If there is any kind of certainty in life at the moment, it’s that Recognize Ali is one of the illest, hardest working emcees and when he drops a project, you KNOW it is going to be a quality release. In 2021, we have already been treated to the epic ‘Season of the Se7en‘ which was Rec’s collab with producer Bronze Nazareth, and now we get ‘Recognize Tha Light’, another banging album that showcases the quality penmanship and lyrical ability of Ali.
The albums kicks off with triumphant horns, signalling ‘the champ is here!’ but also includes the trademark ferocious flow of Recognize Ali as he spits enigmatic bars. It’s also a crafty and yet understated way to let the listener know from the jump that this isn’t just going to be more of the same (albeit dope) content. It’s going to be pure, raw, uncut, premium hip hop – but over a more eclectic soundscape.
When you put on a Rec Ali joint, you immediately get drawn in and it’s his flow & voice that hook you. Impassioned mixed with gruff and grimey, it’s as engaging as M.O.P without making you want to fight everyone or blow shit up!! And once he commands your attention, he won’t let go – using his ever increasing subject matter, wordplay and razor sharp pen to have you really listening and not just hearing his joints.
Recognize Tha Light is an album, with plenty of meat to stick to your ribs. 53 minutes is carefully dissected into 17 well sequenced tracks with no skits and very few features. The cameo appearances that are on the album, whether it be the soulful hook on ‘Legend In The Making‘ courtesy of Justin Cohen, or the intricate lyrical submission from Ill Conscious on the Biggie sampled ‘Lounging‘ – each feature adds value to the overall project and makes for memorable moments in the musical journey that is ‘Recognize Tha Light‘.
Bangers: Heaven Is The Place, Why, Welcome to the Light, Lounging
Score: 9.5 / 10. Just never misses, Recognize Ali is one of the most consistent artists in the game. He balances all elements – cadence, flow, voice with lyrical content and picks really great beats. There isn’t much more to say outside of the fact that his passion shines through on every project and hip hop heads are the real beneficiary. Recognize Tha Light is a different album to Season of the Se7en or Guerrilla Dynasty or Dueling Experts, but it’s a top-tier standalone album that should make a lot of noise when it comes to the Best Albums of 2021 conversation.
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