Damn this is one hell of an album. There has been quite the build up for this project which started off as an EP, then a 10 track and now, this 16 track opus which is a ‘no skips’ hip hop joint that is sure to make noise and some hip hop lists at the end of the year. ‘Alpha‘ is a continuation of the high-quality hip hop that Seed has been turning out for years, but going to another level over the past 12 months.
Last week, we brought you ‘El Diablo‘ but that was just the start of the story. Now, having been dropped on Bandcamp ahead of all streaming services in a week or so (17 September – Pumpkinhead’s birthday), we give you the full review!
Let’s talk the overall package – because that’s exactly what this is. It is like those albums we used to get in the ‘golden era’, with a skit or two, 14+ killer tracks, dope production from start to finish even with multiple producers and a handful of well placed, well cultivated and KILLER features that are exactly that – a feature to what is already a sensational project. Seed never tries to do anything but ‘be him’ and that means he selects banging beats, he has sharpened his pen and he has respect for the game, and those reasons are why this album really sits ahead of a few other really solid albums that have dropped of late.
This is a boom bap project through and through, but within that, there are a host of intricacies that make it a compelling listen and avoid any form of stagnation or boredom with the beats. It might be the church-like organ on ‘Blood in the Snow‘, the movie-score sounding keys on ‘Paper Planes‘ or the killer horns that highlight ‘P & Hav‘, but there are a range of elements that separate this from the pack from a production standpoint.
‘Alpha‘ is such a polished product, you have to love it. The Bad Seed has continued to raise the bar with each offering, every time exceeding expectations – even when they’re sky high as was the case with this one. #GetHomeSafe was incredible, his self-titled introspective joint was amazing, Kill Switch 2 was an audio movie and that’s just some of the past 12 months work. Alpha takes a piece of all of these projects and delivers with authenticity and audacity.
The pen work on Alpha is just as good as any album this year. Seed has always been lyrical and always had the ability to spit dope bars, but every album he drops, it’s like muscle memory. He just as the switch set on kill mode and doesn’t let up. He’s at home writing braggadocious bars, but can craft an authentic, introspective track as well. ‘Coke White Wuns’ is a great example of this, bringing together the iconic footwear and lacing it with emotive bars and street tales. ‘P & Hav‘ is Seed’s own take on Murda Muzik and a fitting tribute to the iconic Queensbridge duo, while ‘Psalms‘ featuring AMXXR & Guilty Simpson is a barfest with killer cuts and golden era samples.
Bangers: P & Hav, Blood in the Snow, Already Dead, O.B.S. Pt. 1, El Diablo, Coke White Wuns
Score: 10 / 10. It’s hard to hand out perfect scores because you like to leave room for that album that just comes along and crushes it in every category, but in this case, that album is Alpha. At the risk of sounding repetitive, all the elements that make dope hip hop are here and done to such a standard, you can’t help but be impressed. This has been in HIGH rotation ever since it dropped and has been one of my favourite releases in 2021 which has been one of the very best for true hip hop music.