Chemistry") and Smif-N-Wessun ("Reloaded"). Interesting concept there. Overall, "Monkey Barz" was a very good debut from Sean P, featuring the standard, but effective, dope beats and rhymes, also being named as allhiphop.com's "Independent Album of the Year". 4 stars.
Next up.....



This album was pushed back three times before finally seeing the light of day on January 30, 2007.



1. "Intro (Jesus Price)"
Produced by P.F. Cuttin

1:47 is all Sean P needed to get his lyrical points across and set the right tone for what's to follow. I don't rate intros, but this would certainly be in the running for "4 out of 5*.


2. "Like You"
Produced by 10 for the Triad

Well, not only does Sean P NOT like those he deemed as fake, step in his way, and he'll take, shake, punch, slap, and break you..... all at the same time (lol), and there's no telling how he would get when high, yes sir, lol.
*4 out of 5*


3. "P-Body"
Featuring Rock
Produced by 9th Wonder

Pound for pound perfection, and punch potholes in pretenders
Pay attention it's gon pop off
Body get beat, embody the street
Anybody get bodied when its beef, introducing P-Body

This hook that Rocks laces sums up this 9th Wonder produced cut in a nutshell (if only Rock would've dropped a verse).
*4 out of 5*


4. "Cardiac"
Featuring Buckshot, Ruste Juxx and Flood
Produced by Illmind

I may be overrating this one a bit, but over a dope Illmind beat (effectively sampling The Shirelles' "I Don't Want to Cry"), Sean P, Buckshot and Ruste lyrically own everything here. You know what, with all due respect to Flood, put Rock in his place on the hook as well as the closing verse, we have a classic.
*5 out of 5*



5. "Stop"
Produced by Khrysis

An apply titled song to be sure. You already know how Sean P gets when you're not impressing him in the slightest sense, lol.
*4 out of 5*


6. "Violent"
Produced by 9th Wonder

"The beat is smooth, the rap is hard/Just the way I like it/Bless the mic of the God/It's violent"


Well said (again) and it certainly describes this song. Dope stuff here, of course with an ill sample courtesy of Barbara Mason's "I Believe And Have Not Seen".
*4 out of 5*



7. "Da God"
Featuring Sadat X & Buckshot
Produced by 10 for the Triad

 There's nothing blasphemous about this song. In fact, what Sean, Sadat and Buckshot are doing are showing "they're lyrically in control" of all situations, like God is (you follow me). A few awarded points for creativity here, complete with another ill sample in the form of Jerry Butler's "One Night Affair".
*4 out of 5*



8. "Oops Upside Your Head"
Featuring Steele
Produced by MoSS

"...... No joke, I'm serious, the God spit bodies that's furious/Y'all niggas is funny style, Eddie Murphy Delirious/Me? I'm straight like 9:15/Two spliffs of the green, now my eyes Chinese" -Sean P


Dope and fast paced is how I describe this song. I also feel Tek would've contributed nicely to this one too.
*4 out of 5*


9. "Church"
Featuring Rock and The Loudmouf Choir
Produced by Tommy Tee

The only reason I think this one was titled "Church" is solely due to the Loudmouf Choir's contributions to the hook. Also, I feel there was a West Coast vibe here on said hook and the beat itself.
*4 out of 5*


10. "King Kong"
Featuring Rock
Produced by Khrysis

Sean P does go in "king kong" style: straight forward, confident and no turning back.
*4 out of 5*


11. "One"
Produced by Khrysis

All it takes is "one" on this appropriately titled track.
*3 out of 5*


12. "You Already Know"
Featuring Skyzoo
Produced by 9th Wonder

Listening to this again, I'm not sure why Skyzoo didn't drop a verse on this one, and while some may think this type of collabo would be a mismatch of sorts, they do a good job here.
*4 out of 5*


13. "Directors Cut" 
Produced by Khrysis

 Lol, you gotta listen as Sean P's lyrically directs himself in his own "movie".
*3 out of 5*


14. "Let It Be Known"
Featuring Phonte
Produced by 9th Wonder

Sean P came through with a tight verse, but man Phonte's opening almost stole the show here. Let it be known for sure.
*4 out of 5*


15. "Hearing Aid" 
Featuring Chaundon
Produced by Khrysis

All you needed to do was "listen" to Sean P's verse, Chaundon's verse added nothing here.
*3 out of 5*


16. "Mess You Made"
Featuring Block McCloud
Produced by Khrysis

Now, in a somewhat fitting close to this album and possibly the best song, Sean P picks up where "Brokest Rapper You Know" left off. This closer finds him reflecting on his past leading to then-present day 2007, and while things may have got better a bit on the surface, he's still not satisfied with his successes, or lack thereof ("Rags to riches and riches to rags/Just cashed a royalty check and can't get me a cab"), probably one of the deepest songs of his career.
*5 out of 5*

 



Definitely one of 2007's best (and most slept on) albums, Sean P took what worked on "Monkey Barz" and applied them here, delivering another very good album in the process. At this point, especially on the solo side, you could say he was the most successful artist in the Boot Camp Clik, even if the sales didn't reflect it and Sean P likely telling you the same thing. Another 4 star album.





