I am in amazement at how Swizz Beatz was able to maintain his status in the hip hop game after all these years. For one, he isn’t really a rapper, and secondly, he hasn’t really produced a bunch of new music. Nonetheless, he’s remained relevant, and as a result, “Poison,” his first album since 2007, is one of the most anticipated in hip hop this year.
5. 25 SOLDIERS
I too love Young Thug when he’s experimental and hooking us up with infectious melodies, but I think his ability to drop some tough ass records is very underrated. In “25 Soldiers,” the zone 6 legend comes across as ghoulish, rapping hard about his guns, drug-usage and lack of sympathy for the ops on his lone verse. As for Swizz Beatz, he plays Thugger’s hype-man, hooking him up with this simple yet gritty ass hook that will get stuck in your head faster than you can say Dele Ali.
This track is gutter as hell!
Listen, I don’t care what you bums say, Dipset was the s**t back in the day! In this new track called “Preach” featuring Jim Jones and Swizz Beatz, they give off old school Diplomats vibes, rapping over this street certified instrumental. If this s**t doesn’t give you flashbacks to the days of big ass shirts and non-touch-screen iPods, you must’ve been privileged!
3. SOMETHING DIRTY/PIC GOT US
Who didn’t love the Ruff Ryders era, right? I feel like the chemistry they had was amazing, and something about Swizz Beatz’s beats brought out the killer in everyone from The Lox to DMX. Well, in “Something Dirty/Pic Got Us,” we get a semblance of that golden era, as Swizz calls on Styles P, Jadakiss and Kendrick Lamar for this absolute banger that has everyone spitting like their life depends on it. Unfortunately, Kendrick only blesses us in small portions, prompting you to wonder what s**t would’ve sounded like if we got a full verse from him here.
2. COME AGAIN
Giggs is my Gigga!
“Come Again” is a dark cranker that has Giggs and Swizz Beatz sounding like rap villains both lyrically and vocally. Unfortunately, I am feeling the wicked talk of toting guns, finessing women and out-stunting n***as that Giggs does on his raps, and that is probably because I believe every word he says.
I hate to say it, but Giggs sounds like a rapist on the mic. It’s gotta be the raspiness in his voice.
1. PISTOL ON MY SIDE (P.O.M.S)
Swizz Beatz and Wayne got me feeling like it’s 2007 again with this one! (Time to bring out the shirts with the NBA patches on it)
To no ones surprise, a song that features Wayne and Swizz Beatz is an absolute banger! Powered by a beat so heinous that I almost called the cops on it, Wayne raps like he has a battery pack on, spitting with a steady flow and gaudy style that gets more and more intense as the song plays on. The combination of both creative minds make for a rap fans dream, and when this song gets big in the clubs, expect for everyone including the bouncer to lose their s**t when it plays.
Once Swizz incorporated those piano notes into the beat (By Alicia Keys, BTW), I walked out my apartment.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. POISON INTRO (N/A)
2. PISTOL ON MY SIDE (P.O.M.S) (4.5/5)
3. COME AGAIN (5/5)
4. SOMETHING DIRTY / PIC I GOT YOU (4.5/5)
5. PREACH (4.5/5)
6. ECHO (4/5)
7. COLD BLOODED (4/5)
8. 25 SOLDIERS (4.5/5)
9. STUNT (3.5/5)
10. SWIZZMONTANA (
Banger after banger after banger is what you got on this album. I rated this s**t at 1am, and felt all the way woke while playing it. You can tell Swizz Beatz was heavy in the streets while coming up with ideas for it, probably asking the hood about their opinion on artists he should collaborate with and inquiring about topics he should cover.
The beats on “Poison” were cinematic, emotional, and very intricate. I know many will assume that Swizz Beatz was behind all the production on this album, but up and comers like Beatz, AraabMuzik, MusicMan Ty and Avery Chambliss had a hand in what you heard, too. In my opinion, this aspect was the best part of this project.
Did you know that J. Cole executive produced this album? Unfortunately, you don’t get a single verse from him on it. I do hear his contributions indirectly, as the album boasts this sound that is high in quality and authentically tough (Sorta like the North Carolinian’s catalog of albums). Thanks Cole for your behind the scenes work!
Is there a hypeman better than Swizz Beatz? I feel like if I hop on the mic and was getting gassed up by him, I would be a top 5 rapper dead or alive. His energy is impeccable, and his willingness to practically handover whatever song you are featured on with him is inspiring. Swizz, I definitely had fun listening to this project!
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