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JFH Staff Review




Mars Ill
Raw Material



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 19 tracks: 71 minutes, 09 seconds
Street Date: 2001


It was roughly 4:45 in the AM and I was tired so I put in Mars Ill's debut record, Raw Material to get some blood flowing in da veins. I've just been getting into rap and hip-hop over the last year thanks to John Reuben and DJ Maj. I'm kinda new at this rap thing so bear with me.

One of the things I've noticed about rap artists is that they stick together like ants at a picnic. The first track is an example of this with special appearances by various artists such as: Pigeon John, LA Symphony and a few others. The second track, "Sphere of the Hip-Hop pt.2" is a slow beat song with some good rhymes by manCHILD and ends with a shout out to sewage systems (you'd just have to hear it). The fourth song, "Black Market," is a great song which I first heard on DJ Maj's Full Plates vol. 2. It's a great song with a creepy beat accompanied by some decent rap harmonies.

The fifth song, "Love's Not," featuring Rahlo, talks about the love of Christ and not the love portrayed by the media and society. The sixth song, "Monotone," is their big hit song that hit number two on MP3.com's hip-hop/rap charts last fall. This song talks about the presence of God in life and without Him, life is monotonous. "Unsound" starts out with what sounds like a song I heard on Winnie the Pooh, but thankfully changes from that to a straight up hip hop song.

"Compound Fractures" has some cool turntable mixes in it, which leads us into "Rap Fans," a song for rap fans. "Sounds of Music" has some more great turntables in it, but keeps the basic rap intact. The next seven songs are pretty basic songs until the final track, "The Abolition of manCHILD." This song is probably my favorite because of the trumpets and the message in the lyrics. This song is a fictitious song about his death and what it would mean to the world. It's a challenge to follow your dreams because if you don't make a contribution then there's no point.

Overall I'd say the CD is decent, but a lot of the songs sound the same. That's the one thing that I still don't like about hip-hop is that much of it sounds the same. The other thing about rap is that it's all about taste. There's your hard-core hip-hop and there's your gangsta rap. It depends on what you like. This wasn't really gangsta rap, or hard-core, but it flowed really well.

- Review date: 7/21/01, written by Kevin Chamberlin

 

CD

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. Record Label: UpRok Records
. Album length: 19 tracks, 71 minutes and 9 seconds
. Street Date: 2001
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Mars ILL
  2. Sphere of Hip-Hop Pt. 2
  3. We'll Live Underground
  4. Black Market
  5. Love's Not
  6. Monotone
  7. Unsound
  8. Send a Man
  9. Compound Fractures
  10. Rap Fans
  11. Sounds of Music
  12. Who Will Answer?
  13. Indulgent Instrumental #1
  14. Try Again
  15. Touch and Go
  16. Indulgent Instrumental #2
  17. Sphere of Hip-Hop (original)
  18. Fade to Black
  19. The Abolition of manCHILD
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