Substance810 – “The Monolithic Era” review

Substance810 is an MC/producer from Port Huron, Michigan who came up in ‘06 off his debut The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek. He’s since gone on to build up an impressive catalog for himself whether it be the sequel The Definition Of… or the Hobgoblin-produced The Hanging Gardens & more recently the Chuck Chan-produced Desolate Lands this past spring. But with fall approaching, Substance has decided to recruit JQuest Beatz for his 11th album.

After the “Exordium” intro, the first song “Don’t Bite the Hand” is an eerie opener basically advising to never act ungrateful towards him prior to ethemadassassin & K. Burns tagging along for the dusty “Monolithic” talking about being indivisible. “Triumphant” works in some horns describing his rise to prominence whereas “Ancient Sand” laces an entrancing vocal loop asking if you know the traces that make a man.

Meanwhile on “Cross the Line”, we have P.U.R.E. tagging along to help Substance deliver a seething jab at those who step over their boundaries leading into “Time Zones” returning to the boom bap talking about being in another world. “Flaming Chariots” weaves a flute into the fold explaining that the loudest be the scariest in this battle, but then “Solidarity” with John Creasy, Big Trip & Josiah the Gift comes through with an impassioned Umbrella posse cut.

“Sexxx Pistol” shoots for a more foreboding aesthetic delivering some flawless wordplay using sexual & weapon metaphors while the guitar-laced “Concierge’s in Negril” getting in his storytelling bag about a shorty named Natalie. The song “Foundational” with Allah Supreme & Sunez Allah sees the trio over a rich beat talking about never starving while the penultimate track “Raw Materials” with Body Bag Ben brings back the horns displaying some cutthroat lyricism. “Precious Medals” though is a jazzy yet emotional closer talking about the old days.

Of the 2 albums that Substance has dropped this year, I think The Monolithic Era is a more personal experience than Desolate Lands was back in the spring. He lets the listeners in a journey through his mind as to how he got his name & JQuest Beatz’ sound compliments his lyrical style well in my personal opinion.

Score: 4/5

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Substance810 – “Desolate Lands” review

This is the 10th full-length album from Port Huron emcee/producer Substance810. Coming up in ‘06 off his debut The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek, he’s since gone on to build up an impressive catalog for himself whether it be the sequel The Definition Of… or the Hobgoblin-produced The Hanging Gardens. He just dropped the Onaje Jordan-produced A Righteous Offering back in the fall & now 6 months later, Substance is enlisting Chuck Chan to produce Desolate Lands in it’s entirety.

The title track sets the album up by asking how many times he & Chuck gotta give listeners that raw over a calming instrumental whereas the Josiah the Gift-assisted “Substantial” throws in a pillowy boom bap beat talking about making music with substance. Pro Dillinger tags along for the soulful “Thrill of the Hunt” advising that you can’t escape them, but then Dango Forlaine & Mickey Diamond come into the picture for the dusty “Noteworthy” ripping their opposition to shreds.

Meanwhile on “Nomads”, we have King Author joining Substance810 on top of a lush drumless loop keeping the battle raps going just before “Forever Forage” works in an orchestral boom bap instrumental wanting to know who the most potent is. After the titular interlude, “Pompeii” asks what’s really left to say over a hazy beat prior to “Dead Flowers” throwing a sick guitar lead talking about wising up.

The song “Block Spill” with King Micah the Infamous & Philmore Greene finds the trio going into jazzier territory talking about how it be in the streets while the penultimate track Staircases” with Supreme Cerebral has a more orchestral sound admitting that the light at the end of the tunnel is hard to see. “Coming Home” then ends the album with a horn-laced tribute to his hometown of Port Huron.

As much as I loved Chess Pieces, I happen to dig Desolate Lands a little bit more by a small margin. Substance’s lyricism continues to get more intense with each passing project Chuck Chan’s production is a lot more eclectic this time around.

Score: 4/5

Substance810 – “A Righteous Offering” review

Substance810 is a 37 year old MC/producer from Port Huron, Michigan emerging in 2006 with his debut The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek. Since then, he’s gone on to build up an impressive catalog for himself whether it be the sequel The Definition Of… or the conceptual EP Chess Pieces from last year. He just dropped Makin’ Waves at the end of January & the Hobgoblin-produced The Hanging Gardens over the spring, but is continuing to stay busy by tapping in Onaje Jordan to produce his 9th full-length album from top to bottom.

