Spit Gemz is back with another incredible hip hop project with ‘The Happiness of the Knife‘. This is an in-your-face lyrical onslaught, with intricate wordplay navigating your eardrums and having an entertaining and educational impact on your mental. But we’ve come to expect this level of lyricism and authenticity from Gemz who is as unapologetic as it comes, and who has delivered top tier street corner poetry for decades. His gruff, gutteral flow is engaging and impassioned, which ensures the bars he boasts make an impact as you nod your noggin to the flawlessly selected production.
This project is under 20 minutes long, and while I will always advocate for 30 mins plus of dope music, I can understand the allure of dropping projects like ‘The Happiness of the Knife‘ which hit hard and fast like a blade to the rib cage. There is no fluff, nothing is ‘just there’, each and every bar, beat and soundbyte has a purpose, and I respect that dedication to curation as well. Plus, it’s Spit Gemz riding solo for the most part, with some Home School collabs with Eff Yoo and Aye Wun and a feature from Tre Eiht.
‘Via Dolorosa‘ is the first joint, featuring a soundbyte from Sir Anthony Hopkins in ‘The Rite’ and named after the path Jesus would have taken to his crucifixion. It sets the tone for the album, with it’s darker message yet triumphant horns and vocals. Gemz then get vicious on ‘Stone Carrying Flask‘ as he pens a range of bars that are deisgned to shatter dreams as he flips all over the boom bap track with well-crafted wordplay. The energy is turned all the way UP, when Eff Yoo and Aye Wun join Spit Gemz for ‘Word Up Magazine‘, a true posse-style cut where steel sharpens steel and the trio of wordsmiths slay all comers. “Burned everybody living I’m an arsonist / My ink cartridge is full of straight arsenic”……. bars!
It’s a moody, more melancholic beat that slaps the speakers on ‘Children of Infinity‘ but these bars and this track is methodically delivered for maximum impact. It’s a powerful anthem of realising potential and resilience to continue to push forward. ‘La Merika‘ features Tre Eiht and it has a compelling bassline that delivers a wild west kind of vibe, which is the perfect canvas for the mic-slinging Spit Gemz to stand at ten paces and deliver on target. Tre Eiht has that velvety polish to his verbal hammer and it works really well to compliment the opening verse of Gemz.
‘Eat Lead‘ is a complete annihilation of the microphone from Gemz. The beat is equal parts uplifting and menacing, but when that mic comes on, it’s nothing but verbal warfare and there are zero prisoners taken. The cuts are a guilty pleasure on this, as is the Al Pacino soundbyte to get us in the mood for lyrical murder. The final track ‘Abbadon‘ delivers on the theme of desctruction, with Spit Gemz as vicious as the moment we pressed play, but it’s more than just fight music, this is a masterful performance of compelling content, worldly wordplay and bar brutality.
Bangers: All of them. Literally. Abbadon, Eat Lead, Children of Infinity, Word Up Magazine REALLY hit, but all seven tracks are flaming.
Score: 9.5 / 10. Length is the ONLY knock on this, and even then, the impact of this album is long lasting. Three spins within an hour and it changes the way you view your day. Spit Gemz is ultra reliable when it comes to lyrics, but he has a knack for ensuring every project he drops is different, has a purpose, and delivers more than just crazy beats and bars, he leaves you with content for your mental and that is where it has continued replay value.