Ransom – “Chaos is My Ladder” review

Ransom is a 44 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 in 2008 beginning with his 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 the Big Ghost Ltd.-produced Heavy’s the Head, the Rome Streetz collab album Coup de Grâce, his previous full-length No Rest for the Wicked earlier this spring & his latest EP This Life Made Me in the fall. But to ring in the winter, Ran’s enlisting V Don to fully produce his 5th album.

“Hit List” featuring 38 Spesh starts things off with a menacing boom bap of opener as the pair go back & forth with one another getting ready to go to war whereas “All In” with Eto works in some lavish piano chords with the 2 talking about how tigers don’t dance in the desert. Both J. Arrr & Mad Squablz tag along for the chipmunk soul infused “Blissful Agony” to drop some battle bars just before the orchestral boom bap ballad “Lone Wolf” declares himself as such.

After the “Calm Before the Storm” interlude, we have Ransom coming together with “A Most Dreadful Symphony” calling out those who glance over the scripts & never knowing the plots over some string sections leading into the angelically produced “Toxic Love” with the title speaking for itself as far as subject matter goes, but then “Burning Bridges” goes drumless with it’s bare piano instrumental continue to be more introspective with the lyrics.

The song “Chaotic Ceremony” has a more luxurious groove to it talking about liking action & making shit happen while the penultimate track “Short Notice” with Lloyd Banks finds the 2 wordsmiths talking about how it’s time to even the score over a jazzy beat. “Late Nights Early Mournings” however closes out the album on a symphonic note proclaiming only the strong survive so the weak ends.

Between this as well as No Rest for the Wicked & This Life Made Me, there’s not a single doubt in my mind that Chaos is My Ladder is the best of the 3 projects that Ransom has dropped throughout 2022. The production that V Don cooks up is a tad bit more consistent than what we heard on the last EP with no disrespect intended towards Mayor whatsoever as the lyricism continues to remind everyone that there aren’t many who’re on Ran’s level.

Score: 4.5/5

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