Ransom is a 43 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 effort The Proposal. But it’s been safe to say these last couple years have been his biggest so far whether it be the 5 EPs that he put out produced by Nicholas Craven & his last EP 7 based around the 7 deadly sins or his previous album Heavy’s the Head produced by Big Ghost Ltd. & the Rome Streetz collab album Coup de Grâce. So given all that, I was very much excited going into his 4th full-length album right here when it was announced a couple weeks back.
“The Hawk” kicks off the album with some heavy horns attacking those who be putting him in a box whereas “Rituals” with 38 Spesh finds the 2 over a joyous trap instrumental talking about being on the deep end trying to swim with no life vest. The Game tags along for the chipmunk soul heavy “Circumstances” produced by the album’s executive producer Nicholas Craven advising “not every friend is loyal, but your wife & kids is dependin’ on you” leading into “Overnight Success” having a more angelic talking about being awoken from the tundra.
Meanwhile on “Compromised”, we have Ransom over some strings calling out those plotting on his demise just before “Makin’ It” takes a soulful route talking about how life what’s you make it. “Redemption” keeps the soul samples coming bringing a light to the dark alley, but then Tyrant comes into the picture for the crooning “Captions” talking about looking good in social media posts & not living half the life.
The song “Imperial Glaciers” with Willie the Kid finds the 2 over these glistening piano melodies into the mix taking shots at the system for malnourishing them while the penultimate track “The Gambler” has more drumless quality to it talking about how he gambled chasing this rap shit. “Beautiful Gravesites” with Black Chakra & J. Arrr ends the album by classily encouraging to bake your own pie compared to everyone else trying to get a slice.
I was honestly expecting him to drop that project with Pete Rock he was talking about last year, but I think No Rest for the Wicked is still a great way to hold everyone over when or if that’s still going to happen. Ransom’s lyricism is some of his most introspective & I like that Nicholas Craven decided to give some shine to some lesser-known producers because I’m very interested in seeing what they all do from hereon out.