Review by: Justyn Brodsky
There are some full-length releases from many iconic artists in the past (most notably: the 90s) where you just don’t skip over one track. No need. Because whether it’s a collection of tracks that aim at several matters of subjects, or even a straight-forward concept, there’s a message that’s manifested throughout every song that will definitively have you revisiting that track; or in this case, album…from start to finish
And thus, this formula fits perfectly with Hip Hop Pioneer K-Son Judah‘s Before The Greenlight LP. An anthemic, powerful, and non-repetitive Hip Hop Album that pays homage to many different every day struggles, and his push towards success.
Right from the jump, we have a track appropriately titled “From Jump”, starting things off with a middle-eastern style melody in the beat’s catchy and buildup approach. K-Son‘s voice completely carries the torch with this as the buildup brings you light at the end of the tunnel with his clever lyricism and witty rhyming skills, which gets you in the mood for what comes next.
We come to “Lounging Freestyle”, perfect for the 90’s homage and even raps about it. This one has a strategic 4/4 tempo that utilizes an R&B sensibility that shows a whole different side to K-Son, and it’s a refreshment to hear this kind of variety and versatility. You can definitely piece together the musical influences that he’s had over the years, but however, still holds the golden keys to a signature sound that can be recognized.
Next up is “B.K.S. (Best Kept Secret). A straight forward anti-hater track banger that lifts K-Son‘s level to keep the skeptics at bay, and for the haters to back up a few steps…or yards in this manner. This is one for the Sony xPlodes sound system, and your club’s energy-lifter.
Then we come to “So Gone Challenge”, taking the tone down a bit from its predecessor, we have a witty bar-for-bar and narrative-style that even displays some very clever comparisons to some of today’s artist greats like Biggie, Snoop Dogg, DMX, and some others. It has a very uplifting 50s/60s approach that beautifully fits right in the beat’s balance and composure. This is a memorable track you’ll be taking notes on.
Now next track, “Bakers Dozen”, condones more of an industrial approach, but still boasts a brilliant likability factor. K-Son never fails to impress you with his “mic-check” introductions to grab your attention and eventually, you end up sucked into every measure of the song regardless. This track I believe shows a great amount of diversity now that we’re in the mid-range of the album, and it keeps your spirits lifted as you green light your audio player through this song, then to the next track.
“Elevators” is definitely the chill-out track on this album. Though K-Son brings a powerful overtone with him, he can still manage to hop on board with a more subtle song structure. This once again demonstrates his versatility, likability, and diversity among his skills as a songwriter altogether. This one is great for the soul.
Now “I Don’t Wanna” is one of the two anchor singles that have been sailing the ship forward for this LP. You’ll understand why when you listen. It has a piano-oriented yet energetic vibe that comes with some female sex appeal in the intro and chorus. This track I believe brings all the goods, ranging from content, continuity, charisma, and character. This is a great first impression for this LP, and helps it create the hype necessary for its prototype and complex.
With the next track, “Keep It Moving Skit”, we have something that helps tie these tracks together and bring out K-Son‘s persona. His voice is still in the forefront with the defining factors that make not only this album what it is, but he as a Rapper as well. Take a listen to this one, and you’ll hear a demonstration of a well put-together stew — where all the ingredients are just right, otherwise it’s just a soup. Pay attention to this track if the predecessors have intrigued you the same way it did for us.
Then we have “Back To Business”, hit single #2 on behalf of this album’s marketing. Now comparatively, this is great to show off as a track that has different dynamics. While “I Don’t Wanna” gave you an entirely different taste of energy, this song definitely shines light on a much different kind of versatility with K-Son‘s approach. So I believe both singles, regardless of the order they were released, did wonders to really bring out the artistic merit this LP offers.
“Last Tears” is hands down a spilling of emotions, and presented very effectively. From what I possibly anticipated as a ballad threw me off guard, but that’s one of K-Son‘s most effective tricks; expect the unexpected. This portrays a vast array of emotions, and maybe even a spilling of guts. However you look at it, this is one you’ll be passing around to your friends at the very least.
Now we have “Shook Ones Challenge”, another anthemic chill-out track but with that same dose of energy that K-Son always puts his signature on. You’ll love the wordsmith-worthy rhymes in this one too, where you soon begin to capture and adore the writing formula he has. This one really puts it on the table, meanwhile, while playing his cards close to the vest — no hints, just hits. Campaign slogan perhaps?
“Taking Off” comes at you with an 80’s drumbeat and never lets up — enough said! Just listen to this one!
Then we conclude with “Deep Cover” we have a self-reflective track accompanied by a smooth bass line. This is a tale of angst, hard riding, and making sure that you never go unnoticed or inactive. The clever use of samples is what grabbed me on this one, and just brought something fun for the mix. This is a message for the skeptics, critics, and doubters. And rightly so.
If you’re looking for the next anthem to tickle that G-Spot for the love of Hip Hop, K-Son Judah comes out swingin’ with Before The Greenlight. Besides the insatiable versatility, you won’t hear the same song twice from this artist. This is not just a Rapper to listen to, but to also research into as well. I guarantee his artist development has a lot of stories that go with it. But no matter what you do. Visit your favorite Music Streaming App and download this album! We at Artist Reach give a greenlight to Before The Greenlight!
Connect with K-Son Judah:
- Website: http://www.ksonjudah.com/music
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/judahverse
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ksonjudah
- Music: http://ksonjudah.bandcamp.com