Now Playing: shawn lee & clutchy hopkins - clutch of the tiger
Topic: 2008 reviews
The Storybook Adventure
Release Date: July 1, 2008
[blogger's note: i've been bumping this album for the past two months and can't believe that i'm just writing the review now. shame on me. time continues to be my greatest enemy, i suppose...]
Chicago-based MC/beatmaker Phashara has crafted a head-turning debut album, one that brings to mind voices from the genre's golden age while still speaking to hip-hop's present audience. A series of skits featuring children's voices sets the tone for chapters to unfold, revealing words of guidance, wisdom, and caution. "Young World" provides sonic dap towards the next generation while "The Storm" examines the state of rap music, from the misguided minds participating in it to the uninformed pundits that rail against it. "Stop Frontin'" speaks on the deadly ramifications of being something other than yourself and "Bill Red" presents Phashara's past as an open book, sharing his thoughts on an absentee father. The production is crisp and tight throughout the album, musically reflecting the vocal sentiments uttered. The lovestruck tone of "Cause U Fly" is accentuated by the circular, dizzying patterns of the backing track indicative of nervous energy. While moments of verbal bravado are clearly present, the storyteller holds center stage and it is within these narratives that Phashara wins over the listener. The Storybook Adventure is required reading for the ears and a bonafide page-turner for hip-hop junkies worldwide.