Blood of a Slave
The cliché is true either way, “all work and no play …” The best hip-hop strives for balance. If all you’re talking about is getting laid and designer glasses? Yawn. Same thing goes for rapping solely about The Struggle. Matter of fact, if all you’re talking about is how wack everyone else is because they’re not “deep” enough, I’m going to turn you off even quicker. No one wants to be preached at for an hour through headphones. Lexington emcee Devine Carama doesn’t hate you for talking about, well, whatever it is you’re talking about; he just wants to elevate the conversation a bit. The album is heavy on capital letter topics, but the production softens the blow; it’s easy to just nod if politics isn’t your thing. Highlights are many, from the Nina-sampling “Plain Gold Ring” to the strongest cut, “Take Your Shackles Off,” a track-length metaphor with perfect production courtesy of Starks Beats. It pains me to compliment anything coming out of that city, but Carama has crafted an album worthy of your attention.