While the storm known as Little Brother has collectively floored the Hip Hop scene, there’s a member of the Justus League that has been lost in the shuffle. Cesar Comanche was one of the first members to drop an album (Wooden Nickles) and establish the sound that would entrench North Carolina as a city with a force to be reckoned with in the underground scene. Although the founding member has managed to become forgotten in many rap circles, Cesar is back for his third go around to make his presence felt once again. With his album named after the band his parents headed up in the 70′s, Squirrel and the Aces looks to propel Cesar back into notoriety.
With the HOJ faithful in tow, Cesar Comanche proceeds to give it to you raw….Justus League style. Cesar may not be the most lyrical in the crew, but he certainly isn’t wack. Just check how Cesar brings it on “Rockin It” with Sean Boog and the beautiful “Up & Down.” His subdued yet steady flow coincides with each track very well and doesn’t get overpowered by the brilliant production.
He does have a ton of guests on the album, which fortunately doesn’t drown out the album but rather compliments the effort. Phonte comes through and delivers another sparkling verse on “The Life” while Supastition continues to prove why he is one of the most underrated emcees in the underground scene. It becomes a big Justus League party as Chaundon speaks on the wrong women with “Wrong One”, Rapper Big Pooh joins Kenn Starr on “The Future” and Median steps in to jump off the album with “Get Ready.” Sometimes too many guests can be a burden, but on this album it works out perfectly.
The production is a different animal in itself. 9th Wonder lends his signature sound and proves that The Minstrel Show didn’t drain him of all his best work. “The Life” and “Get Ready” punctuate that 9th is the go to guy in hip hop. Nicolay also steps in and immediately has you awaiting his next body of work with some marvelous production on “Miss You” and “Wrong One.” Khrysis may actually be the star of this album though. Long considered the underdog of the crew, Khrysis has continuously come through time and time again and has been causing many heads to turn with some of his brilliance. “All Praises Due” is absolutely the jewel of the album. With a vocal sample floating amongst the soothing drum pattern, this track is simply wonderful in approach.
Squirrel and the Aces is just another great album to come out of the Justus League camp. And while Little Brother continues to capture the hearts of many, Cesar proves that Phonte, Rapper Big Pooh and 9th Wonder aren’t all that the state of North Carolina has to offer.
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