Big Left – “Slaughter of the Innocents” review

Big Left is a 47 year old MC from Queens, New York who broke out in 2002 off his debut EP Who’s Left?. This was followed up in 2007 with the debut mixtape World War III & then after his short tenure in La Coka Nostra, he finally unleashed his 1st full-length Walking Dead on Devil’s Night almost a decade ago at this point. But after coming out of a hiatus & signing to Force 5 Records, Left is making a comeback in the form of his sophomore album.

“The Reaper” starts it all off with some killer guitar riffs getting in his murderous bag whereas “Fuck ‘Em” with Aztek the Barfly weaves in some keyboards & dusty drums talking about not playing with the paper. “Flavor” is a violin-infused boom bap cut flexing his lyrical abilities just before the Tekk-assisted “Move Back” brings in some haunting organ harmonies talking about knocking motherfuckers out.

Meanwhile on “Pardon Me”, we have King Relik tagging along with Big Left for a thunderous party anthem just before “The Compendium” hauntingly expresses to be acknowledged as one of the greats when he’s gone. “1 Take” has a more vibrant trap sound to it rapping his ass off nonstop for 2 minutes, but then “50 Caliber Bangs” finds Napalm Drop linking up over a synth-heavy boom bap beat talking about staying underground.

The song “Force 5 Syndicate” is an anarchic Force 5 posse cut while the penultimate track “I Tried” melancholically opens up about him attempting to look inside himself. “Get It” with Masamoon then closes out the album on some beautifully ignorant, disrespectful shit.

Left’s been putting it down for the culture for a long time now & Slaughter of the Innocents really proves that he hasn’t lost a step. Hell, I think it’s the best thing he’s ever done! It’s well-produced, the guests are well-picked, he sounds completely rejuvenated & destroys mics like he never took time off.

Score: 4/5

King Relik – “DEMENT3D” review

King Relik is a 38 year old MC from Long Beach, California emerging on Valentine’s Day 2017 off his debut EP 12:45 produced entirely by Klepto K. However, he ended up signing to Wisconsin-based underground label Force 5 Records last February & is finally delivering his full-length debut just in time for 4/20.

The opener “Vilynz” connects with Skribbal & Radek to declare themselves as bad guys on top of an organ-laced beat whereas the next song “Sl33p” goes into a more electronic direction as Relik talks about being an insomniac. “Syko” reads as a 1-minute bipolar episode on wax as the overall sound of it keeps jumping all over the place, but then “Yogurl (Rollyaeyez)” goes into detail about this hoe over a minimal instrumental.

The song “Nayzay” dives into a more glitchy, industrial-sounding as he spits that wicked shit while “Grynd” is a chaotic punk rock anthem that I’m sure will get the pits going. The song “P.O.S. (Piece Of Shit)” talks about working on himself over an organ & some hi-hats, but then “Read the Note” is a spectrally-produced storytelling joint about Relik pulling off a robbery.

The track “Spacevan” dives into a more piano-boom bap direction with lyrics about hotboxing whereas “Pimpin’” is a more ill-lit vibe in the production as Relik & Lima Beans paint themselves as actual pimps. The penultimate song “Rabidbaboon” incorporates some synth-horns with lyrics about how wild dude is & then the album ends with “Handles”, which feels like a 1-minute homage to bands like Green Day & blink-182.

Been curious to hear how King Relik would sound on his own & I think DEMENT3D is actually a pretty solid album. It’s cool to hear the wide rage of sounds that the producers bring to the table & the guy has never sounded better lyrically.

Score: 3.5/5

Jaysin Logik – “Soundcheck” review

Jaysin Logik is a 39 year old MC from Milwaukee, Wisconsin came onto my radar a couple years ago when The DRP signed him to his rising independent hip hop label Force 5 Records. I’ve only heard Jaysin on features up to this point, but now we’re finally getting a debut album from him & he’s tapping in Majik Ninja Entertainment in-house producer Stir Crazy to hop behind the boards for a good bulk of it.

