The rebirth of Rawkus is one of those things that could go incredibly well or terribly wrong. Because there was so much invested in that legacy, to make an attempt to relive an era that gave us artists such as Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, and Mos Def can almost be blasphemous. This new era of Rawkus begins with artists such as The Procussions, Kidz In The Hall and Philadelphia’s Panacea. Can this new wave of virtual unknowns become sleepers turned major label phenomena? Panacea’s Ink Is My Drink stands as one of the first signees to go up against tradition.
Panacea is comprised of emcee Raw Poetic and producer K-Murdock who apparently are providing a solution to the plagued hip hop of today (“Panacea” means “Remedy”). There could be immediate comparisons to Blackalicious because of Panacea’s full, musical vibe and this is not a bad thing at all. K-Murdock provides moody backdrops while Raw Poetic covers the landscape with raw lyricism and common man storytelling.
There is such a feel good vibe that hovers around Ink Is My Drink. Songs such as “Ecosphere” bound about effortlessly as Raw Poetic rhymes for more than just the sake of putting words together. The lush production provided on “Coulda Woulda Shoulda” is more than appropriate as Raw Poetic verbalizes his past loves pitfalls. K-Murdock’s production here just builds and builds with sparse strings and thick instrumentation. “Work Of Art” is yet another demonstration of what Hip Hop should be. Another invigorating production coupled with intelligent lyricism.
Although the album does a great job of being in high spirits, it could have been a bit more diverse and layered. But sometimes you don’t need a wide range of emotions to craft a good album. Panacea does what it does very well and Rawkus can be proud to have them as one of the artists to begin another campaign of the undergrounds finest.
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