Filed under: Albums,Mix Tapes,Newest Latest,Reviews,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
While A.W.O.L. was the shit, The Format was musically underwhelming in many spots, which was disappointing considering the quality of AZ‘s bars. I guess he realized this himself – hence this official remix album which follows in the recent tradition of “themed” blend projects, except that instead of being some bootleg internet crap it’s actually the real deal. Based around extra-crackly Al Greene loops, many of these tracks may as well be new songs, since many of the original versions were hard to listen to more than once with their original beats.
A healthy portion of the breaks will be familiar to any student of the RZA‘s work, since Al’s catalog has already been mined extensively, but even the more recognizable grooves have been flipped a little differently, and thanks to this musical facelift The Visualizer has never sounded better – this shit is effin’ incredible. The laid-back-in-the-cut, bluesy feel is tailor made for AZ’s nickel-slick wordplay and and “drop a jewel on ‘em” observations. To hear previously snooze-worthy selections like “Get High” and “Doin’ That” transformed into dope songs is precisely why this album is essential listening, and even cuts that were nice in their original incarnations (“I Am The Truth”, “The Format”) are given a whole new lease of life.
The non-remix bonus CD featuring some Final Call songs and b-sides serves as a reminded of just how awful some of A. Cruz’s beat choices have been in the past (try listening to “The Love of Money” without bile rising up your throat), just in case you needed reminding. It “ain’t no mystery” that Sosa brings that A-grade product in the booth, and after having Memphis Sessions on constant rotation all week I’m even more convinced of his verbal credentials. This is the remix album that God’s Stepson wishes it could be.
Memphis Sessions Executive Producer Andrew Kelly’s MySpace
AZ - “I Am The Truth (Memphis Sessions Remix)”
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