BANG. The newest release from Recognize Ali is incredible. From the jugular grabbing lyrics, to the stomp you out street music, this is one perfectly crafted album. I’m not even suprised. As a huge fan of Rec Ali over the journey, he’s always been making killer music, and every time he drops, he’s improved SOMETHING, or altered something to give his albums a point of difference while maintaining the dopeness.

Earlier in the year, having already reviewed ‘Dueling Experts‘ and ‘Guerilla Dynasty‘ I made the call that “most – if not all – of the top 5 albums of 2020 will feature Recognize Ali, Stu Bangas or both” and with his latest release ‘Recognition‘, Ali has made it even easier for me to look like Nostradamus. I haven’t been able to stop spinning it (which is a problem with SO MANY dope albums to review that came out on the 21st Aug!!!) and it’s in the upper echelon of releases for 2020.

Why is it so damn good? Firstly, Recognize Ali picks the best interludes, skits, soundbytes etc. From the Muhammad Ali piece to kick things off in the intro, then the crazy final scene from the epic teacher movie ‘187’ starring Samuel L Jackson… Ali just has a knack for making things real and relevant. Then, we have the beat choices. Let’s not get into the whole ‘so and so picks shit beats’ noise that is on everyone’s lips currently, but Ali enlists the best beatmakers. From his collab with Stu, to the use of Lord Beatjitsu with the Verbal Kent union…. he knows what makes dope music. Case in point – C-Lance drops absolute heat on ‘Goat’. Then you have multiple producers who deliver unique tracks but that all work together. Sultan Mir appears, Hobgoblin Beats is on there, Crystal Camino does a couple and plenty of others. An instrumental version of this joint would damn near make the top 5 albums of the year!!!

So let’s talk features. Again, this is where Recognize Ali separates himself from the pack. He never gets outshone on a track but at the SAME time, he picks emcees and features that ensure he really steps his game up and that do justice to the beat, his own verses and the album as a whole. That’s why we get stellar bars from the likes of Vinne Paz, Verbal Kent, Planet Asia, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Tragedy Khadafi, Ransom, Ill Bill, Ruste Juxx, Reef the Lost Cause and more. Now, if you read back over that list, you will see that all of those lyricists are also known for dropping some of the best music of 2020. Talk about steel sharpening steel.

I could go on and on about Recognition, but that just takes away from valuable listening time. I’ve said it before, but Rec might be the illest in the game right now and his latest release might just be the best of all the dope joints he’s dropped this year.

Bangers: All of them. I won’t do the injustice of separating just a few.

Score: 9.5 / 10. I always try and hold off giving a perfect score until I revisit the album in a few months time. Plus, the way Recognize Ali is going, I have to leave SOMEWHERE to go for when he drops the next heat-rock.

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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!