Ski Beatz – 24 Hour Karate School, Part 2 | Album Review

It may be the summer holidays for many youngsters but class is once again in session thanks to the Hip Hop sensei Ski Beatz. Last summer, the seasoned producer rounded up a group of dope spitters and charismatic rhymers to cause havoc in the classroom in which he called the 24 Hour Karate School, an impressive compilation album which found newcomers and experienced lyricists slay a number of beats orchestrated by himself. After a hectic year which saw him work on projects with Curren$y, Terri Walker and even make a trip to the UK, the producer once again calls on students of the present and future stars of Hip Hop to provide the sequel to his spectacular first offering.

Kicking off the next installment of the acclaimed project is Metabolic a mechanical rocky offering which California rapper Locksmith bounces upon with much confidence. Ski Beatz’ variety of crashing percussion, soul shaking bass and subtle soul trickles throughout the 12-track LP and, for the most part, assigns the right artists to handle each instrumental.

“Looking For Me” is a grand affair where even the gritty lyrics of Chicago’s LEP Bogus Boys do little to dampen the ceremonial nature of the track, which also features Terri Walker belting out the chorus in full diva mode.

24 Hour Karate School Pt. 2 again brings recognised and new voices to drop verses; one of the more recognised names, Cassidy embarks on a three minute campaign to convince all he’s the best on the laidback cut “Majesty.” In terms of the future talents which feature, it’s no surprise that the two of the most lauded names appear on the more impressive tracks.

Gary Indiana’s Freddie Gibbs throws down heavy on the guitar powered “Illegal,” with Gangsta Gibbs’ double time rhymes trying to keep up with the sensei’s accelerating production. The second name to impress is the Maybach Music signed juggernaut Stalley who adds a short ferocious verse to the sinister sounding “Larry Bird” joint, with the Ohio resider lyrically comparing himself to Larry Legend.

Ski Beatz’ compositions resemble a Hollywood soundtrack at times; dwelling in guitar riffs which adds much weight to material. But whilst “Amnesia” is aided by solid contributions from Stat Quo and Nicole Wray, the made for stadium “This World” is let down by Najee‘s light chorus. Even when opting to delve into more mellow sounds, Beatz conducts dopeness, most notably on the tranquil melodies on the video game effects “High Score” featuring Da$h.

In what has now become one of the signature platforms to display lyrical talents both youthful and mature, 24 Hour Karate School Pt. 2 offers up enough raw ability and veteran sounds to warrant a third installation on the series in future. The wise producer manages to usurp the best out the majority of acts on hand and shows no signs of his product becoming outdated.

Whilst the range of performers results in a lack of consistent lyrical dopeness, nevertheless its strict blueprint of straight rhyming with no gimmicks more than makes up for this. Creating a memorable soundscape for almost two decades now, Ski Beatz still remains as the Hip Hop Mr Miyagi ready to sharpen the skills of the scenes most promising poets.

Ski Beatz – 24 Hour Karate School, Part 2
Released: August 9, 2011
Label: DD172
Buy: iTunes (US) / Amazon (US)

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