Been Down b/w Identity Crisis, BTM

production: abduology

year of release: 2003
side one: 1. Been Down (Clean); 2. Been Down (Instrumental); 3. BTM (Clean)
side two: 1. Identity Crisis (Dirty); 2. Identity Crisis (Clean); 3. Identity Crisis (Instrumental)
Opening with a Gang Starr sample puts you into a position where you better don't come wack. Cause Premo will do another skit on the next album, and he might just talk about your ass. However if you back it up with good music, you might get a friendly phone call from Premo. Well, not really, but he gives the impression that he's that kind of a man. Now, the Word Association men are Abduology and CMNR (pronounced 'seminar') hailing from Philly, and they release this debut three song single on the Right & Exact imprint out of Clearwater Florida.
The work share of the duo is that Ab does the beats and C does the rhymes. And he chooses to rhyme about the life of regular people, so also on "Been Down". Or as CMNR says, it's a song about 'trive. He speaks fast, what makes it hard for you to follow his words, but it shows the comfort this man expresses behind the mic. His flow is also with quick wit, and as he approaches topics that are firmly based in the uncomfort of reality, he proves to have a minute for the common people. The beat uses horns and a singing that can get on your nerves quickly, which will be calmed by the vibes of "BTM" though. Here Ab really smooths things out, while he puts a good drum to the music. CMNR on the other hand speaks of a hip hop identity, that incorporates at least the 105 elements of life, along with the four plus elements of this culture. And finally, there's "Identity Crisis" which comes with a really nice piano sample, strings in the back, and it's a serious contender for best beat on the record. Heck, it's probably winning that competition. CMNR's butter voice fits the earth tones of the music well, while he again keeps the words clever and firmly sitting like the two artists are sitting on the stairs on the front cover.
What all sounds really promising. And if you find your preferred tastes in any of these descriptions, then do not hesitate to pick this record up. Word Association really takes what they choose and runs with it and with safe steps. And don't be surprised if you get people sitting on their front porch, bobbing their head, drinking some lemonade, and just get lost in the music. Especially "Identity Crisis" is that kind of a song.
review: tadah
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