What do you get when you a mix talented beatsmith from Ill Adrenaline Records and combine it with a lyrically savage rapper? Dare I say it, a classic album. The Element of Surprise is a fantastically cohesive project that will remain a treasure in any Hip-Hop head’s collection.
Long gone are the days of competitive East Coast lyricism. Piecing together varying flows and crafty rhymes has been overtaken by the value of how catchy a song can be. The heavy lyricism, in general, stays in the underground (although there are some mainstream Hip-Hop artists who can work syllables just right).
Proving this idea of underground lyricism is the duo of Rashad & Confidence. The vibe is something straight from the raw essence of the Hip-Hop culture. Weaving through classic tales of his childhood and the city he grew up in, Rashad explains the travels of his every day life in a gritty world (Illmatic anyone?). The album feels like it was preserved from a previous time, with clear influences from producers like DJ Premier and Large Professor, and MC’s such as Rakim.
Although this album dropped around two years ago, it stands by itself among very few as one of the best underground Hip-Hop albums of the current decade. Hip-Hop has a bright future, and the underground is in good hands.
ALSO: Check out this cool in-store performance at UGHH from 2011: