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On paper, the concept of a posse LP featuring underground fan favorites Sean Price, Guilty Simpson, and emcee/producer Black Milk on one album together sounds like a no-brainer. That’s exactly what we get with Random Axe, a team-up of the three artists, presented by Duck Down.

However being that the three each have their own distinct sound and style, the crew certainly lives up to it’s name, in this seemingly randomly selected super-group. Black Milk’s production here is extra raw, as songs like “The Hex” and “Understand This” defy mainstream conformity, with abrasive loops and intricately chopped drum breaks. “Everybody Nobody Somebody” also stands out, as each emcee builds their verse around a word in the title, while “Chewbacca” invites Roc Marciano to spar with the fellas, on a track that salutes the famous Wookie from it’s first line.

The non-conformist attitude of the lyrics and unprecedented rawness of the production will certainly appeal to heads’ that are tired of the cookie-cutter formulas in hip-hop. However, we’ve seen many other albums over the years take a similar approach, but with better execution. Not to mention, the standard these artists set on their own projects is a challenge to live up to, whether it be Heltah Skeltah’s Nocturnal or Black Milk’s Album Of The Year. Another issue is that the emcees aren’t quite equally yoked; Sean being the strongest, who seems to be holding back at times, in hopes to not overshadow his crew.

So while Random Axe may have somewhat of a Firm-like disappointment hovering above it, it still provides satisfaction in small doses. Given that today’s hip-hop is merely a shell of what it used to be, many will enjoy it for what it is.

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16 Responses to "Sean Price, Black Milk, Guilty Simpson – "Random Axe" – @@@1/2 (Review)"
  • McNulty says:

    @Hugh Jasol
    You sound pretty knowledgeable about the whole situation. Sounds interesting. Not a fan of this “Hexmurda”?

  • McNulty says:

    @sTeeZo:
    Honestly dude, I still think Sean Price is mad nice (even though I’m not crazy about this album). Even on this Random Axe thing, Sean has some REALLY good verses. Just because his style hasnt’ changed isn’t necessarily bad (Now Prodigy, on the other hand…)

  • sTeeZo says:

    @McNulty

    I agree with you totally but in Sean’s case, I think he’s gone through a DE-evolution as an emcee. Sean Price reminds me of that one time world class athlete that let himself get out of shape and closest thing he gets to working out nowadays, is fighting to unwrap the new Madden before plopping his fat ass onto the couch so he can talk shit on X-Box live.

    In his mind, Sean thinks he’s still that lean mean rhyme machine he was back in the day but, the reality is so very different.

    And why oh WHY did you have to bring up Prodigy?? That cat used to be mad nice. After I heard Shook Ones Part II, I was hooked. I went out and copped anything I could by Mobb Deep.

    And on Hell on Earth (which I consider the be their Sistine Chapel) you see Prodigy begin to evolve to the next level. And when you finally get to Apostle’s Warning (that general Monk Monk line was just fucking sick to me) P had announced that he had arrived. I thought dude had the potential to become a legendary word-smith but then, the unfathomable happened and he fell the hell off.

    And to this day, I can’t figure out how the same cat that was apart of Hell on Earth could shit out H.N.I.C. It’s a mind boggling turn of events that bugs me to this day.

    But sadly, I believe the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, or the legend of Stonehenge will be solved before we ever find out what the fuck happened to Prodigy.

  • SKUBE says:

    WTF you talking about dude? HNIC was a classic… I don’t understand all the hate Prodigy gets, when he’s still one of the best in the game… how many classics has he put out and even been on? The Infamous, Hell On Earth, Murda Muzik, HNIC, killed it on Pete Rock’s Soul Survivor and laced Tres Leches on Big Pun’s Capital Punishment… Nas “It Was Written” has a dope Prodigy verse… tons of his stuff on the Alchemist’s albums are fire as well, plus his stuff on Tony Touch’s The Piece Maker and his guest shots on the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack… even though he has less than stellar stuff out as well(HNIC 2 was a disappointment but DOES have it’s moments, every MOBB fan disregards INFAMY… ), he’s a well accomplished MC, and their post-Infamy albums are not really as bad as the critics make them out to be… he didn’t get on all of those classics and become the most sampled or cut up voice on hip hop records for nothing…

  • sTeeZo says:

    @SKUBE

    Saying Mobb Deep’s post-Infamy albums are not really as bad as the critics make them out to be is like saying having Herpes is not as bad as having AIDS. While that statement is true, you’re still in no less of a fucked up situation.

    And yes, dude has been apart of some killer joints and collaborations in the past but, that doesn’t make the bullshit he’s been putting out any less wack. And H.N.I.C. was a classic in the same sense that the Hindenburg crash was a classic. They were both epic disasters.

    You can run off all the past accolades and accomplishments of his that you want but, when most Mobb Deep fans think of Prodigy, it’s with a sad sense of nostalgia and the fact that he’s been involved in so many past standout classic projects, just makes the empty shell of his former greatness that Prodigy is now, that more tragic.

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