New Jersey emcee CYMARSHALL LAW returns with a new solo project featuring full production by Swedish production team The Beatnikz. Due to drop in August, Cymarshall is proclaiming this to be his best work to date. Preorder at AMAZON.COM. First single, "The Flyness", to be released later today.
In case you missed- Cymarshall Law & Skit Slam are EVERLIVEN SOUND available now on iTunes!
Yes! AT LAST the long awaited, long promoted, full length debut album from ETERNIA & MoSS is here. Long time listeners of THEZROHOUR podcast and readers of the blog have gotten familiar with the self proclaimed "hip hop unicorn". Yes she's white, from Toronto, yadda yadda yadda...and skilled to def as an emcee. Producer, MoSS (fellow Canadian and no less ill), combined forces to provide a refresher course on skills and substance in hip hop.
My review may be somewhat biased considering that I have long championed Eternia's talent and viability. Make no mistake, if I am not feeling any of the material I would not hesitate tossing a brick at it. I kept "At Last" on repeat for a few days to take it all in. The project is VERY personal, sharp, filled with commanding flows and dense production. When I first cracked open the CD, I went through my ritual of scouring the liner notes. To my surprise, Eternia and MoSS revealed their thoughts and creative process about every track. It was good to read that there was some disagreement over the direction or content within a couple of the tracks. Creative minds will always disagree or stand by personal vision but it was nice to know that the final product reflects the dedication of these two artists.
The album begins with an audio scene from one of Eternia's live concerts which is fitting due to the way MoSS had the epiphany which led to this project. Seeing Eternia live was the way I first became exposed and my reaction was just as visceral. The next four tracks, "Any Man", "32 Bars", It's Funny (ft. Joell Ortiz) and "The BBQ (ft. Rah Digga & Rage)", go hard showcasing Eternia's lyrical venom. She more than holds her own with veterans and fellow lyrical beasts Joell Ortiz, Rah Digga and (Lady of) Rage. MoSS dials in some pure, neck snapping heat that makes Eternia rise to the occasion. The following 6 tracks is where you understand that her life is truly in the pad. "Pass That" is an autobiographical account of her turbulent entry into the world juxtaposed with third (?) person tales of other kids faced with challenging family and societal pressures. "To The Past" finds Eternia regretful, slightly ashamed yet focused on her new beginnings in life. "The Half" is the anthem for children of "rolling stone" fathers. Eternia often speaks on her father who is a reputed gangster and on this track she reaches out to her extended siblings who share his bloodline. "Played Out" is an ode to many of her failed relationships and examines the role she played in choosing some of these situations. Talent runs in the family as her sister Jessica Kaya laces the hook with lilting vocals. "To The Future" is a haunting, revealing letter to Eternia's future husband. She is warning any potential suitor that she is damaged, distrustful and still healing from some very traumatic experiences with men. One of my favorites. "Dear Mr. Barcardi" is a "Dear John" letter to her favorite libation. All was not good though as you can assume. This classy emcee was sort of a lush at times and sloppy with her drinking. She mentions running into EPMD's Erick Sermon and embarrassing herself. A cautionary tale that many (especially young women) should heed.
The final 4 tracks from the album return to the boom bap/flame spittin' rhymes that Eternia & MoSS excel at. "At Last" (ft. Termanology and long time collaborator Reef The Lost Cauze) finds E back in her comfort zone mic to mic. Termanolgy and Reef are the proper company to keep as they kill the beat like its their own track. "Day In The Life" features fellow Toronto emcees Tona and veteran Maestro Fresh Wes (!). The track is pure fun and high energy. On "Catch Me", one of the hottest beats on the album, reveals that Eternia is both humble enough and sure of herself to avoid diva status and mix it up with the peeps. The album wraps with the sinister backdrop of "Goodbye". Eternia has often intimated that she could very well leave the industry behind. She is a leader exhibiting a no nonsense swagger. Her lyrics on this closer exemplify this attitude. There is already a dearth of female emcees repping with true lyricism and it would be a shame to see her magnetic presence diminished. The video for "Goodbye" just dropped today! Check it out:
ETERNIA & MoSS' "At Last" is the album that I wanted to hear from this great team. MoSS' production is laced with thick drums, bluesy organ, guitar licks and theatrical backdrops. Eternia delivers some of the most passionate lyrical content that you will hear from any emcee- male or female. If I were to rate it, I would give it an 8 out of 10. No fast forward material present at all. If there is another project from these two, I would like it to be just one mic and one producer. Eternia's verses leave you wanting more.
Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek release a brand new music video for "Ballad of the Black Gold", an ode to the oil crisis. I premiered this song on the latest podcast of THEZROHOUR. Great, great song. Powerful video.