14 July, 2010@4:14 am
Vinnie Paz, formerly known as Ikon the Verbal Hologram in the early days of Jedi Mind Tricks, could not have picked a more perfect name. Like his namesake, boxing legend Vinnie Paziena, the emcee Vinnie Paz is aggressive, unyeielding and aims for the head with every shot. With almost 14 albums between Jedi Mind Tricks and Army Of The Pharaohs, Vinnie brings us his long awaited solo debut, Season Of The Assassin. And in typical fashion, Vinnie aims for your domepiece.
Season Of The Assassin encapsulates everything fans of Vinnie Paz appreciate; hard beats coupled with gritty battle lyrics and punchlines. Vinnie knows who he is, both as a person and an emcee and this fact is clearly demonstrated on the surprisingly introspective “Ain’t Shit Changed”. Vinny tells the listener “Ain’t a goddamn thing gonna change, I’m still the same Vinnie/I’m still the same fat motherfucker, same guinea/A little bit more money, that’s why I ain’t skinny/Still the same block-hugger, still the same city”. The words could not be more true, as the album is quintessential Paziena.
Vinnie is at his 100% best with tracks that grab the listeners attention immediately such “Beautiful Love” and “Monsters Ball”. These two bangers basically set the stage for what’s to come. The format doesn’t change as the album moves along. Freeway makes a fantastic cameo on the track “Pistolvania”, as he, Vinny and Jakk Frost slay the C-Lance produced track. Collaboration wise, Other tracks of note include “End of Days”, “Street Wars” feat. Clipse, “Kill Em All” feat Beanie Sigel. The standout track of Season Of The Assassin is the dope “Bad Day” where again, Vinnie is surprisingly introspective.
The guestlist on Season Of The Assassin is also strong and is impressive in that Vinnie chose artists that complement his style. From Freeway, Ill Bill, Sick Jacken, RA The Rugged Man and Paul Wall, every collabo works and strengthens the release.
Season Of The Assassin is weighed down both because of the heavy 21 song tracklist and the at times repetitive lyrical content. There’s a fine line between consistency and repetition and the constant barrage of similar lyrics over a 21 track album weighs on the listener. We all know what Vinnie Paz sounds like when ripping emcees, but the better parts of Season Of The Assassin come when Vinnie strays from the neck slashing, eye gouging rhetoric. With that said, Season Of The Assassin is a successful solo debut for Vinnie Paz. Though the tracklist could have been been reduced, the overall project is another strong release from an emcee that’s been doing it strong for over 15 years. Watch your head.
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