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3 May, 2008@3:41 am

After an outstanding 12” with DJ Premier and an equally impressive 12” alongside Buckwild and Kool G Rap, expectations are high for a Little Vic full length.  The question is, can an emcee hold his own among the sea of mediocre rappers for a full 72 minutes?  The answer is Each Dawn I Die.

This critic has never seen the movie the album is crafted around, but may just have to Netflix it up.  The album starts with clips woven together from the movie which follows the track listing to a “T”.  Very dope concept, but you have to pay attention.  From there the album moves into the title track.  Lunatik Mind takes a page from Necro’s production book lacing an organ sample and Little Vic ferociously attacking the track.  The aforementioned Buckwild track is stellar, bringing the album down a notch with a guitar sample that rivals Rza’s production any day.  Vic tells the story of a man struggling with his addiction to gambling and how it tears his family apart.  The biggest surprise is the outstanding production by the unknown Double Shot.  “Dying Slowly” is our introduction to him, and what an introduction it is.  The piano sample and hard snares fit Vic’s style like a glove.  They contribute two other tracks, all with a distinct sound that Little Vic flows flawlessly over.  By now, many have heard the “The Exorcist” produced by DJ Premier which is the one time Vic does not stand out above the production.  But what do you expect, it’s Preemo?

What makes this album so appealing is the versatility of the emcee.  Little Vic finds a way to make each track sound like it was custom made for him, they very well might have been, but in 2008 there is no way to know.  The production is outstanding but Vic still finds a way to outshine each track time and time again.

The album does have one minor misstep, the Double Shots go a little too leftfield with “Carry the Weight” and Vic sounds very forced.  Aside from that the album is top notch.  In a time where the producer seems to get much more shine than the average emcee, Little Vic steps up to the mic and proves to everybody that the emcee is still a vital part of the hip-hop culture.  Unfortunately due to the barrage of independent music, this album may be the best album you’ve never heard. – DG

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