International Writers Magazine:
Asylum State of Lunacy
Of all the genres in todays 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 theres one thing thats
crystal clear; its 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
State of Lunacy is the long awaited debut album by London based
rap crew Rhyme Asylum consisting of Mcs 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 theres the two-part track "Straight Jacket"
featuring Reain (also known as Whashisface 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, its also
a pleasure to hear U.S Mcs 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 Asylums 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; its
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 Id even be so bold as to say that,
to date, its the best U.K hip-hop release of 2008.
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