Street poetry ‘n‘ boom-bap
“Ain''t nothin'' wrong with that titty shit, but this what''s been missing,” raps assured MC Blaq Poet on “I-Gettin”—the opening track from his new album. To the Queensbridge native of Screwball fame, East Coast boom-bap is still what hip-hop needs. And having DJ Premier producing 95 percent of Tha Blaqprint, Poet surely has a strong case on his hands.
It is arguable that Blaq Poet isn''t treated to quite the same level of creativity heard on Premier''s productions of the ''90s with the signature beat changes and revolutionary sample chopping. Even still, the quality of these loop-driven backdrops is usually great. And Po relishes rapping over these gimmick-free street beats. On “Voices,” the MC channels the spirit of Tupac and others while Primo drops the ghostly boom-bap complete with spooky vocal samples. Then with “S.O.S,” he schools listeners on everyday situations on the block atop a film-noir-esque track featuring suspenseful horns and keys. This album won''t change the game completely, but these signature street-rap cuts are far from forgettable. Fans of Gang Starr, Group Home and, of course, Screwball, should no doubt be satisfied. [3.5 out of 5 stars]