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by
1 January, 2000@12:00 am
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Planet Asia has undoubtedly made an impact on Hip-Hop consumers these last few years. Running with the ethic of dropping joints one after another has proven a successful pay-off, scoring the vainglorious Fresno-bred emcee a major deal with Interscope Records. As a precursor to the album and to keep his momentum up, Asia delivers the slim-yet-thick 7 track.

Manager/producer 427 lends a rich sound that carries much of this release, opening with the infectious noggin nodder “Holdin’ The Crown”. Asia boasts, “all I need is my health, a little weed and some wealth” and sticks with it from start to finish. Conceptually he remains in a realm of braggadocio, yet primes his stylings most professionally on this endeavor, making for his most fine tuned effort yet. While Punchline (sans MTV star-partner Wordsworth ) makes an appearance on “Head Honchos” and Shake from Fresno’s Skhool Yard joins up on “Stupid” it’s when Asia proves he can hold a track alone that the listener gets what they paid for. “Weight” is a good piece of Asia’s not-so brag-happy side. Amidst a freaked piano by 427, Asia flexes a the old introspective topic without sounding contrived or boring, proving he can rap about serious subject matter that doesn’t include making serious money.

While as an emcee Planet Asia might not be the second coming of Rakim (perhaps a more rambunctious Rasco) he’s finally fitting into his style and warranting the respect as a truly hungry emcee. With the Pete Rock to his CL Smooth in Eclipse 427 at the helm providing beautiful beats to back, Asia is well on to being a success in the rap world.

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