17 June, 2011@2:34 pm
Philadelphia emcee/producer Has-Lo’s journey has been described as “a slow burn”. After receiving his first break in 2007 via MTVU’s “Best Music on Campus” contest, a contest in which he placed in the top 5, Has-Lo signed with indie label Mello Music Group in 2010. In Case I Don’t Make It is the emcee’s first official commercial release. With an impressive slew of singles already released, Has-Lo looks to bring us the full menu.
In Case I Don’t Make It is short, 15 track opus produced entirely by Has-Lo. The production throughout is dark and brooding, starting immediately with the lead track “Utero”, an introspective track that finds Has-Lo musing about his deep inner thoughts as the emcee drops lyrics such as:
Look behind Has-Lo’s eyes a hive mind/I fight inside for inner peace with each side.Ironic. I’ll bit your head off/Hand you your necklace back. Put some ice on it /Life’s boring I sleep mine away/Dream lucidly try and see how deep I can fade.
The first five tracks of In Case I Don’t Make It all follow suit, as Has-Lo’s brooding production takes us through a dark journey. The album picks up with the standout “Limit” as Has-Lo flips Bob James’ classic and oft sampled “Nautilus”. Lyrically, the emcee kills it, using the track as a perfect outlet to vent his frustrations. With “Limit” serving as a catalyst, In Case I Don’t Make It picks up steam immediately. Tracks such as, “Untitled #1”, “Forgotten Styles” , “Untitled #2” and “Years Later” are all impressive as Has-Lo’s personality comes on full display. “Subliminal Oppression” features fantastic production, lending a head nodding backdrop to Has-Lo’s musings. The title track “In Case I Don’t Make it” ends the album as the introspective lyrics find Has-Lo talking about his pain; regarding how he was treated as a young kid and also in regards to the relationship with his father.
In Case I Don’t Make It is described as “a dark journey though a mind at the tipping point.” The statement is absolutely true. The album is packed with dark imagery and moody production as Has-Lo drops melancholy musings & storytelling. With that said, In Case I Don’t Make It isn’t for everybody. The production is slow at times and Has-Lo’s stream of consciousness flow gets monotonous from time to time. However, In Case I Don’t Make It remains a well crafted, honest album that deserves a listen.
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