Eto teams up with Futurewave for his latest solo album ‘Dead Poets‘ comprising 12 tracks and over 30 minutes of dope new hip hop. Eto seems to have been around forever, but has really only been making a lot of noise over the last few years on the back of his collaborations with Flee Lord, but with this Futurewave produced joint, the Rochester emcee is about to continue to make that noise a whole lot louder. Last year, Eto dropped two projects ‘Forever Mobbin‘ with Nyce Da Future and ‘Abyss Dwellas‘ towards the end of 2022 with Jai Black and Deepstar the Abyss Dewlla – but ‘Dead Poets’ might just have the edge over those two high quality hip hop releases. So let’s dig in.
The intro is stripped back but interesting which engrosses the listener from the jump, and Eto always spits in a way that you’re awaiting the very next word – so it’s a nice way to start the project and give us a feeling of what to expect. ‘Vintage‘ has a really dope soulful vibe to it, some of that 70’s blaxploitation music that gets the head nodding along methodically to the beat, while Eto uses his gravelly delivery to give this track some grit and then ‘Bullets & Pills‘ is more street corner cinema curated by Futurewave and delivered by Eto – with one hand washing this other as each element resonates in its own way.
Daniel Son teams up with Eto and Futurewave for ‘Make It Out‘ with terrific results. Daniel Son is no stranger to flowing freely over the sonic canvas of ‘Wave, and he’s in his element here as both he and Eto crush this dusty, sinister sounding track. It’s spoken word meets hip hop on ‘Poetry Is Dead‘ which is definitely a more simplistic track, but the drums are crisp, Eto is enigmatic in his verbals and the song itself is an interesting listen. ‘Cut The Ribbon‘ is carried by its delicate key-driven production, but the bars are brutal and Eto brings that concrete street poetry before we drift away into a short interlude where some introspective content hits the mental.
‘Did You Hear‘ features G4 Jag and there is a really jazzy influence throughout the production adding polish to the grimey, nefarious bars that Eto and G4 expose through the mic, ‘My Poetry Deep‘ uses the infamous Nas sample really well, and the haunting vocal sample adds layers to the sublime verses from Eto. The feeling of ‘City Broken‘ is equal parts understated and outstanding – Eto is super smooth with his delivery and dances over the track, while Warlord Iron Sheikh hits with a more rugged flow, but together the track is a winner.
The penultimate track ‘Black Star‘ is more superior production from Futurewave as he brings such a diverse energy to the boom bap sound, with his synth and electronic elements that subtly bring out a different personality to the beat. Eto is at home on this one, his flawless vocal delivery is every bit as impeccable as the drums and poignant bars permeate the mental. Finally, ‘Don’t Listen‘ featuring Tearz rounds out the album, and this is a track that certainly fits the placement as a finale. Tearz and Eto are chalk and cheese, but they bring authenticity and quality content even with the contrasting delivery.
Bangers: Make It Out, Bullets & Pills, City Broken, Cut The Ribbon.
Score: 9 / 10. Yet another win for Eto, the pint-sized yet prolific emcee who has a big time sound and superbly delivered street poetry. Futurewave is really on point with his production here, and that allows Eto to experiment a little with flow and content, while still bringing exactly what hip hop heads want to hear. Eto is going to continue to make noise, that you can be assured of, and this album will be staying in the rotation for plenty more spins.