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The esteemed, albeit uneven Hieroglyphics crew have produced another underground star. Long time member Pep Love delivers a full-length rich in refreshing self-awareness and uplifting lyricism. Lofty as his aspirations and otherworldliness are, Pep Love maintains a balance between esoteric science dropping and straight ahead rhyme skills. His lyrics are not so obtuse as to render them useless, nor does he create an air of self-righteousness. Rather his self-conviction is what shines through on tracks like "A New Religion," "Ascension" and "My Energy." Pep keeps it down to earth on his ode to self-discipline "Grime and Grit," a celebration of Cali life, "Pacifc Heights," and the battle-oriented "The Fight Club."
Production for the most part is enjoyable without arresting attention. The beats rarely match up to the complexity of the subject matter, playing second fiddle to Pep’s rhymes and complementing them only in a rudimentary way. Ascension is a worthy album thanks to the intelligence and focus of its lyricism, providing material for self-reflection - a rare quality in current hip-hop.
Courtesy of BPM Magazine/ DJmixed.com
| Record Label: Hieroglyphics Imperium
| Style: Beyond Jazz
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.