I can’t believe I only started listening to Hieroglyphics in 2013. I’ve been a big Deltron 3030 fan for years but never put in the time to dig deeper into Del’s work, until this year when Souls of Mischief headlined the Manifesto Festival in Toronto and I familiarized myself with their 93 Til’ Infinity album, as well as Hiero’s 3rd Eye Vision, and The Kitchen. I’ve come to learn that Hieroglyphics is like the west-coast Wu-Tang Clan, with many styles and personalities between all the group members. This group is all about emceeing at its finest; head-nodding beats, fun flows and good rhymes. They showed that on 3rd Eye Vision in 1998, and they’ve mostly kept to their roots on this new album.
There’s really nothing to dislike about this album; from front to back we get good beats, good rhymes, and lots of vocal variety to keep things interesting. With 20 years experience rapping, Hieroglyphics’ flows are delivered with precision to make what sounds like near hip-hop perfection. I guess the biggest factor that limits my liking to this album is I’m still just learning about the crew and don’t yet have that connection with each individual member like I do with the Wu-Tang Clan or Army of the Pharaohs (for example). Sometimes I’m still unable to recognize which member is rapping a particular verse, but this will change over time. Also there are a couple tracks on here like “That Merch” that I just don’t see being played regularly, but could sound good at a live show. I don’t see any reason a Hiero fan wouldn’t like this album, and hip-hop fans in general can dig this once they get familiarized with all of the group members.
My Grade (based on how well I connected with it, no disrespect if your experience was different): B+
Come back to my blog tomorrow to see which album or mixtape came in at #16 on the countdown!