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Non-Prog CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

This hip hop album is fairly diverse. There are some intriguing pieces here and the whole thing flows pretty well. I will say, too, that parental advisories often land all over hip hop albums. This one isn’t completely free of them, but it’s not far from it. That’s a good thing, as far as I’m concerned. I like this quite a bit, actually.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Thank You, Thank You

This track is nothing but 19 seconds of applause.

Overall the music that serves as the backdrop for this rap is soulful. There are multiple layers of raps built into this. It’s got a lot of electronic sound in it, too.
This is one of my favorite cuts here. It starts with something that feels like tribal chanting. The rapping is great on this. Although it’s mostly rhythmic, there are some excellent melodic moments, too. There’s sort of a synthesizer sound later that’s quite cool.
Strivin featuring Abstract Rude
I really love the groove to this one. The arrangement is somewhat stripped back. Yet, there are some cool, almost lush elements to it. The rap is one of the best here and the message is an important one.
Inverted Intro
Processed and weird, but also very cool, this thing is a short piece with vocals that are manipulated through speeding up and slowing down to create something rather otherworldly.

The groove on this one is a real earworm in and of itself. This is another solid rap.

All Day featuring Primo the Cinematic
Although the arrangement here is fairly stripped back, there’s a cool retro sounding keyboard part and the rap has a great flow.
Mash On
There are a couple sections of this with something a bit like electronic symphonic sounds. I like those sections. Otherwise this song doesn’t do a lot for me. It feels kind of silly in some ways. It’s OK, but just not as good as the rest of the music here.
First signs of Paranoia
With soundbites about alien abductions and the like, this is a rather creepy, but also quite cool bit of weirdness.

The majority of this piece has a stripped back arrangement, but there is a cool synthesizer sound later in the piece.

There is a cool sort of twisted jazz vibe to this. It’s kind of a low key cut, but it has a real charm and charisma to it.
Warrior Souls

I really like the flow of the rap on this one. The music that hangs in the background has kind of electronic menacing vibe with an almost symphonic edge. This is one of the cooler tunes here, but it doesn’t necessarily reach out and grab you immediately. Instead it sort of gradually permeates your consciousness.

Rum Matter Master

A short piece, this is trippy and very cool.


Although the arrangement here is mostly rhythmic, there are some cool electronic sounds in the mix. It’s another with an important message.


Some of the samples and loops here are a bit strange, but the rap is quite tasty. Additionally, there is a great retro soulful groove to the piece overall.

Still Living

There are some cool moments here, but this one feels a bit chaotic to me. I think the previous tune would have made a better closer.

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