Napoleon da Legend is a 43 year old MC born in Paris, France & based in Brooklyn, New York who a lot of underground heads should be familiar with at this point considering the lengthy discography that he’s built up for himself for nearly the past decade ranging from Coup D’État & it’s sequel to Street Universe & Dragon Ball G. But coming fresh off Le Dernier Glacier last month which was disappointing considering the Sicknature-produced Colossus of GOATS & the Giallo Point-produced Buckets were his strongest bodies of work in a while, his 22nd album here fully produced by DJ D-Styles of the Beat Junkies was more than enough for me to hope Napoleon would redeem himself.
After the intro, “Blaktual News” featuring Innocent? & Josiah the Gift kicks off the album with the trio talking about standing by their word protecting it like their kids over a boom bap instrumental whereas “Food” works in some piano chords cautioning that your biggest mistake is not knowing when to shut up. “Rubiks Cube” featuring Amerigo Gazaway finds the pair surviving dark times to face the light over some more kicks & snares, but then “Supreme Haiku” takes a drumless acoustic route talking about not being the one to lie to.
Moving on from there, “Alligator Tears” featuring Aïda returns to the boom bap as the 2 MCs telling y’all to sit back as you watch them do their thing just before “Gods vs. Titans” has a more symphonic groove to it calling out those operating from a distance like a narc. “Games We Play” has a glistening boom bap beat asking if anyone wants to play a game leading into “Snake Oil” lacing some guitar passages discussing the promise of a better life.
“Distortion” starts the final leg of Invincibl Rap Mislz by expressing his desire to have the music bring it out of them instead of just bringing it to the music over a synth-heavy instrumental while the song “Table Manners” featuring Nejma Nefertiti reminds how much of a good combo they are over a dusty beat. The title track has a more nocturnal aesthetic to it sonically dissing those with arms too short to box the God on the mic & “Wu-Masters” is a cool Wu-Tang homage to end the album from the lyrics to even the RZA-inspired instrumental.
If anyone else walked away from Le Dernier Glacier disappointed like I did, then PLEASE check out this new body of work right here because it’s on par with both The Colossus of GOATS & Buckets as far as I’m concerned. DJ D-Styles’ production is more consistent than what we got from Napoleon a month ago, the features list is brief yet tighter & the French-American wordsmith delivers harder performances.
This is the 20th full-length album from Paris born albeit Brooklyn raised emcee Napoleon da Legend. By now, underground heads should be familiar with at this point considering the lengthy discography that he’s built up for himself for nearly the past decade ranging from Coup D’État & it’s sequel to Street Universe & Dragon Ball G. But coming fresh off the Sicknature produced Colossus of GOATS about 6 weeks back, Po’s linking back up with Giallo for the first time in 2 years with Buckets.
“Reminisce to ‘88” finds Napoleon reflecting on how much the titular year means to him over a boom bap instrumental whereas “Federer’s Racket” has a more lavish quality to it for a dedication to his counterparts. The piano sections throughout “Order Seconds” were a very nice touch in my opinion with the lyrics talking about being “Rather Unique” much like the underrated Brooklyn veteran himself AZ, but then “Guard Ya Grill” has a more rawer approach to it down the aggressive subject matter & delivery.
Moving on to “Intermittent Blasting”, we have Supreme Cerebral tagging along on top of a glossy beat calling themselves the biggest bag-getters just before “Avirex Days” delivers a classy boom bap ballad acknowledging that his output is really the only thing you hear about from him. “Nas & AZ” has a funkier groove to it was Nejma Nefertiti coming into the picture to engage in some crazy back & forth chemistry with Po comparing themselves to the titular New York veterans leading into the soulful “Buzzer Beater” dropping bars like “ending disgraceful like Hulk Hogan. Stuck your nose inside my business, now your nose broken” & “Ya squad weak, I may erase y’all from history. Jordan vs. Utah deface y’all for dissing me”.
“Spoils for War” works in a drumless orchestral sample talking about wearing his scars proudly & time flying when you’re fearless while “Asylum” embraces a more luxurious vibe encouraging one to slide up in the nuthouse & talking about no longer being surprised because of his conscious being anchored to reality. “The Finest Things” is an upbeat ode to exactly just that while the dusty penultimate track “Stress” cautions what ages you the fastest. The closer “All Eyez on Me” however has some stellar jazz undertones to the beat flexing on them.
Everything that Giallo Point has laced for Po has become amongst the best work in his ever-growing discography & not only is Buckets is a welcoming addition to that, but it’s just as fantastic if not better than The Colossus of GOATs only a couple months ago. Both of them continue to bring the best out of one another from Giallo’s raw production to the highly impressive songwriting that Napoleon hits down.
Napoleon da Legend is a 42 year old MC born in Paris, France & based in Brooklyn, New York who a lot of underground heads should be familiar with at this point considering the lengthy discography that he’s built up for himself for nearly the past decade ranging from Coup D’État & it’s sequel to Street Universe & Dragon Ball G. But coming fresh off the 1 Piece inspired 2 Piece almost 2 months ago, Napoleon’s enlisting Sicknatureof the Snowgoons to fully produce his 19th album.
“96 Bulls” is a grand boom bap opener to the album talking about having to create a lane of his own whereas “Self-Talk” takes a more peaceful route in terms of sound so Po can basically have a profound discussion with himself. “Dance with the Devil” brings a more somber vibe to the instrumental admitting that’s exactly what he did the night prior, but then Brian Bars Burns & Nejma Nefertiti both come into the picture with Sicknature for “Ultra” dropping battle bars on top of some kicks & organs.
As far as “Hustla” goes, we have Napoleon over some synth-woven boom bap talking about thinking of a master plan leading into “Disinformation” addressing more conscious subject matter & the beat has a warm yet fuzzy feeling to it that only further reveals the place of sincerity that it comes from. Eloh Kush tags along for the dusty yet keyboard driven “Indigenous Jedi” referring to themselves as just that prior to “Last Days” is a more rugged successor to “Disinformation” from the beat to the conscious lyrics.
The penultimate track “Rest in Perfection” finds Sicknature accompanying Napoleon on the mic 1 last time so they can deliver a potent ballad that honors & mourns every single person that we lost in 2020 with “Health First” rounding the album off with a groovy ode to eating healthy much like dead prez did at the beginning of the millennium with “Be Healthy” off their full-length debut Let’s Get Free.
Of the 5 albums that Napoleon has dropped throughout the year, The Colossus of G.O.A.T.s has to be the most well conceived of the bunch & is quickly becoming a standout in his ever-growing catalog for me personally. Sicknature’s always been an incredibly talented producer whether it’s just him or with the Snowgoons & his signature sound compliments Napoleon’s style more than most of the producers he’s worked with in the last couple years.