After leaving Syntax Records and forming his own label, Hiphop IS Music, Braille Brizzy is partnering with Syntax once again for the release of his latest album, The IV Edition. While the IV in The IV Edition does partially refer to the fact that this is his fourth solo album (it's Roman numerals, kids), it also shows that Braille is trying to help be the IV that the world needs. The world needs its life restored, and with hip hop being one of the most relevant forms of music in society today, a hip hop artist seems to be a great choice for attempting to speak life back into our culture.
In today's hip hop, a lot of artists are going back in time with their beats, pulling out a lot of the old tricks used in the glory days of rappers like Dr. Dre and The Notorious B.I.G. RedCloud experimented with it on his most recent outing, and Deepspace 5's latest is pretty much all that sound of early hip hop. The IV Edition plays around with it a little bit too. The song "Submission Hold" is a perfect example of that old school sound, but still has a bit of the new school mixed in as well. The song also serves as one of the best tracks on the album, with a lot of the credit going toward the gorgeous musical backdrop. Other highlights are the party beats of "Calculated Risk" (which features the always-delightful manCHILD of Mars ILL fame), and the album closer, "ADDvice."
Where the album faulters, however, is in its tendency to be slightly corny at times. Thankfully, it's not all the time, or even a whole lot of the time for that matter. It only happens occasionally. The chorus of "Main Squeeze" (as well as the short spoken part at the beginning) are spine-tinglingly annoying and scream for your finger to push the next track button. On the same note, the chanting of "raise the dead spirits" on "Raise The Dead" is, well, kinda creepy. And the music, especially the organ, makes you wonder if it was written and recorded in a cemetery in the middle of a dark and stormy night. Still, there's a great message in the song, using zombies (or the living dead) as a metaphor for the spiritually dead people in the world that need our attention, but the creepiness of it just takes too much away, and makes it hard to get anything out of the message. Aside from this, the occasional problem with the music being louder than the vocals, and Braille's slightly-annoying-at-times vocal style, the rest makes for a pretty decent release.
Braille Brizzy is a talented member of the hip hop genre of today. You're more likely to hear about a few other emcees before you hear about Braille (unless you do your research), but once you come across his music, it would do you good to give The IV Edition a listen. Even if you find yourself not feeling the whole thing, it's still safe to say that you'll walk away with something from it stuck in your head.- Review date: 4/12/08, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Hiphop IS Music
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