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The International Writers Magazine: Review:

Rhyme Asylum – State of Lunacy
Rekabet Records
Calvin Hussey

Of all the genres in today’s musical spectrum Hip-hop regularly gets a bad reputation largely, it seems, due to the extreme abundance of superficial and predominantly unintelligible music occupying the American mainstream over recent years. Of course to those who are truly passionate about the genre there’s one thing that’s crystal clear; it’s all about digging deeper.

To those who remain uninformed beyond the over-commercial noise that pours from our T.V and radio stations this writer would suggest one course of action; Hunt down an independent retailer, make a purchase, grab your C.D player and headphones, tune in to the underground, and prepare to enter a State of Lunacy…

State of Lunacy is the long awaited debut album by London based rap crew Rhyme Asylum consisting of Mc’s Psiklone, Plasma, Possessed, and Skirmish, who all display their wide range of talents over some masterful production supplied by producer Leatherface. Over the course of 16 tracks, and a 17th remix, each Mc establishes his own unique voice and style that combine to supply an originality that has become increasingly harder to find in London based hip-hop. Concerning the beats, Leatherface brings a level of production value that can compete with the mastered finish of any commercial studio release, whilst also establishing himself as a musical auteur.

State of Lunacy also offers a number of fine collaborations. Firstly there’s the two-part track "Straight Jacket" featuring Reain (also known as Wha’shisface to followers of the Jump Off rap battles). Both parts are strong although, for myself, the allure of the beat to part 1 slightly outweighs that of its counterpart. The guest production of S-Type on "Multiplicity" is unique, yet well suited to the overall tone of the album, and rates highly amongst my selection of favourites. Elsewhere, on the album, it’s also a pleasure to hear U.S Mc’s embracing our music culture, with two notable appearances, firstly by Diabolic over "Unreasonable", and then Copywrite steps up to join the crew over "Attitude Problem". This mix of U.S and U.K artists makes for two of the strongest tracks on the album, adding a unique vocal dynamic that is rarely pulled off to such perfection.

Concerning the U.K hip-hop scene, Rhyme Asylum’s State of Lunacy is an impressive and important release. Fans of the genre will instantly embrace the dark, atmospheric beats and punchy lyrics. Open-minded music fans that remain unaware of the true potential of the genre will be blown away by the unlimited vocabulary and pure diction on offer. However, despite all its talking points, State of Lunacy is not for everyone. The easily shocked or offended listener should keep well away; it’s a dark and sinister, quaking beast of an album. Those with a slightly stronger stomach will love it. In terms of the genre Rhyme Asylum have produced a work of art, and I’d even be so bold as to say that, to date, it’s the best U.K hip-hop release of 2008.

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