Wild Style Wednesday Review: Soul Position, Things Go Better With RJ & Al


7370-things-go-better-with-rj-and-alIn lieu of my friend and comrade Erik Burg leaving us at Mind Inversion, I wanted to do a review that would hit close to home with him. When you think of dynamic duos, you tend to think of pairings such as Premier & Guru, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth and not to mention Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. This is where Rjd2 and Blueprint come into the equation. From the first time that I heard these guys collaborate on Rjd2’s album Dead Ringer I knew they were going to be preposterous pairing in every aspect.

I remember picking up this album back in ’06 because I saw the names Rjd2 & Blueprint (I knew they were both live as hell, I just didn’t know that they did an album together). Upon spotting the album I called one of my best friends (who had introduced me to RJ) and asked him if I should pick it up, needless to say I listened to him. The chemistry that these two display on this album could be shown on an educational show for the classroom. Blueprint is a natural over these Rjd2 beats just like Robert Redford. Another thing that I love about this album is how whack it makes mainstream Rap music look.

The album starts off with the track “No Gimmicks” where Blueprint makes sure that you know that there is nothing else that compares to Soul Position, and that you are getting nothing but the raw shit. All of the aforementioned information is in addition to the nice drum rolling beat of Rjd2 with well placed horns and synthesizer notes. In the track “The Extra Mile” Rj’s stuttering horns and slow moving guitar loop make for the perfect backdrop for Print, as he narrarates why Soul Position goes “The Extra Mile” in their music. “Blame It On the Jaeger” is truly a fantastically funny fable about club night where Print tells about his troubles with alcohol, “I won’t lie I get a nice amount of love/so when you see with a girl it’s nothin’ less than a seven/but every now and then I go out to the club and wake up with a girl that look like Dave Letterman”. Blueprint makes you really wonder whether you are as free as our nation claims you are, “We cut down trees til’ everything’s a stick/then build freeways over where they used to be/it’s like a free-for-all that keeps me amazed/in the land of the free, home of the brave”, and “Let freedom freedom reign down on this free nation/full of Free Masons and fiends free basin’/friend free loadin’ lookin for a free meal/girls that got in the club free just to spill…”.

My favorite track on this album has to be “Hand Me Downs”. Rjd2’s heavy hard hitting horns and perfectly paced drums allow Blueprint to vent vehemently about the culture that was handed down to him. He spits spitefully, “My momma gave me Donny Hathaway, young gifted and black/I miss the positivity I wanna bring it back/but rap nowadays is by a bunch of ignorant cats/no young gifted and black, just guns bitches and crack/I react by turnin’ off BET and SAMBO tellin’ me what blackness is supposed to be…” and, “If you let the TV define what black is, you think that ice and violence is all we think that matters”.

I would have wrote a review for 8 Million Stories, but this is the first album that I heard by these two guys and for that I will forever be grateful. These two connect for one hell of a pairing, and to be honest no die hard Hip-Hop fan should sleep on this album. Things really do go better with RJ and Al.

8.5 First Exposures out of 10

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One Response to “Wild Style Wednesday Review: Soul Position, Things Go Better With RJ & Al

  1. Timmy, you and I made a dynamic duo. haha.

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