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As long as they’ve been putting it down in the game, it’s hard to believe there’s never been a Demigodz full-length LP before. We did see a little heard EP back in 2002, courtesy of Ill Boogie Records, which would lay the foundations for this very album. Ten years later, Apathy, Celph Titled, Esoteric, Ryu, Blacastan, and Motive come together and form like Voltron on their first official album, KILLmatic.

What’s interesting on this reverse-Wu-Tang approach is that the Godz built their careers first as individual acts, then came together a decade later to record their debut album. This might have actually been the best approach, as the crew has had a bit of a revolving door roster, with names like L-Fudge, Louis Logic, and Rise seemingly disappearing. Still, the core of the group remains the same, stronger than ever before, as each core member has matured into a polished, seasoned emcee.

The who-gives-a-fuck mentality of KILLmatic comes through in both it’s brazen lyrical content and it’s flagrant sample selection. The lyrical content is a contest of jabs, designed to shock the listener and instigate friendly competition within the crew. While longtime fans will snicker, rather than gasp, at their barbs, this is sure to offend your mom, your little brother, and your local pastor, while Big L and Big Pun smile from beyond the grave.

But back to those samples. We won’t blow up their spot here, but the album opens with the previously released “Demigodz Is Back”, which informally compares them to America’s favorite fictional boxer, boldly sampling his theme song without regard for clearances. The same can be said for the dead-bent “Dead In The Middle”, which borrows a classic line from Pun for it’s hook, as well as another famous theme song from an animated gang and their dog, who we’ve always assumed smoke just about as much as the Godz. These familiar samples give the average listener something to grasp ahold of, while the crew tears the mics to shreds each time.

The 80′s cartoon influence goes well beyond that however, rearing it’s head later in the album as well. “Tomax & Xamot” is a brilliant lyrical tribute to everything Hasbro, while “Captain Caveman” is a hilarious collaboration with R.A. The Rugged Man, who still might be a little sour about Ice Cube’s “Cave Bitch” record. The latter’s sample works so well, we couldn’t believe it took this long for someone to build a track around it. And the influence of Cube and company extends further onto “Raiders Cap”, which finds each Apathy, Ryu, Motive, Celph Titled working as some kind of Bizarro World, millennial N.W.A.

With the exception of one Premier track (“Worst Nightmare”, which shows ever-improvement from the Gang Starr legend) and a closer from Marco Polo (“Audi 5000″), most of the album’s production is handled in house, or by the group’s usual collaborators (Snowgoons, Scoop Deville). Playing solidly throughout, this formula shows the “hot producer checklist” isn’t needed.

As hip-hop music continues to deteriorate into something only used to sell bottles (whether it be champagne or soda), it’s nice to see a crew of dudes like Demigodz still holding it down after a decade plus in the game, especially when many of the cats that came up in their era have more or less hung up their mics. While it may have taken longer than we would have liked for this LP to come to fruition, timeless hip-hop has no expiration date. Peace to the Godz.

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14 Responses to "Demigodz – “KILLmatic” – @@@@ (Review)"
  • Hiphophead says:

    Album is so fucking dope! Celph just tears it apart. The production is also extremely well done!

  • Dayz says:

    First off if you read my posts on here then you know I am a huge fan of the Demigodz. Styles of Beyond is my favorite rap duo of all time and I have purchased every LP/release from all members. They have all released true classics in my mind. That being said I think my expectation level for this LP was on a Detox level of impossible to please. Don’t get me wrong I like the LP but I felt quite disappointed. To me a majority of the songs sound like cut and pasted verses that show no cohesion and a lot of the verses also sound kind of half-assed/phoned in/lazy compared to most of these artist’s known abilities and their body of work. It sort of feels like this LP was tossed together quickly. I read an interview with Apathy yesterday and he spoke on the fact that for the entire LP each member recorded there parts separately in different locations around the country… And it shows. I know that it’s hard to get a collective of people from around the country in one place but that is what’s wrong with so much Hip Hop these days. The cut and paste mentality really waters down the music. A group consisting of musicians playing instruments need to be in the same place to write the songs, jam and practice, etc… Artists sitting in the same room writing all the music and lyrics together the cohesion and quality is going to show in the material. In Hip Hop just listen back to Enter the 36 Chambers. Wu-tang at that time all hung out together, wrote their verses in the studio together and competed for spots on songs by battling each other with their verses. You can really hear that in the music and that’s why that LP was so special and a true classic. When you listen to Wu’s music for the most part ever since you can tell the songs are a cut and paste mesh of random verses. The magic they had was lost. I know I am ranting here but I guess in my mind I so hoped these guys would have locked themselves in a dungeon somewhere and wrote this LP together to create the ultimate masterpiece… Again I like the LP but each member has done much better work and those projects like, Megadef, Honkey Kong, Nineteen Ninety Now, Dangerous Connection, etc… All will continue to be in heavy rotation in my home. Now I will say this LP blows away 99.9% of the commercial rap today it’s just my standards are much higher than the average top 40 listening sheep. Peace to the Godz, no disrespect, I’m just a fickle artist and fan that is extremely critical and looks for refinement and perfection in all forms of art. P.S. Mad props for the Tomax and Xamot song, a perfect ode to my childhood passion and continued collecting of G.I. Joe figures.

  • ozi battla says:

    @@@@@ dayz, i enjoy your views on hip hop and i will get back to you about this album after a few more listens but i hear what your saying.
    to be…..

  • Liknutter says:

    @dayz you have the loudest bark on this website but the weakest bite. Just enjoy what’s there and stop complaining about where the artists recorded the album, if they were in the studio together. DEMIGODZ 4 life!!

  • The man the myth says:

    I love the album, it is a great throwback to the 90′s. Dope samples and lyrics, boom bap beats, what more can you ask for. I see what you are saying Dayz, I just think this is a dope album, I like Czarface better and can’t wait for the new GFK joint, but this album is just banger after banger.

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