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Thread: Anthai Da Protagonist - 'Beats Behind Bars' (EP) (June 24, 2014 - 71RAW)

  1. #1
    #halmustgo Hal Incandenza's Avatar
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    Default Anthai Da Protagonist - 'Beats Behind Bars' (EP) (June 24, 2014 - 71RAW)

    20 Years Of Practice feat. Timbo King & Lone Ninja 04:34

    One Flow Left feat. Parallel 02:05

    Build & Destroy (skit) 01:45

    Death Before Dishonor feat. Jacewon & Martial Art 02:41

    Monkey Chatter feat. Parallel 02:35

    The Joker Speaks (skit) 01:35

    Batman feat. Parallel, Thaifoon, & Double Down 04:07

    Mental Fitness feat. Christ Bearer, Martial Art, Lone Ninja, & Lord Gamma03:38

    Stallions feat. Delta 9 MCs, Martial Art, & Jacewon 04:15

    20 Years of Practice Ft. Timbo King & Lone Ninja (Prod. By Anthai) 201304:34

    All beats produced by Anthai except for #5 produced by Nykwill.

    (I previously wrote the following album review for the Rumors Of War Warcloud fan forum.)

    'Your Kung Fu is very good ...'

    From the opening sample to album's concise length, from the ill artwork to the well chosen features there's only really good things to say about this quality release.

    Boasting big names like Christ Bearer, Timbo King & Lone Ninja the tracklist looks impressive. Fortunately, the album completely delivers on its promise.

    1) 20 Years Of Practice ft. Timbo King & Lone Ninja (PROD. Anthai)

    This gem of an opening track is steeped in kung fu, organs, scratches and ill vocal samples. Its opening dialogue sets up the album perfectly as it establishes the right atmosphere immediately. When the student describes how he learned kung fu it isn't hard to see how this is also a metaphor for coming up in the rap game. The rich soundscape that samples both an obscure French singer and none less than Method Man is the perfect backdrop for heavy hitter Timbo King who casually drops fun lines like it's all he ever does. The production also breathes life into Lone Ninja's signature staccato delivery. I would like to hear more of Lone Ninja over this kind of production. This is why he his 2013 album 'Trapdoors And Secret Passageways' with Lord Beatjitzu had so much appeal too.

    We're off to a very satisfying start.

    2) One Flow Left ft. Parallel (PROD. Anthai, CUTS DJ Deprave)

    After some dramatic strings we are served a piece of instantly classic hiphop production. It's simply the best way to describe it. The instrumental with its Mef samples (welcome back again Mr Hotniks) comes together beautifully on this track as well, a quality that shines through on the whole album actually. But why not decide for yourself?

    Can't say I'm familiar with the Parallel crew but Dope-1, Fatty & Hyphen clearly aren't playing around. DJ Deprave's cuts are the icing on the cake.

    3) Build & Destroy ft. Christ Bearer [SKIT]

    We get to hear some intriguing musings, at one point the question 'What am I gonna do with my life?' is thrown at us over another lush backdrop that somehow reminds me of the seventies. I have to say I didn't recognize this as Christ Bearer's speaking voice.

    4) Death Before Dishonor ft. Jacewon & Martial Art (PROD. Anthai)

    The production on this relatively short cut leans more towards the opening track in its absence of strings. The most sparse track so far gets you to focus on the drums and the lyrics. Jacewon adequately opens the proceedings, Raw71's own Martial Art does Anthai proud as he flexes his lyrical game as much as Jacewon. They sound like a natural combination and should link up more often. Some serious MCing going on over here.

    5) Monkey Chatter ft. Parallel (PROD. Nykwill)

    The only outside production on this album sees the return of Parallel. These guys clearly haven't outstayed their welcome as they take no prisoners over this intriguing beat that gets some flutes in the mix. 'If they can get rid of me hiphop will die too'. That's a bold statement but if you can deliver with tracks as dope as this one it seems like you can back up your claim. Let me just add I had to chuckle at the line 'I always come correct, except politically.' Exactly how I feel, gentlemen.

    6) The Joker [SKIT]

    Behold the return of the dramatic strings! This skit sees Heath Ledger (RIP) give Rachel his infamous scars speech.

    Oh, you look nervous. Is it the scars? Wanna know how I got 'em? C'mere, look at me. So, I had a wife, who was beautiful...like you, who tells me I worry too much, who tells me I oughta smile more, who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks… Hey. One day they carve her face. And we got no money for surgeries. She can't take it. I just want to see her smile again. Hmm? I just wanted to let her know that I don't care about the scars. So, I stick a razor in my mouth and do this... to myself. And you know what? She can't stand the sight of me! She leaves! Now I see the funny side. Now, I'm always smiling!

    Just that bit of dialogue reminds you of what a great movie 'The Dark Knight' was. This snippet leads into Ledger saying he'll kill the ...

    7) Batman ft. Parallel, Thaifoon & Double Down (PROD. Anthai)

    Clearly the pièce de résistance on this LP this track pulls out all the stops with a lyrical onslaught over - you guessed it - some stellar strings. The Batman references are truly a sight to behold, this really is a fanboy's wet dream.

    8) Mental Fitness ft. Christ Bearer, Martial Art, Lone Ninja & Lord Gamma (PROD. Anthai)

    Not to be upstaged by the previous song, 'Mental Fitness' doesn't let up with West Coast stalwart Christ Bearer kicking down the door with his quirky flow, paving the way for the other MCs to destroy the scenery over some ominous horns. It's good to hear some more Kung Fu snippets here too in between the verses. They give the track a spacious feel and allow you to fully take in each MC's lyrics.

    9) Stallions ft. Delta 9, Martial Art & Jacewon (PROD Anthai)

    Hard to believe that we've ended up at the last track already. I guess time flies by when you're having fun. A snippet from 'American Gangster' sets the track off in a promising way. Anthai once again blesses us with the ingredient that has made these other songs winners as well, rich production that almost sounds like it was made for a movie soundtrack. This feeling is heightened on this track in particular with more movie snippets in between verses and some lines that are clever movie references. Delta 9 brings an especially West Coast feel with his delivery. He opens the track beautifully although Martial Art & Jacewon are not to be outdone.


    Despite the myriad of features this album has a very cohesive feel as producer Anthai obviously decided to aim for a smooth listening experience where tracks do not need to stand out by sounding different. This approach pays off dividends when all is said and done.
    Last edited by Hal Incandenza; 06-29-2017 at 08:38 PM.

  2. #2
    #halmustgo Hal Incandenza's Avatar
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    (new forum rules only allow 2 vids a post)
    Last edited by Hal Incandenza; 06-29-2017 at 08:49 PM.

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