When you think of Texas, things like candy paint, southern drawl and Mike Jones automatically come to mind. Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, Scarface, Geto Boys, etc are many of the artists that put Texas on the map. Strange Fruit Project, therefore, can be considered your not-so-typical Texas groups. While most from Texas love the chopped and screwed sounds pumping from their speakers- Myone, Symbolyc One and Myth have a certain affinity for soul. After From Devine and Soul Travellin’ began to etch the group’s name on the map, it is now time for Strange Fruit Project to prove that they aren’t a one trick pony with their latest and most important project, entitled The Healing.
With Symbolyc One and Illmind controlling the boards for much of the album, The Healing proves its worth with solid soundscapes for the emcees to drop their vocals against. “Ready Forum” jumps off the album as the emcees address all those who may have been caught sleeping on the Waco, Texas trio. Through much of the album the listener will notice the progress the crew has made lyrically via tracks like “Liberation” and “Under Pressure”. Sure there are a few missteps, most notably the blahzay “Pinball” and the obligatory dance song “Good Times”, (which doesn’t really make you want to dance), but other than that the crew from Texas continues to shine and denounce the fact that “real” hip hop can’t come from the South.
This time around, SFP employs a few guests to boost the album. 9th Wonder chips in his signature soul sample with “Special”, while Jake One lays it down with “Soul Clap”. Both tracks do nothing but compliment an already solid album and still add that bit of diversity to keep things interesting. Phonte and Big Pooh jump in to add to the thump of “Rise”, while Yahzarah and Darien Brockington punch the soul into “God Is”. Even Miss Erykah Badu drops in to lend her vocals to Illmind’s smashing symbols and adrenaline filled production on “Get Live”.
The Healing wraps up being a really solid album. Nothing less, nothing more. What does that mean exactly? While there aren’t any ear sores that will force you to push the skip button, SFP are one or two bangers away from taking it to the next level. Everything on The Healing is pretty good, yet nothing really stands out. From the rhymes to the beats and concepts, The Healing really satisfies but in order for SFP to surpass the many groups coming out to give hip hop back its authentic sound, they have got to kick it up a notch. But this is definitely money well spent if you are weary of all the garbage plaguing the industry.
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