This is the 5th full-length album from Canadian emcee Asun Eastwood. Coming up as part of the Brown Bag Money collective, he eventually broke out solo in 2017 off his debut mixtape Hollywood Briggs & then a Finn-produced debut album With All Due Respect a couple years later. We were just treated to P.I.M.P. (Prophecy Is My Present) a few months ago to celebrate Asun’s born day & for a follow-up, he’s reuniting with Finn for The S.O.U.L. (Science Of Understanding Life).
The title track at the start sets the tone for the album really with Asun jumping on a soul sample to talk about leaving a legacy before Ill Conscious accompanies him on the boom bap, integrity-themed “Soul Cry”. The song “Humility” with Daniel Son is short yet affective as the duo talk about never dying on top of a somewhat fuzzy instrumental whereas “Cassius Clay Fist” is a other short cut, except it’s a lot darker in sound & the reckless lyricism.
Rigz jumps on the dreary “Thrill of Victory” to help depict how exciting it is to be victorious & not only is the storytelling on “Bookey Owned the 80s” outstanding, but I also love how smooth the production is. SLNC might have the weakest feature on the album with the mafiosi “Keep It Clean”, but Flee Lord makes up for it on “.40” as he & Asun get on their gun-talk shit on top of a bass-guitar & a flute.
Meanwhile, we have Saipher Soze tagging along for the rock-influenced “Midnight Sun” to get introspective before he & Family Gang Black spit about pride & stupidity on the old western-flavored “CB4”. The song “Crown to Crown” with M.A.V. has an extravagant instrumental with the duo talking about pushing weight while the penultimate track is a gorgeous sequel to “Soul’s Mystery” off With All Due Respect. The closer “Float Away” gets back on the rock tip telling listeners to look at him now.
Despite me enjoying P.I.M.P. (Prophecy Is My Present), I’d say Asun outdid himself on The S.O.U.L. (Science Of Understanding Life). A couple of the features punched under their weight in my opinion but nonetheless, his lyricism has stepped up & Finn’s production is amongst the best he’s ever cooked up.
Saipher Soze is a 31 year old MC from Toronto, Canada coming up as a member of the Brown Bag Money collective. He eventually went solo on 2017 with Godbody & then Kanibull Rising just 10 months after that but after doing a handful of features throughout 2019 & a little bit of this year too, Saipher is back with his 3rd full-length album.
The album ends with “Ambrosia” gets confrontational over a frightening instrumental from Futurewave whereas the next song “Fat Cheques” with Daniel Son & Mooch finds the trio talking about the money over a soulful Finn beat. The track “Strong Arm Godz” with Asun Eastwood sees the 2 spitting straight up gangsta shit over a boom bap instrumental with an acoustic loop while the song “Ho-Lee-Chow” close captions his life over a ghostly beat.
The track “Lycan” talks about moving weight & sticking dudes up if he ain’t gon’ make it in the industry over a symphonic boom bap instrumental while the song “Unadulterated” with Family Gang Black finds the 2 getting murderous over a devilish beat. The track “Powerhouse” talks about double-crossers over a gritty instrumental while the song “Moe Greene” gets back on the money-tip over a luxurious beat.
The track “Roland Garros” comes at his competition’s necks over a gloomy instrumental while the song “Screwface” talks about not trusting a soul over a mournful boom bap beat. The track “Mulekick” talks about falling for nothing over a dreary instrumental while “The Revenant” with Jai Black sees the 2 talking about the game getting twisted over a suspenseful beat. The song “Van Glow” reunites with Family Gang Black to talk about time moving fast over a jazzy instrumental & then the closer “Sock Darts” reunites with Daniel Son to talk about how much noise they’ve made in recent years over a beat with some keys & horns.
Overall, this is the best thing that Saipher’s has put out yet. Not only has his lyricism stepped up with each new album, but Futurewave & Finn both remind listeners of their place as some of the dopest producers in the underground today.
Daniel Son is an emcee from Toronto, Canada who’s been going at it since 2016 with his debut mixtape The Gunners. His sophomore album Yenaldooshi that came out last summer would go onto become his magnum opus & it was followed up 4 months later with Moonshine Mix 2. But to kick off his 2020, he’s teaming up with Finn for Dirty Dishes.
The album kicks off with “Fly Decorum”, where Daniel talks about being a legend over an instrumental kin to a blaxploitation film. The next song “Hit the Switch” with Asun Eastwood sees the 2 talking about those “trying to replace what we stole” over a spooky instrumental while the track “Foreign Chauffeur” with Rome Streetz sees the 2 reminiscing on growing up in the hood over a mournful boom bap beat.
The song “All Nighter” with Rob Gates sees the 2 getting mafioso over a mellow instrumental while the track “Cherry Beach” talks about his team being hungry over a somber piano instrumental. The song “Money Train” is really touching despite it’s 63 second runtime while the track “Lemon Hill” is another short yet gritty cut about how ill he is.
The song “Chasing Ghosts” with Jay Royale sees the 2 making a gruesome tribute to the heathens while the track “Burnt Thumbs” gets back on the drug dealing tip over a boom bap beat with a whimsical sounding flute. The song “Dirty Dozen” with Raz Fresco, Rigz & Saipher Soze is an eerie barfest while the penultimate track “Shorty from the West” with Black Nazi sees the 2 talking about losing this woman to the streets over a settle instrumental with a guitar echoing in the back. The album then finishes with “Boat Trips”, where Daniel gets introspective over an unbeat instrumental.
Daniel has been one of the most consistent dudes in the underground within the past few years & this is easily one of the best projects he’s ever put out. His lyricism has been getting more razor sharp with each release & Finn continue to reveal himself as one of the best producers Canada has to offer.