Producer/emcee Von Pea, of Tanya Morgan fame, steps out on his own with Pea’s Gotta Have It. The LP is concept-themed and takes Von Pea back to his high school days, when he was known only as Devon Callendar. Von Pea was apparently inspired to create the album after digging up an old high school notebook in 2007. The album revolves around his formative school years at the Boys & Girls High School in Bed-Stuy with Von Pea creating a concept album based around high school, inspired by what he thought his album would sound like when he was 17.
Pea’s Gotta Have It feels like a concept/theme album from jump. The fuzzy, analog feel of the first track “Freestyle Live At Low Key’s”, gives the album an instant throwback feel. The ante is raised a bit with the first single “The Yorker”, an energetic and bouncy track that finds Von throwing up his hood ‘Lil Jon style. Von also gains steams with “I Know Right”, a serious throwback track, with a classic mid 90′s horn that almost calls to the Ed O.G.’s of the world. Pea’s Gotta Have It features stout throughout, as evidenced on the blazing tracks “Good Life”,”Pep Rally”, “Get Violated”, and “Boombox”.
Von Pea is able to step out a bit with this release, putting his prowess as an emcee on display. Tracks like “There U Were” and “Dreams” display a knack for storytelling, whereas “Ahead Of The Class” and cleverly produced and “New Pair”, display creativity. The battle for #1 track is never settled, but Von as Von creates two stellar, albeit, different tracks with”Pep Rally” and “New Pair”.On the flipside, though not terrible, tracks like “Thanks For Your Children”, “Open School” and “You Should Be Rocking” miss the mark and could have better execution. In all three cases, the falls off and in the case of “You Should Be Rocking”, the sing songy nature makes the track wholly skippable.
In stepping out on his own Pea’s Gotta Have It, Von Pea creates a successful solo release that doesn’t make fans beg for a Tanya Morgan release. This is usually tough for group members venturing out on their own, but in this case, Von Pea succeeds in carving out his own successful release.
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