On the back of ‘Handz Of Stone‘, the 2022 release from ethemadassassin which was one of the best hip hop albums of the year (and won the Raw Side Hip Hop People’s Choice Award) the barsmith is back with a sequel, and unlike a lot of follow ups, this one hits JUST as hard as the original. But this is not just an ‘extension’ or more of the same from E, this is a kick ass project that stands alone, but also builds on the high quality beat choice and razor sharp pen we saw on display in ‘Handz Of Stone’. In short, this is that sweet science of matching bars, beats and features to create a record that lasts the rounds.

The album starts off with ‘Bear Coat‘ a menacing track, horns resonating throughout while E, XP the Marxman and Seven Da Pantha get to putting in reps on the mic, as they speak to the fight and determination they possess and give a warning to the opposition. ‘Pick A Side (Get or Get Got)‘ has a really boppy, boom bap style soundtrack and E’s flow dances all over it like quality footwork in the ring, before ‘Boss Hoggin‘ really turns things up and starts working the headphones as the snare snaps upside the speakers and ethemadassassin lets everyone know he means business.

Skunk Season‘ is a more stripped back joint production wise, but E still lands plenty of blows but the pressure is applied when ‘Ice-T‘ attacks the headphones. E and Substance810 really get after this track with braggadocious bars and enigmatic delivery over a melodic head nodder. ‘Can’t Stay Away‘ has a soul / lounge feel due to the vocals that are used to bring a sultriness to this ode to the power of females, then ‘Yaaay‘ gets back to the grimey concrete poetry being spit over an interesting instrumental that is part street anthem and part video game theme music.

Philmore Greene graces the mic of ‘Pay What You Owe‘ and in true Greene style, he just completely demolishes the mic with his prose, delivered with authenticity and purpose and he works well with E’s more rugged flow. ‘We Want In‘ is a hip hop heavyweight special, this is rumble in the jungle kinda shit as The Bad Seed, G Fam Black and D-Styles bring their overhand head shots to a darker, brooding track. Each emcee spits fire, but attacks the headphones in a different way – it’s a knockout track. The final track ‘Kasa‘ is a little lighter, with delicate keys highlighting the dusty understated drums and Ethemadassassin sees this one through on his dolo, reminding everyone that he’s still the star of this show.

Bangers: We Want In, Pick A Side (get or Get Got), Pay What You Owe, Bear Coat.

Score: 9 / 10. Ethemadassassin continues to step up and deliver, whether he is pressuring you from the jump or if he works you from a distance and just finds ways through your defence. You always get high quality penmanship, and the features on this album are sporadic and special which makes for a great balance between E’s flow, and other emcees who deserve to be in the booth with this rhymeslinger. This is another high quality album that will feature heavily in playlists and headphones.

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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!