It’s safe to say that Ill Poetic’s 2008 has turned out to be a pretty darn good one with the the release (free download) of his Joe Budden meets Portishead “mash-up”, “MM3rd” as well as his second very similar (concept-wise) project “Ill Poetic Presents Naliens (Nine Inch Nails meets Outkast)” (click to DL). Timing is everything to say the least, shortly before the actual release of “MM3rd” the idea of crafting this album was all but dissolved after one of the project’s main contributors backed out at the last minute. Rather than saying, “ahh, fu*k it, I’ll just keep the beats for another project”, Ill chose to knock out “MM3rd” in less than 48 hours. The results turned out to be nearly amazing, if not genius. The release also garnered an enormous amount of praise throughout “blogosphere”, and “MM3rd” even made it’s presence felt on Rolling Stone.Com’s “Rock & Roll Daily”. (editor’s note: the amount of incoming “hits” from Rolling Stone.com did wonders for my “Stat Tracker”). Of course, the release also coincided with the release of Portishead’s first album in nearly 10 (!) years, “Third”. As I said before, timing is everything.
“MM3rd” is the perfect marriage between Portishead’s “mourning” glory, Budden’s self-reflective lyrics (sheeet, you think you gotta’ it bad, listening to Joe’s depressing lyrics is sure to put your “situation” in a brighter state) and ill poetic’s crystal-clear, precise and bass-heavy production. You see and hear Budden in a totally different light atop the production on this album. I don’t know if it’s primarily the production (of not only Poetic, but Portishead’s production is extremely daring as well!) on this “re-working” or what, but after just a few listens your sold on Budden’s story-telling abilities and lyrical skills in general, enough to push to seek out Budden’s prior releases in the “Mood Muzik” series.
My favorite selection on the album, “All Of Me” is an 8 minute recollection of some of the many road-blocks that have occurred in Budden’s history atop sharp, stutter-step drum kicks from ill poetic intertwined with bits and pieces of Portishead’s finale from their debut smash “Dummy”, “Glory Box”. The track has numerous twists and turns that all come come crashing together at various moments to coincide with Budden’s lyrical “highs and lows”, although the real treat arrives at the 7:47 mark as a pulsing drum track is inserted for the track’s “outro” only leaving you wondering why this track wasn’t utilized to it’s full potential (ill poetic has made a habit of doing that, peep a few of the track endings on “The World Is Ours”). Released near the same time period as Blueprint’s conceptual “Blueprint vs. Funkadelic” (also one of the year’s best thus far), the state that both of these emcees/producers call home (Ohio) was most definitely a force to be reckoned with in ’08 and in the years ahead!
Ill and I have joked in the past that I’m the Source (mag) to his Benzino (similar to what Trav of “Wake Your Daughter Up” and the Smile Rays have going for them), but you have to give credit where credit is due! Not only is Ill Poetic hands down my favorite artist in Hip Hop right now as I never seem to get tired of his music, but I also consider him to be one of the industry’s most talented assets as well (the Smile Rays aren’t anything to sneeze at either)! Plus, from some of the “exclusives” and test material that Ill Poetic has leaked out to me thus far (along with featured production on Illogic’s ridiculous EP, “One Bar Left” (click to DL), we’re all in for quite a treat for the months ahead! So for all of you bitchin’ and moanin’ about “Smile Rays Week” over at W.Y.D.U., I’m tellin’ you right now if you can’t appreciate the dope product that’s emerging from Columbus, Ohio then don’t even bother tuning in to “W.T.R.”. Lastly, thank-you Columbus, Ohio (Ill Poetic, Blueprint, Danger Zone, Illogic, etc.) for helping me get through the year with some of 2008’s best releases), which have made my days and nights that much more enjoyable. Plus, my Wife loves Blueprint and Ill Poetic so I’ve gotta’ love em’ right?