After the intro, the first song “That’s My Story” talks about how you can’t tell him shit because he’s been through it over a high-pitched soul sample while the track “Stop Trying to Wake Me” with The DRP finds the 2 talking about how you can find them in between reality & a dream over a cinematic boom bap beat. The song “Anger Management” talks about being as sporadic as an addict over a lachrymose instrumental & after the “Poetic Justice” interlude, “The Toast” with Skribbal & Prolifik finds the trio getting celebratory over a boom bap beat with some hypnotic background vocals.

The song “Easy” gets in his shit-talking bag over a heavy, old school instrumental while the track “Kickin’ Rocks” is a full-fledged country rap ballad about the old days & following the dirt road right to your heart. The penultimate track “Talking About You” gets romantic over a rhythmic yet charming instrumental & then the closer “Never Walk Away” is his profession of love for hip hop culture over chipmunked-vocal sample.

Man I was waiting for this album all month & it didn’t disappoint me whatsoever. Stir Crazy cooks up some of his best production yet whereas Jaysin Logik reveals himself as one of the most skilled lyricists that Force 5 Records currently has to offer.

Score: 4/5

Force 5 Records – “The Ruckus Mixtape, Vol. 2” review

Force 5 Records is a Milwaukee based hip hop record label founded in 2002 by The DRP. However, it wasn’t until 2017 after returning from a 3-4 year hiatus where the label became the powerhouse that it is today by bringing a handful of big underground names on board from Bay Area horrorcore veteran Mars to the late Saint Dog of Kottonmouth Kings fame. They put out a showcase mixtape that same year called The Ruckus Mixtape but as Force 5’s roster continues to grow over time, it’s only right for them to drop a sequel.

After the intro, we get into the first song “$1,000 Quartet”. Which is pretty much The DRP, Jaysin Logik, Prolifik & Rick Dogg spitting over the instrumental of Gang Starr‘s “Full Clip” for 2 minutes. The next track “Crystal Meth” by Danny Diablo, The DRP, Jaysin Logik, Prolifik & Skribbal sees the 5 comparing their bars to drugs over a beat that I can kinda picture hearing on a Jedi Mind Tricks album while the song “Fuck Fame” by Big Left, The DRP & Jaysin Logik talks about living this shit over a heavy boom bap instrumental. The track “It’s a Revolution” by Danny Diablo, The DRP, Jaysin Logik, King Relik & Prolifik calls to end killing & violence over a futuristic beat while the song “Intelligence” by Jaysin Logik & Prolifik finds the duo spitting food for thought over an instrumental with a vintage feel to it.

The track “Charut” by Danny Diablo & The DRP is a invigorating moshpit anthem with an eerie trap beat while the song “One” is a Jaysin Logik solo cut about feeling empty over a piano & some fast-tempo drums. The track “Murderific” is a King Relik solo cut getting on the horrorcore tip over some funky bass & string sections while the song “Get Up 2020” by Prolifik & Rick Dogg is a fun, rap-rock flavored party starter.

The track “Make It Look Easy” by Big Hoss & Danny Diablo finds the 2 talking about being the illest in the underground over a victorious beat while the song “Cudahy Girl” is a Rick Dogg solo cut getting flirtatious over a country flavored instrumental. The track “Pervert” is a Prolifik solo cut that perfectly lives up to it’s name as he rocks it over a jazzy beat while the song “Dem Hoes 2020” by The DRP, R.A. the Rugged Man & Skribbal goes in detail as to how fine these certain group of hoes are over a grimy instrumental.

The track “Fuck Rick Dogg” is a 45 second, rock-tinged King Relik solo cut where he jokingly takes shots at Rick while the song “How You Like Me Now?” is a DRP solo cut about being the best MC on his block over a dusty boom bap beat. The penultimate track “Like You Do” is a dope leftover from Saint Dog’s final album Bozo discussing this woman in his life being heaven sent over an instrumental with some prominent bells whereas the closer “Walk the Walk” finds The DRP teaming up with the The Night Crawlers to take aim at the mainstream over a deranged beat.

I think Force 5 Records has been killing in the underground for a while now & if anyone reading this review is looking to get into them, this tape isn’t a bad place to start at all. Every signee they have to offer sticks out in their own unique way & the amount of diversity in the production is sweet too. I’m really looking forward to watching the label grow from hereon out.

Score: 3.5/5