The Musalini – “The Don & Eye” review

The Musalini is a 34 year old MC from New York City who’s been making noise in the underground since 2018 after dropping his debut mixtape Musalini Season. He would go on to release 3 full-lengths & 1 more tape before signing to TCF Music Group, where he’s made himself home since then by dropping a couple EPs & Return of the Oro in the early part of this decade. But to follow up his 38 Spesh-produced 3rd EP In God We Trust that came out over the fall, he’s enlisting 9th Wonder behind the boards throughout his 5th album right here.

Planet Asia tags along for the charming opener “Summer League” spitting that fly shit on top of a guitar whereas “Skyview” has a more rich, boom bap quality to it talking about how he still gets around. “Been a Minute” goes into a more calmer route telling his lover that he ain’t like other guys, but then “Paid in Full” works in an incredible jazz sample talking about how even the blind can see the whole different sequence.

Meanwhile on “Don Music”, we have 38 Spesh joining Mus on top of some horns of course getting in their mafioso bag leading into the soulful “Cat Daddy” talking about the girl he sees in his dreams being all on him now. “Deja Vu” is a cool little anthem detailing that nobody can stop his crew just before “Sun Child” has a more drumless feel to it talking about how he’s that dude.

The song “Tunnel Vision” with Izzy Hott incorporates some strings taking aim at those who tried to break them down while the penultimate track “Miami Vice” with Ice Lord mixes a vocal loop with some keyboards to spit that braggadocio. And to round it out, King Draft & Swank come into the picture for “Sincerely” once again going into jazz territory to remind listeners they spit the shit they do because they live it.

For all the readers out there who’re fans of both parties, then you’re gonna absolutely be enamored by this album. The features at the back end of it can be hit or miss & a few of the songs could’ve been more fully fleshed out in my opinion but nonetheless, 9th cooks the best production of any Mus project & the latter scorches everything in his path lyrically.

Score: 4/5

MURS & 9th Wonder – “The Iliad‘s Dead & The Odyssey’s Over” review

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MURS & 9th Wonder are an underground super-duo consisting of former Little Brother producer 9th Wonder & former Living Legends wordsmith MURS. The pair made their debut in 2004 with the Definitive Jux backed MURS 3:16: The 9th Edition & followed it up in 2006 with Murray’s Revenge. They continued to show how strong their chemistry was on Sweet Lord, Fornever & were supposed to disband after The Final Adventure in 2012. They eventually reformed in on New Year’s Eve 2015 with Brighter Daze & with the 15 year anniversary of their debut this past March, they’re celebrating with their 7th & supposedly final full-length album.

The album kicks off with “The Hulk”, where MURS reaffirms his rapping prowess over a boom bap beat with a funky bass-line. The next song “Cancun ‘08” with Pookie Blow & $ilk Money sees the 3 recalling a party they went to over a jazzy boom bap beat while the track “My Hero” tells the story of a woman named Alexis over a somberly jazzy beat.

The song “Ga$ Station Gucci Belt” talks about the street life over a venomous beat while the track “Unicorn Glitter” insightfully talks about pussy over a boom bap beat with an acoustic guitar. The song “High Noon” with Rapsody sees the 2 going back & forth nonchalantly about grinding over a mellow instrumental from 9th Wonder’s 15 year old daughter JDEAFBEATS while the song “Night Shift” talks about his live performances over some prominent piano chords.

The song “Give Me a Reason” tries to apologize to an ex over an atmospheric boom bap beat while the track “Super Cojo Bros.” with GQ sees the 2 talking about going at their enemies over an instrumental with some amazing retro video game samples. The song “Fuck Them” tries to console a woman who gets constantly cheated on over a soulful beat while the track “Tony Robbins Pocketbook” talks about searching for God over some strings. The album then finishes with “SIN”, where MURS vividly details relationship drama over a boom bap beat with a beautiful soul sample.

If this truly is the last time we’ll ever hear these 2 in a full-length capacity, then they went out on a high note. The features were mostly ok, but MURS’ storytelling remains on point with 9th Wonder providing a fantastic musical backdrop.

Score: 4/5

Smif N Wessun – “The All” review

Smif N Wessun are a legendary Brooklyn hip hop duo consisting of Tek & Steele. Their 1995 debut Dah Shinin’ is widely regarded as an East Coast classic & now just 8 years after the Pete Rock] produced Monumental, they’re making their return with their 7th full-length album with The Soul Council producing it in it’s entirety.

After the “Education of Smif-n-Wessun” intro, the first song “Testify” sees the duo looking back at their career over a boom bap beat with a faint vocal sample popping in & out from 9th Wonder & Khrysis. The track “Dreamland” with Raekwon sees the 3 reminiscing on their childhoods over a settle instrumental while the song “Ocean Drive” with Rapsody is a Bonnie & Clyde-esque tune over a keyboard-inflicted boom bap beat. The track “Let It Go” talks about murdering their competition over a boom bap beat with a dinky keyboard-lead.

The track “Letter 4 U” is a dedication to their families over some punchy drums while the song “Let Me Tell” with Rick Ross sees the 3 getting confrontational over an eerie beat. The title track gets boastful about their skills over an ominous beat while the song “We Good” with GQ pretty much speaks for itself over a moody beat. The track “StahfAllah” talks about being cut from a different cloth over a boom bap beat with a quiet-horn lead while the song “Illusions” tells the story of a dumb dude in the streets over a boom bap beat with some eerie background vocals. The album then ends with “1 Time” talks about their legacy over a jazzy-boom bap beat.

Overall, this was a damn near perfect comeback for the duo. It’s focused, the lyrics are insightful & the production from The Soul Council suits them fantastically.

Score: 4.5/5