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In 1995, Immortal released The Next Chapter, a dope little compilation released in 1995, spotlighting unsigned emcees before it was the cool thing to do. The album introduced acts like Defari and Dilated Peoples, who are now underground success stories, and also brought forth a hungry emcee named, Mykill Miers, on “Soul Searchin’”. Five years later, Mykill Myers has made a name for himself among followers of the Cali underground scene, especially shining on the Wake Up Show’s famed freestyle sessions.

Enter It’s Been A Long Time Coming, Miers’ debut release on Blackberry. With guests like Planet Asia, A.G., Freddie Foxxx, Rakaa-Iriscience, plus DJ Revolution on the cut, the buzz surrounding this release is pretty heavy in underground circles, yet sadly it doesn’t quite deliver.

Unfortunately, Miers may have sealed his own coffin by dubbing himself “The Copycat Killer”, as that’s how people may look at him after hearing this album. While imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, in this case, it may, in turn, upset those that the borrowed ideas on this album were lifted from. From the album’s intro, which seems a little too similar to Raekwon and Ghostface Killah’s setting up of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, to the DJ Premier “influenced” production, to Miers curious sound-a-like styles, the amount of originality here isn’t enough.

Beat-wise, the formula invented and mastered by the one and only Primo, has been borrowed and beaten-to-death on this project. Chopped up dirty drums, with oddly placed scratch samples working as makeshift hooks are abundant here, (although who can be mad at DJ Revolution cutting them up?). Nevertheless, while the formula is tired and abused, it still works on tracks like “Do The Math” (featuring Iriscience) and “Wanna Be An Emcee” (feat. Freddie Foxxx), yet when Mykill doesn’t have anyone to trade mics with, as on “The Illest” or “Don’t Test”, the fun is lost.

Even more frustrating is similarities in Miers style, on certain tracks, he sounds just to close to Xzibit, while on others, you’d swear you were listening to Parrish Smith (or Rakim - who coincidentally has been called an influence for PMD). Is it his fault? Does he just sound that way, or is there some serious biting going on here? While he is a clever lyricist, these similarities are just too much at times.

Don’t trip, by no means is the album wack, nor is Miers. He is an agile emcee, and among the celebrated collaboration tracks, and the times were the production decides to be original, the outcome is good. “Killing Spree”, “Triggernometry”, and “Best Friends Become Strangers” do little to borrow from anyone, and show that if Miers and Co. would just stay own their own shit, the outcome would be better. Originality is the key, hopefully next time around we’ll see more of it.

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