The First Occasion
label: medu
includes: raine, lost soulz, frank legato, sine language, k-raw, noah.
year of release: 2003
 
The two most distinguished things about a record are usually what's best and worst about it. Same here. And the worst thing is the beats by The Govament. That guy or those dudes need to throw their keyboards out the window. Now. What's on "She's Got That Thang" or "Minute Man" is just disgusting. Especially the latter is such an incredibly wack beat, the eject button suddenly looks very tempting. But that's only track four. And if you got this far, but not further, you'll miss "Woman's Scorn". Which is half of the best thing about this record: the two songs by Raine.
This songstress could be the next big R'n'B singer. She shows incredible writing talent on her two songs "Woman's Scorn" and "Reasons". Together with her partner Mitch, the melodies are memorable, catchy, the hook makes these two songs anthems for every mistreated women. Along with that she's able to sing, can carry a tune (even though she struggles with the lower tones on "Reasons") and puts real emotion into the words, making them more than just sounds out of her mouth. Now, if only the music backing her up could be fine tuned in a professional studio, some of the keyboards exchanged with real instruments. Then these two songs, with the right machinery behind, could really make Raine blow up.

 
tracklisting
1. Sound Of The Akoben (Intro)
2. Lost Soulz & Frank Legato : Act Like You Know
3. Lost Soulz : She's Got That Thang
4. Sine Language feat. K-Raw, Frank Legato : Minute Man
5. Frank Legato : All I Wanna Do
6. Lost Soulz : So Simple
7. Raine : Woman's Scorn
8. Whack Rapper (Interlude)
9. Frank Legato : The Art Of War
10. Sine Language feat. Noah : All I Know
11. Lost Soulz : Beat'n Down Your Block
12. Frank Legato : From Harlem
13. Sine Language : Light It Up
14. Raine : Reasons
15. Medu Philosophy (Outro)
So with the best and the worst out of the way, the rest must mingle in between. And the question remains if they are leaning more towards the one or the other. Too often unfortunately, they are playing in Govament's ballpark and not Raine's. With the many emcees struggling to give a good impression over such weak beats though. A good example for that is "Act Like You Know" where Lost Soulz and Frank Legato team up. If all the sounds of the beat would be sampled, this would be dope. As this is really pushing and it allows the rappers to shine with a slight uptempo movement. And they adapt well to it, kicking their representing verses. But as the beat is dripping from keyboard sounds, you struggle to really get into it. Govament only moves on from the keyboards on "All I Know" by Sine Language featuring Noah. But unfortunately they are exchanged with a howling guitar, what's not much for the better. Finally "So Simple" is the notable exception though. Here the track is just smooth and good.
Another beat is also not bad. Frank Legato for example gets treated to a cool offering on "All I Wanna Do" that was done by Trent. Lyrically he uses this to rap about, well, all that he wants to do. What is a typical subject matter for this record, that does either that, represent ("Harlem" and "Light It Up"), rhyme about the streets ("Beat'n Down Your Block", where the keyboards finally make sense, as the track gets crunk) or rap about women ("She's Got That Thang"). In total, the rappers stick on solid levels, hardly sticking out or doing anything other than not suck. They are cool and stereotypical with theirs, but if this'd be a casting show, we wouldn't find the next superstar rapper anywhere.
So there you have it, the good, the bad and the hardly special. The ills are identified. And maybe next time they are cured, while the good is further enhanced. And let us hear a Raine album, please.
review: tadah
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