Let me get this out of the way straight up, Reignmakers have dropped a brilliant album with their ‘Eye of the Storm‘ project. They have chosen hardboady beats that are dark, edgy and have some character, and over the top of this soundscape, they bring some of the most impassioned and enigmatic bars we’ve heard in a minute. Every line is spit with purpose and the wordplay is witty, clever and sometimes downright nasty, but every minute this albums spins, is top tier hip hop. So let’s get down to business and peep this twelve track opus in more detail.

If you recall ‘The Storm is Coming’ from this cohort, then you have a taste of what to expect (if you don’t then you GOTTA circle back to that project after you spin this a handful of times), but Reignmakers (Dough, Saint and Johnny King) along with the white hot all-encompassing artist Enels as an affiliate – destroy headphones, speakers and careers with their hardbody, indie, underground mic brutality. Enels (Grimewav / Master Mind Studios) handles the bulk of the board work, which gives the Reignmakers an audio canvas that is intricate, interesting and rugged enough to handle the bars that get spit unapologetically. But while the production is epic, and Enels even throws more than a few heat rocks at the mic, this album definitely shows the growth and skill of the Boston, Mass silver tongued trio.

The album kicks off with the title track ‘Eye of the Storm‘ and the keys are ominous, sounding a warning for what is to come. The drums are crisp and the bars are potent and this is the perfect way to kick off this audio adventure and showcase these Barbarians in their natural habitat. The pressure remains applied when ‘Almanac‘ hits the headphones as the crisp drums make for a strong foundation to withstand the lyrical slaughter, before ‘Other Side‘ uses synth, organs and haunting vocals to captivate the listener while the flow slaps you upside the head with it’s enigmatic honesty. This is heavy AF and the stankface has been locked on high since the jump.

Motivation‘ is more boom bap brilliance, but it’s the extra feeling that is palpable through the score and the verbals really play off this to perfection, creating an understated anthem that should be played loud and often. Tracks like this, that focus on the grind, overcoming obstacles and success against all odds, are inspiring but can be played out – unless you’re the Reignmakers and make this story your own. ‘Say Less‘ is menacing and that’s not just due to the soundbytes or the viciousness Enels brings to kick things off… the strings are grimey, the drums are crisp and this track brings it’s own dark energy into the fold. You don’t want this smoke, for real.

The change of pace with ‘Blunt Thoughts‘ is required, as this laid back track gives us some breathing room, and allows us to appreciate the stories each emcee brings to the spot. The track feels very loungey and something that you just vibe out and smoke to, before we get back into the action with ‘Champs‘ and it’s airy, higher energy offering that would be equally at home in the whip, club or block party. ‘Reign Gang‘ is crazy and those keys just have a life of their own as they set the scene – melodic yet murderous – which is fitting when the Reignmakers are behind the mic, but ‘No Regrets‘ gets a little more introspective and honest but is delivered with a genuine feeling and passion for life, growth and maturity.

It’s an eerie soundscape for ‘Word Is Born‘ as the track hauntingly cruises along under a barrage of bars from Enels & Reignmakers as they talk their shit, then ‘Give ‘Em Wings‘ circles back to that dusty boom bap that makes you nod your head and appreciate the wordplay. The final track is ‘Foul Goons‘ and the keys penetrate the headphones, while the strings are part tragedy part triumph which is a perfect conclusion to what has been a wonderful listening experience. Real beats, real bars and energetic and engaging flows that keep you entertained for the duration of this album.

Bangers: Motivation, Reign Gang, Eye of the Storm, Other Side, Foul Goons.

Score: 9.5 / 10. This album from start to finish is high quality hip hop. Each member of Reignmakers, whether they’re official or unofficial, really brings the heat and a respect for the artform. If you don’t have bars, you can’t mess with this fam – for real. Listeners are treated to top tier production that checks in at different locations along the boom bap spectrum, and the differing flows but flawless cohesion makes for a dope AF listen. Again and again. Get this one now.

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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!

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