I’m going to get this out of the way nice and early – it’s a pretty fair assumption that most – if not all – of the top 5 albums of 2020 will feature Recognize Ali, Stu Bangas or both. And I’m not just saying that because this is a brilliant album that rockets towards my top of the table, but also because the quality and body of works coming from these cats is nothing short of incredible. ‘Beats & Blood‘, ‘Watson & Holmes 3‘, ‘Dueling Experts‘ etc. The list goes on and on, not to mention the production Bangas has done for others OR the guest verses from the People’s Champ Ali.
So that leads me into the review of their joint collaboration ‘Guerilla Dynasty‘ which not only features album art that is dope AF, but also features 13 white hot tracks (minus intro, skit and outro) and sick features from ILL Bill, Lordgoat, Blacastan (think Watson & Holmes), SageInfinite, Verbal Kent (the Dueling Experts partner in rhyme), SmooVth & Marvalyss.
The first single from the album was the banger ‘Bullet Train’, a meaty, beat banging, beast of a track that sees ILL Bill, Lordgoat and Rec just rip the mic apart over the heavy instrumental from Stu. I bumped this about half a dozen times back to back once it dropped, only to cop the album hours later as a sneaky suprise! The gears shifted from dope track to dope album pretty quickly.
A few days ago we saw the first video drop from the album, which wasn’t Bullet Train, but rather ‘Giver of Pain‘ which is an equally hard hitting track – killer drums and a haunting keys element with Rec Ali ripping the mic like we have come to expect. If you haven’t peeped the video, check it out below.
This pairing of emcee and producer is fun. Stu has such an iconic sound, but is able to always keep it current and fresh while also ensuring that he gives the audio wallpaper for an emcee to paint verbal pictures over. And this suits the lyrical capabilities of Recognize Ali to a tea, because not only is his flow and delivery incredible, but he spits real shit, in a clever, complex yet accessible way. It really is one of those ‘perfect’ packages where both artists bring out the best in each other. Of course, the result is essentially flawless and engaging and why it will certainly be in the convo when it comes time to rank your Albums of The Year 2020.
Bangers: Bullet Train (no brainer, this goes HARD!), Dueling Experts, Giver of Pain, In These Streets, Gideon.
Score: 9 / 10. This is in the upper echelon of rap albums in 2020. I’m a huge fan of both artists individually and this was one of the best collaborations I’ve heard this year. Both artists shone brightly on this and it’s had plenty of spins without getting tired. A real winner.