The Revolution Of Yung Havoks
production: belief, omega one, blockhead, ruddy rock, others.
guest: vast aire, jean grae, karnage, c-rayz walz.
year of release: 2004
1. Neva Again
2. Spitamatic feat. C-Rayz Walz
3. Holla III
4. Hell Yeah
5. Hard Times
6. Blade
7. Stay Up
8. In The Hood feat. Karnage
9. Pray
10. Believe feat. Jean Grae
11. Struggles
12. Handle That feat. Vast Aire
13. Megallah
It's a fair assumption that many heads out there anticipate the release of this album. After the classic - yes, classic - release "The Cold Vein", Vordul of Cannibal Ox has been the more silent one. If not even to say the less praised and hailed one. And that's not just due to Vordul - around that time - breaking his jaw over some internet beef he had nothing to do with. It was also due to him being even more cryptic than his partner Vast Aire and him not recording as many collaboration tracks as his significant.
The last couple of months saw Vordul return to the spotlight with collaborations on Backwoodz Studios releases. And those that know, knew, and got the buzz going. And now finally Nature Sound steps up to give us the first Vordul solo album, which is the second Cannibal Ox solo album: Vordul Mega(llah)'s "The Revolution Of Yung Havoks".
However, and this is where we shall start to talk about the record, a mere look at the list of producers, will lower the excitement significantly. While we get a couple of excellent producers, like Belief and Soul Purpose, you struggle to fathom them and Vordul as a math made in heaven. Both are really good, but with a style you don't think was made for him. It's actually only the names Blockhead and Omega One that seem to superficially make sense. And while Blockhead comes through, Omega does a partially bouncy and run of the mill beat. And tragically enough, that's even the one track where Vast and Vordul team up. Sure Vast shows why the hype is often on him. But he also shows that not even he sounds dope over every beat (which is a repeat conclusion of his own album).
Of course these cats don't want to be typecast. But it's not surprising why they are. They - Vast as much as Vordul - just sound so much incredible over an eerie, somewhat haunted beat. It fits their style and it fits their rhetoric. That's why "Stay Up" is one of the best songs on this album. Interestingly enough though, when Dev1 aka The Prof tries to do one of just those type of eerie beats, the result is one of the most horrible songs: "Hard Times". Vordul continues to makes the bluesy "Pray" and the soulish "Neva Again" and they both work. But they don't try to be bangers. Bangers in the sense of club bangers. Vordul will never record a good club bangers and it's unlikely he'll even ever make good boom bap. Although he tries on "Blade", to the expected unsuccessful result.
He however will make very good street-reporter songs, good day-to-day-struggle songs (again on the previously mentioned "Pray", "Neva Again" and even the Blockhead produced "Struggles"; that might just be a bit too bouncy though). Heck even on a song that would allow him to spit smack: "Spitmatic" with C-Rayz Walz, Vordul doesn't just do that. But he what he proves is, that he still flows the same as on "The Cold Vein", but got even better at it.
The guests are few on here, but the album has only thirteen songs after all. Apart from the previously mentioned C-Razy and Vast collabos, we get Karnage on "In The Hood" and Jean Grae on "Believe". While the first is a good team effort, the latter has Jean stick to the hook. While it would have been good for her to spit, cause this beat is something she knows how to ride and should use on her records more often, instead of the boring material she does instead.
The album ends with "Megallah", which is a self defining song; in the form of an endtroduction. The sad vibe by the Belief beat works well, but is not brilliant. And while this album works well, it's nowhere near brilliant; nowhere near where it could be. What is a common problem with albums lately.
Sure, you can fight your typecasting all you want. But make sure you fight it with an arsenal of dope other styles. Or you embrace the typecasting as you are just so good at it and you continue to make good music. Vordul doesn't, to the dismay of this album. That gives us lyrics that are all him. But it also gives us beats, that are - whilst often good - not good for him.
review: tadah
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