Not even a change of album title or the ridiculously rigid and censoring algorithms of Facebook could dampen the enthusiasm for the latest project from underground hip hop royalty The Bad Seed. The project ‘Strike The Shepherd‘ - produced by JR Swiftz, was originally titled ‘Breakfast With Putin‘… but that went down with Zuckerberg… like Drake’s name in an underground hip hop chat. But Seed cares not for adversity, he chops through it like Tone Spliff slices up samples, and so, hip hop heads can rest easy... because there was nothing that could stop Seed from giving the people something to appreciate and discuss for the rest of 2023 and more.
There are some artists that just continue to evolve and level up; The Bad Seed seems to be on an ever-rising trajectory. The production on this album has been carefully crafted and curated, and the lyrical content is still ‘true to himself’ Seed; a collection of maturity, poignant social poetry and delicately picked features for those good enough and brave enough to jump on a track with the notorious rhyme spitter. The narration of Strike The Shepherd is provided by RamBunxious, who delivers his lines with passion, stirring the listener to do more than just sit back and listen, but to engage with this artistry. JR Swiftz provides the score, Tone Spliff on the cuts, and Seed spits brutal honesty as he reminds y’all that if you mention Top Ten Underground Rappers - you BETTER be throwing some respect on his name.
‘Apollo vs Drago II’ has a triumphant feel. ‘Elephant In The Room‘ brings you that Nature Channel aura before unloading some of the hardest beats and bars you’ve heard in a minute. ‘Massa Makin Rounds‘ is a more deliberate and focused track that draws you into poignant street poetry. ‘Kush In The Kremlin’ changes tact and brings a really dope, positive and fun sound to the album, with vocal exuberance blended into the production and creative bar work. Wordsworth and Skyzoo jump on the key-driven ‘Life Is Good‘; Seed brings clever wordplay, Wordsworth brings vivid lyrical display, Skyzoo brings killer-bars narrative flow. It gets hella grimey on ‘Super Lame‘. The concrete cracking street anthem ‘Alive‘ is one of the joints of the year and the production is menacing. ‘Adubbago‘ has a real dusty basement beat, and Seed speaks the truth emphatically and entertainingly. Before the closeout, we get one last track, the former title track ‘Breakfast with Putin‘ which sees Seed talking his sh*t and offering his services for a seat at the table; Tone Spliff slaughters the wheels on this one, with the iconic Biggie flow resonating throughout to really add that finishing touch to JR Swiftz bouncy drum work.
This is not just another dope hip hop album from The Bad Seed; this is a brilliant body of work that explores slightly different pockets of the culture and of boom bap in a unique way. There is a palpable energy between Swiftz and Seed; as the two work together so seamlessly - like steel sharpening steel with more than an odd spark. Lyrically, few can touch Seed and his array of subject matter, perspective, creativity and balance between serious, humorous, clever and crafty. ‘Strike The Shepherd‘ is another home run for the Diddy Bop king, who has cultivated one of the best discographies in hip hop.
*VIDEO: The Bad Seed x JR Swiftz - Elephant In The Room cutz by Tone Spliff > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMA49mseX2U
*SOURCE: Raw Side Hip Hop > https://rawsidehiphop.com/review-the-bad-seed-x-jr-swiftz-strike-the-shepherd/
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