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After last year’s very successful Constant Energy Struggles, Ces Cru is keeping up the momentum with their second album on Strange Music, Codename: Ego Stripper. Some might see the word Stripper in the title and assume this is a bunch of strip-club music, but the album is actually about stripping your ego in order to have a more realistic outlook on life. That’s not to say there isn’t a fair share of party music on this album either, as Godemis and Ubiquitous continue to show us their versatility as emcees. Together as Ces Cru, they pick up right where they left off by giving us more of what we loved about the first album, while also trying some new things.
The album starts off with the introspective “Fate” before diving right into some head-nodders and high-energy tracks. Godemis and Ubiquitous rap back and forth, sometimes even finishing each others lines, and have some amusing skits on “Whips”. Things get a little laid-back on the Rittz-assisted “Pressure” and a track for the ladies “Double O.T.”, but then get right back in the party vibe on the lead single “Power Play”. Label boss Tech N9ne makes his guest appearance on this track, but the main highlight is seeing Ubiquitous (the white guy in the group) pull off a reggae flow during his verse. The energy levels continue to rise as Angel Davanport and Wrekonize have awesome guest verses on the next couple songs, before Ubi lyrically snaps on a solo track. Murs makes a notable guest appearance on “Strange Creature” before Godemis gets his own solo track, and then things mellow out towards the end of the album.
Overall, this is an excellent addition to Ces Cru’s discography, as they remain consistently great and continue to grow. Codename: Ego Stripper starts and ends with thought-provoking songs, but the chaos in the middle is what I really love about the album. Godemis and Ubiquitous show that they can tackle a wide range of music and push the boundaries of what they’re capable off. Ubi singing and using a reggae flow caught me off guard at first, but it’s actually pretty dope. Ces Cru is one of the best newer rap groups on the scene, and it’s always a pleasure to see them grow with each album.
My Grade: A
My Joint (turn up your bass!):
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