This producer/emcee isn’t something you’d normally accept as an emcee in the 21st century. His latest LP, Solo Steez, is a switchup from the underground hip-hop we’re used to. Rarely do we hear a cat (who looks like an Italian cowboy) rhyme with the westcoast style–at all, underground or not.
For the most part, this review is farely short due to the technical problems on the album, which make it extremely difficult to decipher the lyrics. “Let U Know” is a hyped up song, more of an introduction type song. Esquire spits one of those “I’m here, now let me tell you a little about myself” kind of tracks. The beat is decent, but his flow is much better than what I expected. He flips some nice multi-syllables, and sometimes it’s like he doesn’t breathe. As far as complexity, there really isn’t any, yet it’s an enjoyable song. The technical problems begin with “Conspiracy Theory”, which is incredibly low in volume, and the the lyrics are hard to hear. If you slam the volume up, you can hear it. He has a real fast flow on this to compliment the beat (which I feel is too basic, and on the verge of Mannie Fresh), and keeps me listening. This is a pretty much overdone concept in which Esquire rhymes on how people don’t feel him because the heads are just hatin’ on him. The chorus on this is pretty nice. On “Somethings Never Change”, I cannot understand the vocals at all. The echo was a bad idea considering the vocals were laced with the beat in horrible proportions.
The technical difficulties, if you will, are in other songs, such as “Time After Time”, “Haze”, “Demolition Man”, and “The Riddler”, which is actually a decent song. If it were turned up, you’d hear the vocals in the chorus, which aren’t too bad. I think they could have been turned down a bit to avoid giving you a possible headache if you’re one of those sensitive people. “Demolition Man” has some pretty bad performances on it. I’m not sure who all of the people are, but I’m just not feeling the verses on these at all.
Another problem with the album is that many of the songs sound the same. The beats have some significant differences, but it seems as if all of the songs are conveying the same message to the listener. I’m getting the, “people are hating on me, but I gotta rock the mic and prove myself” vibe. Maybe it was intentional, and maybe it was not. Either way, it’s just not my style. I think if the tecnical difficulties were fixed, and if he got some new guest appearances and more 21st century hip-hop beats, it could be an enjoyable album. Right now, there’s just too many underground artists to sound the way Esquire does. Plus, I’m just not noticing much creativity. I see little difference from the rest of the underground in much of the album, and I’m always on the hunt for originality. To be completely honest, this cat is too Marky Mark for my tastes.
Reviewed By Jeff – RhymeLife.Com