Vinnie Paz’s name has been popular in the past day or so, not just because he’s just released his fifth solo album, but also because King Magnetic has delivered a somewhat dated and underwhelming diss track. Interesting timing as the diss seems to have done nothing to derail the juggernaut that has been the Jedi Mind Tricks front man for years now.
If anything, upon first listen to the new album, Vinnie is right at the top of his game and has picked up right where he left off with ‘The Camouflage Regime’ alongside Tragedy Khadafi and his previous solo joint ‘The Pain Collector’. Hardcore, angry, heavily delivered street rhymes over rugged, raw and tough beats. It’s not a new formula for Paz, but why fix what ain’t broke. It’s different enough to not just be treading water and The Pazmanian Devil has upped the polish on his shotgun spitting.
Having heard the King Mag diss earlier in the same day, it was easy to draw a line that the first track from ‘As Above, So Below‘ is a not-so-subtle response from Vinnie – but we have no confirmation of that. Lines like ‘so get yourself a blikky and chill’ and ‘I’ve got bullets for you partner put your vest on’ could easily be aimed straight for Mag, but easily at anyone else too.
The great thing about Vinnie is you KNOW you’re getting a bucketload of music. He doesn’t buy into that bullshit of 7 track ‘albums’ etc, and this is 18 tracks and an hour of quality, hardbody hip hop. We get 5 tracks of sublime production from Stu Bangas (who is in fine form having already dropped ‘Beats & Blood’ earlier this year which was dope AF), Giallo Point and Vic Grimes also hit the boards on this one. The variety in the beats keeps the album interesting and there are some fantastic features on here as well. We get the obligatory Block McCloud on ‘Mabuhay Gardens’ and ‘I’ll Buy All The Uranium You’ve Got’ but it’s Estee Nack, Jay Royale, Nowaah The Flood and Recognize Ali that really add a complementary change of style to this album.
Overall, this is a rugged emcee staying in his lane and doing what he does best. We see growth in the production and features, as well as delivery and content – but it’s still good ol’ Pazienza spitting bars and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. BLAOW!
Bangers: Scorched Earth, I Am the Chaos, Serve The Creator, The Conjuring
Score: 9 / 10. This is a banger no doubt. The only fault I do have is that the content and overall package that is Vinnie Paz hasn’t really moved the needle in terms of development. But not everyone needs that and on tracks like ‘Crime Wave Tehran’ we can see it, I just would like more of those ‘just out of the pocket’ moments. But the beats make up for it. When all is said and done though, a ripping hip hop release. Again.