Under The Circumstances
label: Soul Spazm

production: Oh No

guests: Liv L'Raynge, Hezekiah
year of release: 2005
1.
Before
2.
Must've Thought It's Still '84
3.
Jake Up
4.
L.A. Confidential
5.
Vision Of Gangsta
6.
Fascination feat. Liv L'Raynge
7.
Behind The Wall
8.
Reluctant Rapper feat. Hezekiah
9.
After
10.
Ooh-La-Lah feat. Liv L'Raynge
  Jake Up
One thing you have got to give Grand Agent credit for is that he is not afraid to try new things. After doing numerous 12", he released a debut album that had production from producers like Lord Finesse, Kutmaster Kurt, Hi-Tek and M-Boogie. Then he moved East and settled in Germany and did an album with a bunch of European producers. He then made a remix album with the Beat Society that featured production by the likes of Kevin Brown, J Rawls, King Britt, Ge-ology and Hezekiah. So what do you do next if you want to continue conquering new territory? Move west of course! So he did just that and hooked up with none other than Oh No. And together they made this ten track record released by Soulspazm records.
The music kicks off with a short Intro that like most intros are neither good nor bad, its just there.
It is followed by "Must've Thought It's Still '84" that has that trademark Oh No sound as well as the simple but effective Grand Agent flow. Its kinda nice, but the way the lyrics are laid down makes this song seem very short despite its 3+ minutes of playing time. "Jake Up" is very nice. We get an Oh No in a more laid back and melodic mode. And here we are also shown why some of us think that Grand Agent is a very talented guy. Many an emcee has tried to do something new with his flow and went over the top. Grand Agent on the other hand has mastered the basics of mc'ing in a way that allows him to do his thing in a natural and effortless way, to do more with less. This guy can kick some basic rhymes and sound dope doing it. On top of that, this song proves that he can write lyrics too. He raps about violence and about the police. Not on some 'fuck the police' tip, but more subtle and refined like when the hook goes: "Jake got his hand on the hammer like the heel of esau."
On "L.A. Confidential" he spits some venom at former business associates over a nice beat that again has Oh No written all over it. It might be a little repetitive, but as the song is rather short the track is over before you really notice. "Behind The Wall" cranks up the intensity level a few notches. Here Oh No gives us an intense and hard beat and GA gets in a more aggressive mood. And that mood suits him well actually.
There is a few guests on this too. Hezekiah drops by on "Reluctant Rapper" to sing the hook, and Liv L'Raynge drops a verse on "Fascination" and "Ooh-La-La". And while she does not impress us on the first of the two tracks she sounds pretty good on the second, another track of the agressive and battle-ish kind. The raw, string based beat combined with the ferocity of the emcees makes this track good.
The ten tracks on this include an intro and two skits, so in reality we only get about 20 minutes of music divided into 7 tracks. This means short tracks and just as you get into the record its already over.
As we saw in the beginning the list of people this guy has worked with is pretty impressive. But despite this his past albums have been good but not impressive, somewhat un-cohesive. This is one flaw that this album does not have. In fact this album provides yet another good reason to only work with one or a few producers for a whole record. In other words this is his most cohesive release so far. Sure, those of us that feels like GA has the potential to make a really amazing album will not find it here, but we will enjoy listening to this album while we are waiting.
review: Jonezz
   
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