“I’m just here to let y’all know that the first one [album] wasn’t a fluke.” These words spoken by Sean Price on this very website sums up his motivation for his sophomore effort, Jesus Price Supastar. It’s not easy to follow up a critically acclaimed album; what was a surprise is now expected and what was expected is no longer good enough. It’s even harder when you’re still known more for being part of a rap group than as a solo artist. So what’s a rapper like Sean P to do? Keep spittin’ his gospel until he converts the world.
In a time when a premium is put on pop beats and catchy hooks, this album’s true lyricism is a breath of fresh air. Sean shows how hard he works on his craft with his use of alliteration on “P-Body”, “N***a rap Prime Minister pa, presently P/ Poppin’ my pistol, partially parched, pass the Tea.” He is also very skilled at rhyming numerous words rather than just the final word of each bar. “Line for line, rhyme for rhyme/ 10 paces turnaround, shoot nine for nine/ You can tell by the rhyme, It’s my time to shine/ Let’s eat mother****er, I don’t dine on swine.” These lyrics from “Like You” are just one of many examples of this complicated technique.
Jesus Price Supastar also has some notable guest appearances. “Let It Be Known” which paired Sean P with Little Brother’s Phonte, is an example of wordplay at its finest. Literally spinning of each others words, the two rappers went line for line as if it were a game of tennis. Rock’s contributions on “Church” and “P-Body” are both incredible and continue to stir up more anticipation for the upcoming Heltah Skeltah project. Rappers Chaundon, Steele and Buckshot also deliver strong 16′s on their respective songs.
While you can pluck any verse individually and find a gem, this album lacks cohesiveness and direction that makes a complete album. The production on this album is too similar in style and pace and it gives the album a monotonous feel. There are some shining moments – 9th Wonder provides the soul on several tracks with his trademark samples and bass lines. “Mess You Made”, an autobiographical song about Sean’s trials since “falling out of the limelight” in the late 1990′s, is well made but is unfortunately the exception to the rule in terms of content. Many of the songs do not have a clear topic and sound too much like a collection of creative punchlines.
At the end of the day, this album is 48 minutes of raw, in your face, battle your mother Hip-Hop music. It’s unapologetic and at times gives you that nostalgic feeling when you listened for those great rhymes that made you hold the rewind button. While there are some shortcomings when it comes to great artistry and versatility (it’s what separates Canibus from Ludacris), Jesus Price Supastar is exactly what the rating indicates…. dope.
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