This is the 8th full-length album from Port Huron emcee/producer Substance810. Originally emerging in 2006 with his debut The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek, it wasn’t until last year when he dropped the fantastic sequel The Definition Of in the summer & then a debut EP Chess Pieces in the fall. But just 3 months after the release of his previous album Makin’ Waves, Substance810 is tapping in Hobgoblin for The Hanging Gardens.
“From a Seed” has some jazz undertones in the instrumental as the Michigander raps about growth before Josiah the Gift accompanies him to spit that pyrex shit on the gospel-sounding “Full Bloom”. The song “Marvel of Mankind” jumps on a flute to talk about being different from those around his way whereas “Pillars of Stone” goes into a more boom bap direction with lyrics about residing in the shadows of the underground.
Meanwhile, we have Jamil Honesty & Pure jumping on the horn-inflicted “Majestic” to come for their opposition’s throats before Substance810 brings in an orchestra for the Ma Dukes-tribute “Mother Earth”. Right after that, the minimal “From Darkness to Light” goes in about overcoming all obstacles & then E the Mad Assassin tags along to talk about wanting more on the grimy title track. “Harvest” is a victorious closer & the ambition in his lyrics is undeniable.
Substance810 is quickly becoming one of my favorite MCs that my home state has to offer & The Hanging Gardens is an absolute crown jewel in his discography. His lyricism is more introspective this time around & Hobgoblin brings in a wide range of sounds for him.