It is safe that there are some rappers who understand their lanes, and they stick to them very well. In this particular case, Sean Price has shown that when it comes to supplying aggressive content, he’s in a class of his own. The Boot Camp Click and Heltah Skeltah representative has always had a knack for maintaining his unique style of hard hitting rhymes mixed with brash humor. To further strengthen this case, Price demonstrates his skill set on his most recent LP, the long delayed Mic Tyson.
From the very beginning we are treated to Price’s signature rhymes that only sound right when uttered by him. While it’s been sometime since the release of his last project, the intro track, “Genesis of The Omega” sets up the album quite nicely.
“Hardcore rap at its worst/Move from the morgue truck to the back of the hearse/ Move from the back of the hearse to back in the dirt/ Change clothes, put a back on his turf, move on/ Do Sean”
Lines such as those should reassure listeners that this is the same Sean P that has been terrorizing mics for close to two decades at this point. The lyrical spar session continues on tracks like “Bar-Barian “and the appropriately titled “Bully Rap”. Price has claimed his spot as one of the consistent contenders for “hardest MC in the game,” and lives up to those standards on both tracks. It should be noted that on both of those tracks, The Alchemist handled production duties. The chemistry displayed by the two complements each other well and almost begs the question of why a full project between the two has never surfaced before.
Of course Mic Tyson isn’t filled with all haymakers. In fact the flaws of this album become evident halfway through when it becomes clear that there is an unsettling lack of conceptual records. While tracks like “Pyrex” and “Title Track” aren’t necessarily bad records, they don’t do anything to enhance the album. In fact you could take lyrics from either song and switch them and wouldn’t notice a chance in subject matter. This problem becomes too much to ignore. While Price does a great job of remaining consistent through out, his consistency fails to offer anything more than hard knock rhymes over boom bap production. That formula works amazingly well in some cases, and reeks in uninspired redundancy in others.
Then again perhaps that was the point. Sean Price has never been one to teach or motivate the masses. Nor should he be expected to deliver the next top 40 club hit. With that said when he does connect, the results are victorious. The Khrysis produced “Hush” is a worthy addition to his catalogue. His collaboration with 9th Wonder doesn’t disappoint either. As 9th provides a soundscape with a melodramatic organ background, Price gives you his smoothest rendition of a brass knuckle delivery. His biggest stand out moments however come when he’s gathers some friends for the party. “Price and Shining Armor” features a strong verse from Ruste Juxx. Pharaoh Monch adds his own brand of ghetto philosophy “BBQ Sauce”, while fellow Duck Down artist Torae handles chorus duties on “By The Way”. Sure the content is pretty much the same on all of these tracks, but lyrically the assists allow the listener to experience a well-timed change of pace.
Truthfully speaking, Mic Tyson packs quite a punch, but still falls short on it’s execution. The album is strong in many ways, but its ultimate test will be in the desire of the listener to replay the album after an initial listen. The gems that are found here are rare and few between, and unfortunately little is offered to keep this in constant rotation. Sean Price has made a career out of his style of aggressive content, and if that’s all your looking for then Mic Tyson will certainly meet expectations. The no holds barred delivery may lack substance, but compared with the landscape of Hip Hop at the current moment will find a place just fine. It’s a gift and a curse perhaps, but still one worth investing your time in checking out.
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