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5 September, 2006@12:00 am

   According to his press release, one of Agallah’s first claims to fame came when he followed the infamous Supernatural vs. Craig G battle in ’96.  Now that’s big.  For those who don’t know, the “Freeestyle: The Art of Rhyme” DVD released last year shows footage of this historic moment in freestyle history. Since then, the Brownsville native has been hustlin’ in the NY underground scene, most notably as a member of the Dipset-affiliated Purple City crew.  Even those who don’t recognize his name probably know his production, having done substantial beatwork for the exponentially expanding Diplomats catalog.  Now The Don Bishop is going for dolo and he’s bringing his beats with him.

    You Already Know shows off Agallah’s punishing beats to impressive results.  Those more accustomed to the traditional stripped-down boom-bap may complain that the Bishop’s beats are overcooked, but then again most of those people have never heard a Dipset disc.  “Modesty” is not their middle name, so their exaggerated soundscapes perfectly complement their far-fetched boasts.  It’s part of their unusual charm.  Notable tunes include the haunting “On The Ave”, the horn-heavy “Losing My Mind”, and the hypnotizing “Take Me Back”  (outsourced production from Joey Chavez).

    Agallah’s shortcomings are his inconsistent lyrics.  The Lyricist Lounge vet will come with decent verbiage one verse, then drop a mind-numbing hook the next.  Case-and-point: the inane chorus on “Yeah Baby” is “(Agallah) Yeah baby, is you ready to get this money heavy?  Yeah baby, are you ready to get this money crazy?  (backup singers)  Daddy, I’m ready to get paid.  Daddy, I’m ready to get paid.  Daddy, I’m ready to get paid”.  But Ag is capable of much more which we finally see at the tail of the album.  The gem is the second-to-last track, “Mama (Mom R.I.P.)”, a dedication to his slain mother.  Here, he spits in double-time, as if he had so much to say that it wouldn’t fit into a single song otherwise.   That’s followed by “Cry For Help”, where the desperation in Agallah’s voice is palpable. 

   The Don Biship Agallah’s beats carry this album, but if the last two tracks are any indication, Ag could be the next-in-line emcee from that Dipset hit factory.

  Mixtape D.L.
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