The opener “Watercolores” with Lupus Dei is a pillowy boom bap opener comparing themselves to Jean-Michael Basquiat whereas the Killy Shoot-assisted title track works in some piano chords to bring a blank canvas for all to see. ethemadassassin tags along for the orchestral “Euro” saying they’re from a hip hop galaxy landing in a foreign planet just before “Savage Lands” starts out with an organ-infused beat & lyrics about making a fire from a calm flame, with “May It Be Swift” switches into a guitar & talking to a human sacrifice.

Meanwhile on “Fool Proof”, we get a hypnotic vocal sample as Substance810 says he don’t trust nobody leading into him & philmatic365 going into a smokier direction for “The Pulpit” talking about wanting to reach the highest of highs. Josiah the Gift comes into the fold on the hypnotically-produced “Power Barz” comparing themselves to the final boss of a video game, but then Chuck Chan slides through for the unsettling “Lake of Fire” telling their opposition that they ain’t saying shit unless their bars are heavy.

ethemadassassin returns on the piano-laced “Grim Predictions” going at those testing their pride whereas “Hometown Hero” lavishly declares himself as such. The song “That’s My Heart” with M.A.V. finds the pair going into chipmunk soul turf talking with a sinner’s peace while the penultimate track “Road 2 Glory” with Deuce Hennessy has some great background harmonies for them to search for the true them. “Memorabilia” then finishes things off with Substance810 & J. Arrr jumping on top of a jazz loop taking a thousand words to make a picture.

For this being the follow-up to The Hanging Gardens, it’s not bad. I dig what Onaje Jordan’s doing behind the boards & I appreciate the fact that Substance810 picks up where the previous album left off lyrically, but they kinda overloaded themselves on the feature end of things.

Score: 3.5/5

Substance810 – “The Hanging Gardens” review

This is the 8th full-length album from Port Huron emcee/producer Substance810. Originally emerging in 2006 with his debut The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek, it wasn’t until last year when he dropped the fantastic sequel The Definition Of in the summer & then a debut EP Chess Pieces in the fall. But just 3 months after the release of his previous album Makin’ Waves, Substance810 is tapping in Hobgoblin for The Hanging Gardens.

“From a Seed” has some jazz undertones in the instrumental as the Michigander raps about growth before Josiah the Gift accompanies him to spit that pyrex shit on the gospel-sounding “Full Bloom”. The song “Marvel of Mankind” jumps on a flute to talk about being different from those around his way whereas “Pillars of Stone” goes into a more boom bap direction with lyrics about residing in the shadows of the underground.

Meanwhile, we have Jamil Honesty & Pure jumping on the horn-inflicted “Majestic” to come for their opposition’s throats before Substance810 brings in an orchestra for the Ma Dukes-tribute “Mother Earth”. Right after that, the minimal “From Darkness to Light” goes in about overcoming all obstacles & then E the Mad Assassin tags along to talk about wanting more on the grimy title track. “Harvest” is a victorious closer & the ambition in his lyrics is undeniable.

Substance810 is quickly becoming one of my favorite MCs that my home state has to offer & The Hanging Gardens is an absolute crown jewel in his discography. His lyricism is more introspective this time around & Hobgoblin brings in a wide range of sounds for him.

Score: 4.5/5

Substance810 – “Makin’ Waves” review

Substance810 is a 36 year old MC/producer from Port Huron, Michigan who first made his mark in 2006 with his full-length debut The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek. He released a sequel album The Definition Of the previous summer & then a debut EP Chess Pieces a couple months later but to continue the grind, the man returning with his 7th full-length album.

The intro talks about being a risk-taker over a soulful boom bap instrumental from Substance810 himself whereas the next track “Crude Dialog” with Squeegie O sees the 2 talking about giving it to ‘em raw over a suspenseful beat. “The Purist” with Estee Nack finds the duo talking about hearing nothing but bars over some funky bass & a wailing sample while the song “Invisible Lines” with Pee Tzu sees the 2 talking about just that over a spooky beat from Wavy da Ghawd.

