Between all eight million plus Wu-Tang affiliated MCs, Killah Priest and his fellow Sunz of Man are some of the few that actually standout. They remain foot soldiers in the grimy, dark ’90′s production / rhyme style, almost to a fault. Not that they can’t pull it off; it’s like being a grandmaster in a art form that may eventually go extinct with its own kind.
Despite being thoroughly independent, Killah Priest’s latest album, The 3 Day Theroy, boasts some surprisingly on point production and sounds that Killah Priest sounds perfectly at home on. From the creeping guitars over bouncing drums to chipmunk soul flowing over keys, this isn’t an 90’s MC trying to hit the clubs (take note Inspectah Deck).
Not onto shy away from spiritual imagery, Killah Priest opens the album with “Book of Life”, over what could best be described as a medieval beat. Mixing in biblical references, social commentary, and his own uplifting message, he spits one of the smoothest rhymes we’ve heard from him in a while, before diving back into other topics: “Read a proverb a day, observe life survey, they got my grandma and the words she’ll say”.
“Betrayal”, featuring Cappadonna, is one of the best cuts on the album. While it might sound like something back from 2002, it doesn’t sound overly dated and works perfectly. The upbeat production is very similar to Ant’s production work for Rhymesayers, and Killah Priest sounds perfectly at home on this track, as does Cappadonna. The same can be said for Canibus, who appears on “Democracy”, who kills the swampy guitar line, while Killah Priest keeps his game up to match.
One of the more disappointing tracks was the Last Emperor featured “Circles”. What could have been a grade A collaboration is a severe let down, consisting of a chorus made up mostly of repeating the word “circles”. The gothic “Fire Reign” is another solid, but short, track that sounds like a Jedi Mind Tricks outtake, as both Copywrite and Jakki Da Motormouth come through on solid guest verses.
The album closes with another member of the underground, Ras Kass, on “When I Speak”. Some truly haunting creeping production supports some soulful vocals, although Ras doesn’t live up to his own standard. Basically this album will come down to how much of a Wu-Tang fan the listener is. Those that miss the late 90′s dusty, grimey production styles will appreciate this, but anyone looking for musical evolution on this spiritually influenced album, shouldn’t be surprised to find its not there.
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