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28 June, 2006@12:00 am

   Prozack Turner is a good rapper. Since his days with Foreign Legion, he’s been a witty, energized and silly emcee. On his newest solo effort, Bangathon, he’s surrounded himself with many solid producers and rappers – most notably Rhymesayer’s Brother Ali and StonesThrow’s Oh No. At this juncture in his developing career, Prozack’s cadence compounded with his sense of humor makes Bangathon a very enjoyable listen.

    The first 1/3 album opens with “Rhyming Over Breakbeats”, “Summertime in the Town”, “Hungry” and “Something in the Air”. As you can probably tell from the song titles, Prozack isn’t concerned with blowing your mind or appearing deep- he’s just having fun. “Summertime in the Town”, much like the first 1/3 of the album, is uptempo and melodic, perfect for sunny days and barbeques. With Prozack proclaiming, “I’m all about fast things and brown girls with accents/ rocking my Buddy Holly glasses with the black rims…” His lyrics are light hearted, honest and funny, as is most of the album.

    The next section of Bangathon is a bit of a dull compared to the beginning of the album. Whether rapping about love (“The Ballad of Adriana Sage”) or the irony of dating hard-to-understand-women (“Club Girls”), Prozack is still pretty consistent, never going off on far tangents or lacking enthusiasm. Yet the production on the mid section of the album is monotonous and a bit lackluster-specifically “Stand Up” which is a choppy beat that utilizes a very bland drum programming. Thus, the mid-section of the album creates a lull that kills the momentum of the listen.

    However, the album’s title track “Bangathon” is produced by Prozack himself and reclaims the energy of the beginning tracks. Accompanied by Foreign Legion associate Marc Stretch, the track fuses guitar riffs with hard drums and an energetic hook: “If the beats too loud, maybe you’re too old!” Following that live energy, is the thoroughly enjoyable Brother Ali, who joins Prozack on “World’s an Uproar”. Produced by Quincy Tones, the production is mellow, soulful and perfectly compliments the subject matter. This track finds Prozack at his most introspective- “A new wave era/ paranoia and terror/ the age of Aquarius, I’m the water bearer…”- proving that he’s more than a party rocking emcee, and holding his own alongside the Minnesotan stunner, Brother Ali.

    Overall, Bangathon is a solid effort filled with quirky raps and good beats. Surely it’s filled with low points-most notably the sluggish production on the middle portion, a few songs that run a bit long and some repetitive subject matter- but it does let Prozack’s persona shine on its own aside from his Foreign Legion efforts. Also, it should be noted that Bangathon is a completely independent effort by Prozack, after Dreamworks shelved his original solo effort. Needless to say, Prozack proves he doesn’t need major label support or a marketing machine to make a charmingly dope album.

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