Ransom is a 42 year old MC from Jersey City who came up as 1/2 of the short-lived duo A-Team alongside Hitchcock. After their disbandment, he branched out on his own beginning with his 2008 full-length debut Street Cinema & the Statik Selektah-produced sophomore album The Proposal. But it’s safe to say 2020 was his biggest year yet so far, dropping a total of 5 EPs produced entirely by Nicholas Craven & all of them being equally stellar. And now to warm us up for Ransom’s upcoming albums with Rome Streetz as well as Big Ghost Ltd. & Pete Rock respectively, we’re getting a concept EP revolving around the 7 deadly sins.
Craven slides through behind the boards for the soulful opener “Envy” touching down on how jealousy can corrupt oneself whereas V-Don infuses keyboards & dusty boom bap drums on “Gluttony”, where both Ransom & Lloyd Banks mix spiritualism with the street shit they’re known for. Meanwhile on “Greed”, we have Royce da 5’9” tagging along assisting on the theme of selfishness with Lord Sear bringing in some horns into the production before Chup goes into a more rock-tinged sound for the vengeful “Wrath”.
38 Spesh takes things into chipmunk soul territory on “Lust”, which is about how you can see the emotions when your life’s an open book. The penultimate track “Sloth” has a weak verse from J. Arrr at the tail end of it, but I do like the sluggish instrumental as well as Ransom’s lyrics about not letting your master confuse your view. And for the self-produced closer “Pride”, we’re treated to a soul sample much like the opener & a look into egoism.
I knew exactly what I was in for going into this EP & he delivered. Not just because the production is raw yet super diverse, but the concept is executed in a way that feels natural rather than hamfisted or corny. Beyond excited to hear where he’ll take it with Rome, Big Ghost & Pete Rock just before 2021 ends.