It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since we were first introduced to the German production team known as Snowgoons. DJ Illegal, Det, DJ Waxworth and Torben are back again for what is essentially German Lugers Part 2. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing due to the fact the original German Lugers was a really good album and featured a who’s who of independent emcees. Does the “sequel” hold up, read on and find out?
Black Snow starts off with the perennial “The Curse” which states of course the Snowgoons are back, etc, etc. King Magnetic comes off nice as does Reef and new comers Charon Don and Sicknature over Snowgoons’ signature symphony epic, early Non-Phixion style production. Which leads us to the former Non-Phixion front man’s and Apathy’s collaboration “Black Snow”. This track is one of the more disappointing tracks on the album. Hoping for something mind blowing from two of this writers favorite emcees, the collab comes off lackluster over a boring track and a terrible hook sung by Apathy and Ill Bill in unison.
Snowgoons bounce back nicely with “Casualties of War” featuring the always impressive Tek and Steele along with Respect of Perverted Monk fame sounding like the ’98 DV Alias Khryst. The barrage of violin samples and snapping snares continue with the always entertaining R.A. the Rugged Man banger “Hold Up”. R.A. continues to be one of the most underrated emcees of all time with lines like “Rugged Man I’m the man and the myth/in the hall of fame like Antonio Hardy and James Todd Smith/DJ Illegal leaving you in a position that’s fetal/crawling back in your mom’s womb/like bitch make room”.
The Cinderella story on this one is “Knockatomi Plaza” featuring Side Effect. This writer has no idea where this kid has been hiding, but this very well may be the best track on the album. From the Necroish production sounding like something out of Metroid to Side Effect absolutely killing the track, reminscent of Blaq Poet, Ill Bill, and Mr. Eon all rolled into one. “I’m from Philly/the city that’s so gritty and raw/where before we say our name we always say the word ball/this the ball Side Effect sharp as a knife always sticking out/with over 30 years of real life shit to spit about/whole truth and nothing but the truth you can’t deny me/even if you never met me/you would still recognize me”. We need more from this kid.
Unfortunately from here the album suffers from what a lot of hip-hop albums suffer from and that is redundant topics and lackluster production. Not to say any track is wack, they just aren’t stand outs. When you make a production album, each track should show the diversity of the production team. As Black Snow progresses the production does not. Defari’s “Ride On” and Pace Won’s “Avalanche Warning” fall short of expectations due to the repetitive style of beats.
All in all Black Snow is a good album, but not a great one. Snowgoons haven’t showed a whole lot of progression since German Lugers, but in the day and age of microwave here today gone tomorrow ringtone rap, they are still top notch and deserve a listen.
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