Weak cover art aside, the duo of Tzarizm and Vis Major have crafted what is, in my humble opinion, one of the top two or three albums to emerge from 2010 thus far (Roc Marciano’s “Marcberg” and The Left’s “Gas Mask” being the other two). Here’s the real kicker, remember back in the days when the duo of a young Peter Phillips and Corey Penn blessed us with a virtual double LP in the form of “Mecca & The Soul Brother”? Well, get this, “Mbodiment” clocks in 25 (!) tracks (to include a few very entertaining instrumentl interludes a la Pete Rock) deep at a playing time of nearly two hours (110 minutes to be exact). So an album of this length could be the gift and the curse for the listener, but Vis Major and Tzarizm took the gamble, and it paid huuuge dividends. All this coming from someone who watches the NBA Playoffs, with new albums intended for review in the headphones, while typing a blog that’s not relative to either what’s on the tube or in the headphones. So, if can keep me eager to listen? Job well done! And is it just me, or has Domination’s label been “droppin’ sum sh*t” (c) Sticky Fingaz, lately?
As the “Heart”, Tzarizm successfully “rebirths” that good ol’ boom bap that made me fall in love with the “musical” aspect of Hip-Hop first. Yeah, yeah, I get it. You’ve read over and over, maybe even on these very pages that “this” album or “that” album captures the “essence” of the Golden Era. Yet, while Tzarizm has implemented tons of recognizable breakbeats and loops, it’s the samples that rest upon the neck-snapping drum kicks that truly give each and every track that make up “Mbodiment”, as well as Tzarizm’s production style an identity of their own. For a prime example of what I speak, peep the album’s first single “Live Sh*t”.
Speaking of which, coincidence or not, the aforementioned single “Live Sh*t” took me back to the days of K-Def & Larry-O’s (the duo of Real Live) single, also titled “Real Live Sh*t”, as well as their debut “The Turnaround: A Long Awaited Drama”. Both the albums (“Turnaround” and “Mbodiment”) share eerie similarities, on both albums we have one emcee and one producer. The albums are also highlighted by vivid story-telling lyrics (peep “Bottle Fed” and “The Setup”). Both K-Def and Tzarizm blessed the emcees with insane productions. However, there’s one glaring difference between “Mbodiment” and “The Turnaround”, Real Live’s emcee Larry-O was no Vis Major, and quite honesty, I haven’t heard to many cats in the game in the last few months that are up to par with this dude. Peep game, Vis is one dude on the “up and up”, and I can almost guarantee you that the words “Vis Major” will be heard from a helluva’ lot more spots than just here at the one and only, BLOGGERHOUSE. Not to venture into left field here, but why in the HELL have I never heard of Vis Major prior to the release of this album? Straight up and down, Vis is a lyrical monster, equipped with a potent delivery and a voice that just floats atop Tzarizm’s pulsing soundscapes.
Of course, you know me, one of the benefits of being a semi-recognizable “blogger” is that we get a ton of free music. However, this is a true “tell all” as to just how highly I regard “Mbodiment”; After peeping the free single “Real Live Sh*t” I was instantly intrigued as to what I’d heard from the duo. So in typical, normal Eric fashion, I awaited the actual release date of “Mbodiment” (or maybe it was a week or two prior) and I figured I peruse your often reliable “sources” around the net as to where you can “preview” (yeah, right) a new album or two that hadn’t quite “hit” your local digital retailer as of yet. Not the case with this album, upon previewing the 30 second excerpts on Itunes, I heard enough to shell over twelve bones for a purchase of this 25-track longplay (22 album cuts and 3 “bonus” tracks). Nice of Domination to send me a press kit and copy for the album three days after I’d made my initial purchase (insert sarcasm), still good looks.
As for now, “Mbodiment” gets a definite BLOGGERHOUSE “stamp of approval”. A definite must cop, “Mbodiment” will find itself similar to where albums such as yU’s “Before Taxes” and Aarophat & Illastrate’s “Black Noise” did in 2009, as well as atop a few “year end” lists.
Purchase “Mbodiment” HERE.