Monday, May 1, 2017

An Unfiltered Storm Is Coming ... Perhaps.

Slow Chemical has had an interesting and semi-fruitful arc over the past year or so. The brilliant Louisiana native makes his way back onto our rap radars with his sophmore album Unfiltered History. The LP opens up with the "What's Left" intro following by the opening track Storm is Coming. The 4:37 track gets us off to a shaky start that sounds rushed and under-produced almost militant. I love an in your face approach to a hip-hop album but not forced down my throat. PAUSE! It would be very interesting to know if he still collaborates with his former partner as the next track picks up dramatically and sends the mood of the album into a different direction. Following Rock Your Mic we are treated to a short skit to what is followed by what seems to be a longer skit in what is called N**** Technology. Though very amusing and clever it could have been a tad bit shorter but the production is on point.

We now get to my favorite track on the album and also one of my favorite songs of 2017. It's not far fetched to say that Slow Chemical one of hip-hop's best unknown producers; I recall him telling me in a phone-call that he produced the entire album. Mass Wasted is original, witty, and sounds nothing like anything produced in the past 15 years or more. You can tell he used every tool at his disposal to craft this joint. Google Me is another well-crafted that sounds as if Dr. Dre circa 1992 banged it out. And he's absolutely sick for giving us Play Pretend which is arguably the second best track on this project. Again, production is this young man's calling and he should ultimately seek out Swizz Beats or Dre whose styles his most resemble. The album comes to a screeching halt with a song simply titled "Finish". If you closed your eyes and listened you would think this is one of those joints Rick Reuben produced for the Beastie Boys. No bullshit.

In closing, Unfiltered History shows depth and, at times it's remarkable. Slow Chemical's command of production is stellar. But while it's clear Chemical has the technical and lyrical ability to make a mark on hip-hop, Unfiltered History does suffer from a lack of expert executive producing. There are times the listener is given a potent bar, immediately  followed by a forced or angry punchline. Slow Chemical has come a long way as an artist and this leapfrogs his last project, he just needs a tad more polish. 4.25 out of 5 = Very Good