Leedz Edutainment drops ‘A Worker Among Workers‘, a fully dope compilation with some of the underground scenes best emcees and production largely handled by The Arcitype who is well-known for making banging, boom bap style hip hop tracks. This is one hell of a journey from start to finish, complete with skits and interludes intertwined that provide some insight into the man behind Leedz Edutainment – Ned Wellbery and what he was going through during the creation of this masterpiece.
When COVID-19 shut down the live show and touring scene, Wellbery pivoted and started utilising the meticulously curated relationships with some of the scenes best artists to put in work on ‘A Worker Among Workers‘. Through that high level of respect, Wellbery has been able to bring together an all star lineup for the album including Slaine, REKS, Edo. G, Skyzoo, XL the Beast, Smif-N-Wessun, Reef The Lost Cauze and PLENTY more.
The title A Worker Among Workers means being equal with the people you work with and not being above or below them. It spoke to the the working relationships I have with all the artists who contributed. I also personalized it with skits and interludes to tell my story of everything I was going through. The Arcitype produced 95% of it and we were able to make a cohesive and diverse project that maintained a true Hip Hop sound that seems to be overlooked these days.– Ned Wellbery, Leedz Edutainment
Clocking in at just over an hour, there is a lot of music to take in, but the ride from start to finish is an enjoyable one. The skits and interludes give you a break from the hectic bar party and powerful pen game each emcee brings to every track, but it maintains your attention and flow, almost anticipating what fire is to come. The structure and sequencing of the album can’t be overlooked either as it starts with an urgency what the listener can only imaging Ned was going through as shows were cancelled and he was blazing a new trail. It reminds me a lot of ‘A Prince Among Thieves‘, or more recently ‘98 Proof, ‘A Breukelen Story‘ etc.
There are no misses on this joint, but as always there are some tracks that for me just rise about and really hit that pocket for me. ‘Hustlenomics‘ and ‘Feed the Fire‘ are two scorching tracks that really step it up, largely due to the punchy production but also because XL the Beast has one of my favourite flows and energy when he’s behind the mic. ‘Massive‘ is a flat out BANGER as REKS, Slaine and STL GLD do their thing, and ‘Heavily Decorated‘ is another that just punches you in the teeth with the production and flow. ‘Once Upon A Time‘ is a change of pace but once again, it gets the head nodding and Skyzoo & Jon Hope really paint a picture with their poignant pen game, and the chorus is motivating and energising!
This album has to be experienced from beginning to end, and it takes more than a handful of listens to really appreciate the nuancing that has taken place to deliver such a star-stubbed album but to maintain a relevance and connectedness to the true hip hop fan.
Bangers: Massive, Hands of Time, Hustlenomics, Once Upon a Time, Feed the Fire, Heavily Decorated.
Score: 9.5 / 10. What a brilliant project. It’s more than just a hip hop compilation album with a guest list that is sublime, it’s a moment and a piece of art that could be placed in a time capsule as an important release in the hip hop landscape – and not just the Boston underground scene. Every hip hop head will appreciate this album and be wowed not just by the finished product, but by the sum of all parts that create this monster.