Chapter 7 is an extremely good producer who has been in the game for a long time (real name: Mike Desino from Jerz), and he’s just released his latest showcase for underground East Coast rappers. As with any producer’s album, the quality depends on the featured emcees, but Chapter 7 for the most part picks extraordinarily talented unknowns to make the most of his complex, trippy sound collages–folks such as Yak Ballz, Tame One, C-Chan of Slow Suicide and Division East’s The Man From Somewhere Else.
Track by track, there are definitely a few dogs here, but the gems are exceptional. “Optimus Grime” has amazing beats and lyrics good enough to overcome the “transform and roll out” bits at the end. It’s not really about the decepticon. And other shouted bits are pretty damn funny–like at the beginning of “Live” with Tame One, where hears, in the background, “Awww shit! They done fucked up now! R Kelly is free! O.J. did it! Tom Cruise is a faggot!” It’s nonsense. It’s stupid. And it’s hilarious. This whole song is pretty funny, actually, with lines like, “Punch your grams in the grill!”, it’s one of the strongest tracks among the many strong tracks on this album. And Yak Ballz’s “Chromatics” is a perfect, slowed-down grime beat for his unique ability to sound excited while he’s spitting laid back flow.
I’m recommending the album for songs like those aforementioned, and others like the R&B track “Believer” with MELissa Seitz; the musical interlude “Behind the Wall of Color,” which is reminiscent of MF Doomz Herbal tapes; the great lyrical spin on the Beatles’s classic “A Day in the Life” with Benn Grimm (“I woke up, breath tasted sour/But the clock say 9 that’s the champion hour/You can’t be sleepin’ late when you be rhymin’ great . . . So I pushed my girl to wall/yeah she got a good fucking now she’s sleeping it off”) . . . Fuck it. If you’re a hip hop fan and you don’t find at least half the cuts here (for me, it’s two-thirds) worth having on your regular rotation then . . . You probably aren’t a real underground fan.