Weightless Recordings has come of age. For those of you who haven’t been exposed to Weightless you are missing out on an entity which will become a force to be reckoned with. Consisting of emcees Inkwell, Pdunbar (formerly Manifest), and the highly visible emcee/producer Blueprint, Greenhouse Effect attempts to hijack your sense of sound with their second release, Life Sentences. Blueprint has made waves over the past four years emerging with vibrant production on fellow weightless emcee, Illogic, on his debut Unforeseen Shadows and the battle laden follow up Got Lyrics to releasing his own compilation The Weightroom in which he has shown the impact he can make as a beatsmith. Lyrically Blueprint has surprised many, affiliating himself with RJD2 to create Soul Position with the release of the Unlimited EP and more recently the full length extravaganza 8 Million Stories. But it all began when the three animated emcees collaborated on the jump-off for the Weightless movement, their 1999 EP, Up to Speed. It has been four years since the Columbus trio presented themselves to the world, now they are back to make a name for themselves with Life Sentences.
With the triplet’s distinctive animated styles evident throughout, Life Sentences won’t have a hard time standing out verbally in comparison to the rest of the indy hip-hop scene. With the constant evolving Blueprint behind the boards each track has that cohesiveness most albums lack. “To Rhyme Is Divine” and “We Create” transcends the buttery energy that the emcees bring into a well focused production that Print provides. The emcees each have their own personalities as well. Inkwel and his focused approach compliments P-Dunbar and his straight up poetic style which in turn embodies Blueprints metaphoric and potent punchline delivery. Tracks like the haunting organs and mean strings of “Proper Education” showcase this to a tee, all the while as Blueprints solid production works its magic. The trio loves hip hop nonetheless but also possess a knack for innovative subjects as seen on the wonderful “Feedback” feat. Illogic. Each emcee takes his turn becoming the microphone during an open mic session and provides their own feedback on all types of emcees, wack or dope. If one can’t appreciate the song, the idea alone should receive some type of acclaim. “Fantasy Island” features Greenhouse serving up a dish of their own hip hop fantasy island, complete with wholesome hip hop and appreciative fans. Blueprint really outdoes himself with the beautifully produced “Cracked Pavement” and the rock guitar driven reverberation of “Friction” feat. an equally potent Vast Aire and Cryptic One of the Atoms Family. The album closes with the mellow style of “Catch Me If You Can.” With a healthy dose of hip hop, Greenhouse tackles your ears time and time again with the perfect balance of production and equally convincing verbal prowess.
With quotables scattered throughout the wholesome production, Life Sentences proves just what Greenhouse Effect has been doing for the last four years, spending their collective hip-hop lives behind bars, maturing and completing a solid yet long awaited follow up to their debut Up To Speed. Although twenty tracks may seem to be a bit much, one can’t deny the strength and momentum that Weightless Recordings has developed with this release. And with that strength Weightless has began a movement that needs to be heard. The statement that is made to all competing Indy labels is heard throughout, you better move or be moved.
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