Random Axe – Random Axe | Album Review

If the average Hip Hopper were to throw out three names in the game which were underrated, overlooked and so forth, Guilty Simpson, Black Milk and Sean Price would definitely be mentioned. The underground’s favourite sons have put in the work for some years, with various high profile collaborations and productions featured on video games helping to raise their respected profiles -but it’s their LP work which really deserves more credit. Here the three protagonists have a chance to rectify this and come together to offer something special. Random Axe, the underground supergroup, bring their raw, individual skills in the hope that the combination of all three will result in the classic LP which each have the potential of creating.

New York meets Detroit on Random Axe and the early results are promising. ‘Random Call’ provides some dope mean mugging material as Guilty Simpson and Sean P get to work on Black Milk’s swashbuckling production. One of Detroit’s defining beatsmiths is on top form, bringing on board the pulverising sounds which appeared on his Album of the Year LP as well as on the Fight Night Champion soundtrack. ‘Black Ops’ possesses an intense aura matched with some heavyweight bass drums whereas the conceptual lyrics on ‘Everybody. Nobody. Somebody’ are provided with haunting, alien-esque warbles and snapping claps.

The elder statesman of the trio, Sean Price, plays the role with such conviction, throwing heavy bars around but with a cleverness and maturity which many machismo-fuelled rappers are unable to achieve. Metaphorically slapping around lightweight spitters on ‘Chewbacca,’ Price is the schoolyard bully, kicking to the ground anyone who can’t stand toe to toe with the Brooklyn legend.

Random Axe ft. Roc Marciano – ‘Chewbacca’:

Fortunately fellow underground rep Roc Marciano is hard enough to feature significantly on the solid production whilst Guilty Simpson’s contributions are also worthy of much praise as his confident verses sync brilliantly with Sean Price’s ruckus. Simpson is often first up to bat on tracks but more often than not sets the bar high for Black and Ruck to top as exemplified on the terror-inducing ‘The Hex.’

With an equal mix of reverberating drums, subtle soul and rough house rhymes, Random Axe is the antithesis of daytime radio/ringtone music and provides a brilliant listening experience for any fan of the hardcore. The monotonous drones of the trio are interwoven with the rumbling percussion, resulting in the anarchic Hip Hop synonymous with the scene’s underbelly. Choruses may not be the strongest and the LP’s gravel-like consistency may deter those after more variety in their mix, but Random Axe’s collaborative effort results in one of the better supergroup projects to be dropped and succeeds in toppling some of the more glammed up offerings which have surfaced over the last few years.

Random Axe – Random Axe
Released: June 14, 2011
Label: Duck Down Music
Buy: iTunes US / iTunes UK / Amazon US / Amazon UK

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