Here to set it on ya, direct from California is the Fresno breed mic-phenom Planet Asia. Bringing true underground skills full-circle, Asia represents the epitome of old school lyricism, in an updated new school package. Lots of names are thrown around when discussing which up and coming emcee holds the most promise for the year 2G, you would be foolish not to include Asia’s name in that category.
Asia takes the momentum he generated on his many blazing guest spots, and channels that energy into his own solo EP. Fanatik takes on the sole load of creative control behind the boards, producing all of the albums 8 cuts. These two make a very formidable duo, as you can feel them feeding off of one another, with chemistry that exudes from one track to the next. Asia’s intoxicating lyrics lift the dripping basslines of “On The Corner” (Parts 1 & 2), a freestyle session gone wild. Fanatik strips “Cali Breeze” down to the barest of essentials, as Asia puts his ample flow to work all over this track. Snatching hip-hop from the light and bringing it back to the dark, Asia goes lyrically berserk on “Handlin Business”, with one of the tightest hooks of 1998. Displaying his full repertoire over a soulful jazzy track, this masterpiece is an example of what Asia has in store for the future. Also, worthy of heavy rotation is the Black Moon sampled “Moonlight Melodic Rush” and “Kalidascope”, as Asia continues to exude confidence galore.
Not to take anything away from Fanatik, but one could only imagine Asia over a DJ Premier or Pete Rock track. Fanatik does his best to match Asia’s lyrical brilliance, but tracks like “Schoolyard Riders” and “Perfection Is Done” are less exhilarating then those previously mentioned above. With little room for error, these 2 cuts take away from the overall ambiance of the EP, as it becomes stagnated momentarily.
Nevertheless, there are no second guessing Asia’s skills, as all of the defining attributes you would want in an emcee are present, in abundance. A true master of ceremonies, Asia brings hope for the next generation of hip-hop. Painting majestic portraits with his rhymes, it’s only a matter of time before Asia takes the hip-hop world by storm.
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