Mic Tyson has been delayed for so long, it threatened to drift into mythical territory with The Lochness Monster, Detox and an Outkast reunion. There were moments when Price seemed genuinely disinterested with industry bullshit, the lack of fan support (read: record buying) and all of the things about the music biz except for one thing: the music. Mic Tyson is a kidney punch to all of the peripheral elements that exist beyond the 1′s and 2′s. Beats and bars. Period.
There are no production histrionics on this. No snare drums, no synth and absolutely nothing to make you want to dance. That’s by design. Decepticon Sean don’t dance and neither will you, but there is a subtle, head-nodding vibe that does not obstruct P from getting off on the mic. Also absent from the album are songwriting, hooks or anything else presumably pretty about Hip-Hop. No double-timed flows, and no R&B crooners. It’s about as base and stripped down as a modern rap album can be. Does that detract from its merit? Emphatically hell no. The bars on this album is astounding. No words are wasted and each stanza is packed with a motley melding of reference, connectivity, malice and humor. There is no attempt to crossover; if you don’t get it, it’s not for you.
“Genesis of the Omega” opens with a grizzly drum and low-level frenetic atmospherics that keep you engaged music. “My flow tight like your pants are,” gives you a clue to what “”Bar-barians” is about, as P busts shots, slaps rappers and takes them to task for banging online but not in the street.
“Pyrex” finds Sean cooking up bars of that crack over a DJ Premier-styled track. Price gives listeners the real on all these kingpin rappers with the line, “Wake up, all that crack in the street talk, is made up like Jack & The bean stalk.” Ruste Juxx shines on “Price & Shining Armor,” one of the more layered production backdrops on the album with is urgent strings and hard drum. Ruste’s energy highlights the track which also features a smoother flow from P to match the production. Juxx closes with a peculiar line referring to ghostwriting but a solid combo.
The jarring loop of the title track puts the focus squarely on rhymes while the pulsating break between verses ratchets up the bang of the track. Whoever he’s talking about in this track (probably the mythical sucker emcee) is just getting a thorough manhandling as “Trevor the Burbick” to his Mic Tyson. The organ-driven “Straight Music” picks up the pace and moves the album as close to conventional as it gets, sonically. The balance of the album brings more of the same, only with strong guest appearances by Ill Bill (“Solomon Grundy”) Buckshot (“Frankenberry”) and Pumpkin Head (“Battering Bars”). There are non verse appearances by Torae, Pharoahe Monche and Realm Reality that break up the vocal monotony.
Think of Mic Tyson as a canister of coffee beans. When you are trying out cologne, sooner or later you become unable to discern where the scent of one ends and another begins. With his stripped-down, no-nonsense approach to his album, Sean Price has created the perfect pallet cleanser for Hip-Hop consumption. Mic Tyson will bring you back center if you smell what the Ruck is cooking: rough, rugged Hip-Hop, broken down to the very last compounds of bars and beats.
Out of 5
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