After years of taking lumps in the industry and a few bad record deals later, Supernatural, like most of his battling peers (Craig G. and J.U.I.C.E.) was relegated to the ‘underground.’ Yet, rather then hang up the mic, Supernatural honed his skills and slowly began to show over time (“Buddha Blessed It”) that he did posses the skills to end one long-standing hip-hop stereotype—-freestylers cannot make proper studio LP’s.
Though Supernat has recorded over three-LP’s worth of material (some of which was produced by KRS-ONE and Djinji Brown) that has yet to be resurrected, for the time being, the lyrical locomotive is back, with his first official release: The Lost Freestyle Files. Freestyle Files opens up with the DJ Rhettmatic produced lead-single, “Internationally Known” and the dreamy chopped loops mixed with a hint of Primo-ish scratches provides Supernatural the perfect platform to kick in the door—”Most deadliest on the mic/I’m like the king cobra/with the poisonous strike.” And Joe Buhdha provides a soulful backdrop for Supernatural’s massive posse cut “Work It Out” w/ members of Jurassic 5 along with Iriscience.
But what would a Supernatural album be without freestyles? Witness both parts one and two of “A Piece of Hip Hop History,” which were both lifted from Strech and Bobbito’s radio show where Nat spits “Yo Bobbito/Yo I kick my drills/I’m in the studio right now/for a fact/talking about them brothas out there smokin’ crack/I got a style/a style that goes wild?” Other highlights include the Sway and Tech freestyle, “Wake Up L.A.!” and “Flashbacks”. For the nostalgic heads, we have the coveted early 90s CMJ battle vs. Craig G, “Clash of the Titans”. This classic and highly emotional battle features Supernat’ waging war with lines like, “I tell you what Craig/You really don’t sound like you used to/You ain’t had a deal/Since you rolled with the Juice Crew?”
However, the album is not without its flaws, especially when it comes to sleepers “Suckaz” and the freestyle session, “Flashbacks”. While the latter does contain dope lyrics, the production comes off as a contrived effort just for the sake of being differant, as the track is both haunting and distracting, which takes the focus off of Nat. On the flipside, the Joe Buhdha banger, “Cosmic Slop”, will keep listener’s fingers near the repeat button. The quite bouncy and futuristic soundscape is just right for Supernatural to wow fans with his supreme cadence and breath control.
Plain and simple: The Lost Freestyle Files is not for everybody. It’s heavy with battle rhymes, but even heavier with freestyles. The historical battles, and powerful rhymes will keep real Hip-Hoppers locked. Unfortunately the average listeners will have to appreciate the album for what it is-a compilation of freestyles, with a few actual songs.
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