Release date: October 30, 2012



1. "Genesis of the Omega"
Produced by The Alchemist

In true Sean P fashion, he starts the album with a fast paced banger, setting the right tone indeed.
*4 out of 5*




2. "Bar-Barian"
Produced by The Alchemist

Just like he went "king kong" on those on the previous album, it was time to upgrade and go "Bar-Barian" style over an unmistakable Alchemist production.
*4 out of 5*


3. "Pyrex"
Produced by AMP

"You a happy meal nigga, wit a toy in the box/I clap the steel nigga, put ya boy in a box"


The fast paced bangers continue with this joint right here as Sean P continues to go in, lyrically.
*4 out of 5*




4. "Price & Shining Armor"
Featuring Ruste Juxx
Produced by Wool

The tight chemistry between Sean P and Ruste continues here. Short, sweet and definitely to the point.
*4 out of 5*


5. "Title Track"
Produced by Eric G

"Yo, you a battle rapper, you be rappin in battles/I shoot the shit up duke, it's a wrap for the battle"


Otherwise named "Mic Tyson", this joint goes hard for sure.
*4 out of 5*


6. "Straight Music"
Produced by 9th Wonder

A 2:10, 9th Wonder produced banger.
*4 out of 5*


7. "Stfu, Pt. 2"
Produced by The Alchemist

Well, this is truly apply titled all around (and another Alchemist produced banger), with Sean P only having 4 words for those who have a lot to say.
*4 out of 5*



 8. "Hush"
Produced by Khrysis

This one follows in the same lyrical footsteps as "Stop" on the previous album.
*3 out of 5*


9. "Solomon Grundy"
Featuring Ill Bill & Ike Eyes
Produced by Eric G

Zombie like (especially lyrically), anti-heroes, yep, Solomon Grundy all day here. Mad props to Eric G for the production totally being a fit for all three artists, specifically Ill Bill.
*4 out of 5*



10. "Frankenberry"
Featuring Buckshot
Produced by Stu Bangas

Clocking in at 2:20, this joint seriously bangs, complete with Buckshot giving Sean P a run for his money in terms of the song's best verse. I may be overrating it, but what the hell, lol.
*5 out of 5*



11. "BBQ Sauce"
Featuring Pharoahe Monch
Produced by Evidence & DJ Babu

I'm not taking away anything from this song, but can you imagine Sean P and Pharoahe on a Beatminerz track in 96????? Nuff said.
*3 out of 5*


12. "Bully Rap"
Featuring Realm Reality
Produced by The Alchemist

I'm starting to believe that Alchemist should've produced this whole album, lol. Seriously, he gave Sean P some heat to work with and this is another song that exemplifies that.
*4 out of 5*


13. "By The Way"
Featuring Torae
Produced by Evidence

 Oh man, while this is a good song, it's another one where I can't understand why the guest (in this case Torae) didn't deliver a verse but was just on the hook instead.
*3 out of 5*


14. "Battering Bars"
Featuring Pumpkinhead
Produced by Beat Butcha 

More dope stuff here, almost following in the same vein and tone as "Bully Rap" and "Solomon Grundy" And only Sean P can bring a rugged tone over what could be described as a dope beat with a touch of soul.
*4 out of 5*


15. "The Hardest Nigga Out"
Produced by Beat Butcha

Can it get any more apply titled than this, lol? This would've served as a very good closer, but we do have an Amazon bonus track to close things out.
*4 out of 5*



*16. "Let Me Tell You"
Produced by Beat Butcha

And with that said, the album "officially" closes the same way it started, with a banger.
*4 out of 5"



I remember not liking this album all that much when I first heard it, thinking it was nothing more than an "official mixtape", but when I bumped it the second time, that's when it hit me, leading to a purchase. Not only is this my favorite album from him (another 4 star rated one), this was also his first album since Heltah Skeltah's "Magnum Force" to chart in the Top 100 on Billboard. Most of the songs may have been short in length, but they work so well with Sean P's lyrics and the tight production throughout. Dope album.





Release date: December 17, 2013


All songs produced by M-Phazes



1. "Bag of Shit"
Featuring The Loudmouf Choir

Odd song title aside, this West Coast styled opener bangs, no question.
*4 out of 5*


2. "Dump in the Gut"

It's known that I'm not a fan of anything "chopped & screwed", but somehow it works on this decent song.
*3 out of 5*


3. "Land of the Crooks"
Featuring Billy Danze (of M.O.P., Maffew Ragazino and DJ Babu)

"Live in the land of crooks, yes Brooklyn's the borough"

  
You can never big up your city too much, and all involved here come through complete with the memorable Notorious BIG and Jeru The Damaja vocal samples.
*4 out of 5*



4. "Murdah Type Thinkin"
Featuring Roc Marciano

The scratched samples on this one were so ill, much like the verses from Sean P and guest Roc Marciano. Tight stuff here.
*4 out of 5*



5. "Murdah Type Thinkin" (Small Professor Remix)
Featuring Guilty Simpson

You know, this remix may be a bit better than the original, although both are equally dope.
*4 out of 5*




For an EP, this was good stuff and I shudder to think how it would've sounded as a full length album. I would have no problem giving ANOTHER 4 star rating, same as usual. 




Overall, Sean Price had quite the dope discography, and that does include the three Heltah Skeltah albums with Rock (you can also check the archives for my reviews on "Nocturnal" and "D.I.R.T."). After completing this project, as mentioned my favorite album from him undoubtedly is "Mic Tyson", with "Jesus Price Supastar" coming in second. I'm still in slight shock over his untimely passing, however, I and others know he's in a much better place now. Mr. Sean Price aka Ruck aka Ravishing Ruck Rude, this project is my tribute/dedication to you. Thanks for the memories, thanks for all of your contributions to hip hop since your first appearance on Smif N Wessun's "Dah Shinin", thanks for always remaining true to who you were, thank you. Rest in peace Sean.

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