The track “Upper Echelon” talks about having the vibe that you love over a calm, drumless instrumental while the song “Fortified” talks about having razor blades in his jaw over an doomsday-esque beat. The track “Poison White Darts” talks about being ahead of his time over a drumless, bleak instrumental while “The Procedure” with Ty Farris finds the 2 talking about jumping out the box over a boom bap beat with a gorgeous piano sample.

The song “Calculated Risks” talks about how there’s been a lot of talk over an alluring instrumental while the track “Nitrile Gloves” with Deuce Hennessy & Killy Shoot sees the trio talking about going bar for bar with sucka MCs over an organ-inflicted beat. The song “Epilogue” with Chuck Chan & Lupus Dei finds the 3 talking about what the mission is over some string samples & then the title track that finishes the album off talks about being the leader of the new school over a settle beat from Nicholas Craven.

Substance810 is one of the finest MCs/producers in Michigan right now & this is definitely no exception. Some of the features were kinda weak, but the songwriting only gets better with each project he drops & the production gets continually rawer too.

Score: 3.5/5

Substance810 – “Chess Pieces” review

This is the brand new EP from Port Huron emcee/producer Substance810. Fresh off his brand new album The Definition Of that came out earlier this summer & as we approach the fall, he’s teaming up with Chuck Chan for Chess Pieces.

The EP starts with “Checkmate”, where Substance810 talks about being the king of the chessboard over a soulful instrumental. The song “Lay Your King Down” with Lupus Dei sees the 2 showing off their wordplay abilities over a dismal boom bap beat while the track “Fischer vs. Spassky” with Deuce Hennessy & Guy Grams finds the 3 talking about how they perform in the same fashion as the titular chess match over a cold instrumental.

The song “Regal Rooks” with Chuck & Killy Shoot sees the 3 talking about how anything they breathe turns out to be sick over a steady beat while the penultimate track “Tactical Motifs” with Deuce Hennessy & General Back Pain finds the 3 going at wack rappers’ throats over an instrumental with a mesmerizing vocal sample. The EP finishes with “Time Clock”, which is easily the most introspective cut on the entire project backed by a Godly boom bap.

Man, Substance810 has really been on a roll this summer because I enjoy this just as much as I did The Definition Of. Chess fans are bound to get a kick out of the EP’s concept behind the game & Chuck Chan‘s production is on point as are the features.

Score: 4/5

Substance810 – “The Definition Of” review

Substance810 is an MC/producer from Port Huron, Michigan who first made his mark in 2006 with his debut album The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek. 14 years later & 5 more projects later, he’s returning with a sequel to the album that started it all titled The Definition Of.

The opener “All My Life” speaks about being a righteous man now & for this to be the only song not to be produced by Substance810 himself, the psychedelic boom bap production Know It comes through with is a great touch. The next song “Fuck You Talmbout” is about how he’s more concerned about bars than radio play over a chilling instrumental while the track “Midnight Oil” finds him contemplating about getting bread over a nightly beat. The song “U Should Kno” with Rudy Will sees the 2 talking about earning medals for how they run joints & comparing their lyrics to a movie script over a delicate instrumental while the track “Just Ridiculous” comes through with some nasty battle raps over a ghostly boom bap instrumental.

The song “Royal Rhymes” with Jamil Honesty sees the 2 flexing their lyricism while the track “Wowzerz” talks about how hardcore he is over a flawlessly vintage boom bap beat. The song “Chop Suey” with Drip Matthews sees the 2 talking about how they’re still the same as they were in the start over a hypnotic beat while “The Rising” with Daniel Son & Rome Streetz finds the 3 wordsmiths detailing their rise in the underground over a luxurious instrumental. The penultimate track “Tunnel Vision” with Jay Royale sees the 2 talking about keeping it raw over a gritty loop. The album then finishes with “Dark Clouds”, where Substance810 talks about his inner turmoil over a symphonic instrumental.

Michigan has always been filled with bottomlessly talented hip hop acts even to this day & if you wanna get into the guy, this is not a bad place to start at all. He does a fantastic job at showing the listener how much he’s evolved in the past 14 years both as a brutal MC & as an equally talented producer.

Score: 4/5