7 – “Ciicada” review

Michael “7” Summers is a 43 year old producer, songwriter, composer & engineer from Kansas City, Missouri who rose to prominence after becoming an in-house producer for Strange Music from 2006 to 2021. He’s also known for his collaborations with XV, Mac Lethal, Psychopathic Records, Majik Ninja Entertainment & more recently Mobstyle Music garnering comparisons to Mike E. Clark for the simply fact that both of them are able to literally produce anything. But coming fresh off entirely lacing Trizz’ critically acclaimed 5th album Baseline Cavi last fall, 7’s following up The 7th Symphony & Revelations to deliver his 3rd solo album over 2 decades in the making.

“Ultraviolet” by XV starts off the album with a twangy boom bap ballad talking about completing the cycle putting the wheels back in motion whereas “ART_DEALER” by Aaron Alexander & XV works in some more kicks & snares with an organ loop airing out that people think they know his based off the shit they write. “Kubriick” by Ubiquitous & XV is a classy boom bal follow-up talking about being geniuses leading into “a bit dramatic” by Stik Figa has a more stripped-back, psychedelic groove to it a acknowledging that this is more than promotional material.

Meanwhile, “Inflammation” by Jon Connor has some multiple well calculated beat switches throughout as the people’s rapper delivers that counterculture music just before “Ledger” by Trizz ominously yet cleverly comparing himself to Heath Ledger in his historic Dark Knight role. “Aquariium” by Curci & XV has a more summery boom bap quality to it talking about waking up & choosing success, but then “Safety” by Wrekonize dives into more soulful territory clearing the air by saying that’s what he’s been on lately for those who’ve recently have had him in mind.

“Astral Projection” by G Watts gives off a more shimmery boom bap edge calling himself a “Smooth Criminal in his Mike Jack shit” while the song “Lemon Tree” returns to a more sample-based sound so Mac Lethal can talk about wanting a mansion with the titular type of trees. The penultimate track “Be.” by ¡MAYDAY! has a more acoustic feeling to it figuring it out whatever it is that’s running from them & “Shells” being a masterfully instrumental closer to end the album.

I‘ve always felt like 7 deserves to be mentioned more in hip hop producer discussions considering his decorated discography of production credits & I happen to think Ciicada is a solid way of introducing himself to a wider audience. A couple spotty guest performances, but most of them bring their unique styles upfront as the Kansas City extraordinaire dabbles with all sorts of sounds behind the boards.

Score: 3.5/5

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