Coming from Black Thought’s Money Making Jam Boys crew, which also shares membership with Dice Raw, Truck North, and P.O.R.N., is STS. Standing for Sugar Tongue Slim, STS was arguably the breakout star of the MMJB’s mixtape, The Prestige. With The Illustrious, he continues his underground solo career with a concise street album of all original music.
The album opens with the old school tribute track, “Fresh”, which pays homage to early tracks from Schoolly D, Eazy-E, UTFO, and other classic rap legends, as STS tells a tale in his high-pitched, nasal style. But perhaps a more fitting introduction to STS is the go-go influenced “Sugar’s Here”, which bangs with celebratory horns and a well-timed DJ Kool sample. He reveals more on The Alchemist helmed, “The Interview”, which finds STS interviewing himself with some laugh-out-loud lines. “Cliche” has a southern bounce to match his twang, but a closer listen reveals he’s parodying today’s popular styles, hence the title.
STS remains consistent throughout the LP, but it’s clear that most of the strongest tracks are pushed up front towards the beginning of the release. One other minor gripe is that being a self-released album, there are a few rookie mistakes that come through, such as “Get Up On It”, which comes in off beat and too loud, suggesting the album still needs a proper mixdown.
All in all, STS is a young emcee with a lot of potential. While he’s still a bit green, The Illustrious is a cool LP to listen to, which may pave the way for even greater things to come.
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