Fredro Starr Soul On Fire

If you’re craving some of that Brooklyn flow, East Coast boom bap music, then Onyx frontman Fredro Starr has got you the hook up with his latest solo joint ‘Soul On Fire‘. 12 tracks, 40 minutes of quality, introspective, well crafted hip hop that will have the head nodding and shoulders shrugging.

Fredro Starr dropped a couple of really nice EPs on the game last year with ‘A Few Joints‘ and the ‘Rappers and Ballers‘ joint with Jonny Vulgar, but it’s great to be able to feast on a full offering from the East Coast emcee. There are very few features – you don’t get any Onyx reunions – but he does bring in Vado & The Kid Daytona on the cruisey ‘Do You Know‘, Mike Raw kills the hook on ‘Racing‘, River ‘100,000 Miles‘ and Begetz on ‘End of the Day‘. Outside of that, it’s ALL on Fredro and he delivers yet again with creative, crafty and cohesive lyrical content and verbal barbs.

This album really digs deep and gives us some quality insight into Fredro Starr the person, not just the emcee. The album exhibits a well rounded approach to rapping with some bravado, vulnerability, hypothetical and critical thinking all weaving their way into the bars that are effortlessly and smoothly delivered from the enigmatic emcee. The production is an easyily digested blend of boom bap, drums, horns and strings and a host of up beat, light melodies that are quite hypnotic in parts.

Everyday Hell‘ kicks off the album and is a fantastic, key laced, spiritual track, where Fredro himself states ‘the beat sounds like it’s crying’. ‘What If II‘ paints those hypothetical pictures that we often drift away and get lost thinking about. I won’t give a track by track, but these tracks really do set the tone for the rest of the joint and are highlights for me, along with ‘New York 95‘, ‘100,000 Miles‘ and ‘Suicide Queens‘.

Overall, this is a really enjoyable album. There is an honesty in the stories told and pictures painted, the varied production is crisp, diverse and cohesive and you can replay it multiple times without tuning out.

Bangers: 100,000 Miles, Everyday Hell, New York 95, Suicide Queens, What If II

Score: 8 / 10. A quality hip hop joint. Fredro is still as commanding on the mic as ever, albeit it in a different manner from his youth. The production is solid and has moments where it transports you back to the mid 90’s golden era. It’s soulful, it’s hypnotic. Give this a listen.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!