Good Lawd! Why beat around the bush, the recently released EP from the duo of Chace Infinite (vocals) and DJ Khalil (production) a.k.a. Self Scientific, has quickly become the ONLY release that stays on repeat for my workouts. “Trials Of The Blackhearted” is filled to the rim with “Stadium Music” as DJ Khalil’s bass-heavy, sonically reliant production possesses that extra skip that you’ve become accustomed to hearing from only a select few in the production areana (i.e, Pete Rock, Preem, Dilla, etc.). Serving as an appetizer for the forthcoming (I HOPE) full-length effort from the underrated duo “Come In Peace, Prepare For War”, “Trials…” with it’s Schooly D-ish’ “Am I Black Enough For You” cover take, is void of any wastage. At only 8 tracks deep, “Trials..” will leave you salivating for more as Chace’s thought provoking lyricism and social commentary go together like PB & J atop Khalil’s production wizardry.
Touching all the bases, Khalil injects the Big K.R.I.T.-assisted “War Stories” and “Peaceful” (f. Krondon & Freddie Gibbs), with potent soundscapes that match the controversial subject matter contained in both of the instant classics. Meanwhile, the sultry vocals of Khalil off-spins The New Royals sound heavenly on “The Picture Show”, which also boasts a block-shaking bassline (also, see: “War Stories”). Even if recent output from the Game and Talib Kweli have left me scratching my noggin, each of the underachieving emcees (?) deliver memorable performances on the anthemic, “Everywhere I Go”. Of course, as usual, even if underwhelming at times, Chase Infinite’s lyrical output embodies consistency, yet there’s no doubt that he sounds no more at home then he does when the beats are provided by Khalil.
At the end of the day, being that “Trials Of The Blackhearted” is only and “EP” it will more than likely be left off a ton of “Best of 2011″ lists. However, as powerful and constant as anything that’s dropped this year, “Trials Of The Blackhearted” is undoubtedly my favorite piece of work to drop in 2011 thus far! If you haven’t already, GET IT HERE.