and Gentlemen, your plane is now ready for boarding. I am your captain
speaking, Pilot Rase. Please take on your seatbelts, make sure your cellphone
and other electronic equipment is shut off, as it might interfere with
our inboard equipment. We hope you have a pleasant flight. Aight?!
"Threatening Myself" is the tape to be reviewed. Pilot Rase, for all that
don't know, is one of the creative minds of the FTA crew outta San Jose,
and he's maybe the one the closest associated with those three letters.
If you check the site www.fulltimeartists.com, you'll see that there is
much out there that goes to his credit. And some hip hop trivia: he's
also the guy that did that enormously funky Sacred Hoop logo tag.
He opens the album with a slow moving "I'm With The D.J.", enhanced by
Gas One's scratching. The whole title and female claiming gives this a
funny twist, while it might be a little quiet to take you in from the
start. So he follows this with "I Should Rap". With a whining and cutting
sound, this sounds very sinister, and again a female is grabbing our attention
asking "do you wanna get laid tonight". Okay. Rase states that he's in
this game "for the love, not the hugs". Towards the end a guitar sound
enters the room, and has a look around. But by then Rase has already progressed
to "Bitch Ass Song". With a china town sample providing the backbone for
him to show that he's not about the same old, he drops "how can I hold
my own if I can't even hold my head up?" and "God is coming and Jesus
is already here, but the Devil is cheating, got a head start of about
2000 years". After such intensity, we got to calm down with another instrumental
cut, going by the name of "Superstar". Industrialized piano and keyboard
sounds keep the dark and menacing vibe going. Always changing in form
and appearance, this track mocks us with sunny hope, only to attack us
with a chewing mechanism.
Now Rase is not all about his own self. So he steps aside and lets Marlon
take charge behind the boards, and he also shares the mic with Joe Dubbs
and Smash Adams. "Sardines" is opened up with thoughtful rhymes "cigarette
in lip, inhale smoke into my chest, exhale the waste and then caught after,
I think about drink, my liver hurts, I'm a lot like my dad, I guess it's
in the genes, addicted to alcohol and nicotine" and continues with words
like "avoid the devils gift and you could be a full time activist". Teaming
up with Triangulum on "Another Interior", the playful bells allow the
track to slowly unfold, then switch to some synthesized drops, that approaching
the end multiply in a very dope manner. This effectively provides a different
vibe to the over the top darkness of the other tracks. Finishing off the
first side are some radio transmission, captured and pressed into the
form of "Our New Song", produced by Dick Jones and featuring Unbreakable
Comb and Triangulum. This style seems to be popular among the subterranean
heads in Cali, as it manifests in a similar vibe.
the b-side, Rase starts things off with another instrumental. This time
piano fight over an old schoolish drum. A track that will paint many mental
pictures, then again might be too short for a whole movie to play before
your inner eye. Cause "Into My Palms", an intense track by Dick Jones
and featuring Young Joseph and Neila cuts "Allmost There" short. Adding
several parts to this track, it seems to always surprise you, while only
getting back to where it started. However, this composition makes musicality
a feature, and Neila is accompanying the take off in what sounds like
a freed style. "Tee's" is a phone call interlude, before "If your Rap
Is Strong", one of the best cuts on here raises like Phoenix out the ashes.
These are some stars that fly like humble bees closely under your ceiling.
And then Rase takes it down to the bare him. Acapella he speaks his heart:
"it's days like today that make me this way, it was a world like this
one that made FTA, dead empty eyes, extreme lows and highs, it's a rumble
down on South First street, put a foot in your mouth and kick out your
own teeth" and "when I turn around and look back, I need to be able to
make eye contact, with the man who I am today and each villain I could
have been along the way, it's hard to see the future when the present
ain't no gift, but it's harder to see myself doing anything but this".
A clock ticking and Sidus Idiom's scratching open the title track. Rase
is keeping the mic to himself on "Threatening Myself", while Dick again
takes charge of the boards. And he pulls out an energetic track out of
his equipment, especially with the monotonous piano, while the scratches
give the track a strange dimension, but also the chance to intensify the
drums. And so before we land again, things get calmed down too, on a track
temptingly titled "4 min. 8 sec.". And instrumental expedition of instruments,
namely a piano, and some guitar chords played before that, Rase puts this
album in guiding frames, where the high rising piano can't break out,
but also the low can't stomp through.
You hopefully kept your seatbelt on, cause the landing will be rough.
And you never know if the engines will fail. Or the breaks. Even someone
as experience as Rase couldn't save our asses then. (tadah