I mentioned as often as possible that every album review is bias; and every reviewer is bias. I am no different. I place a high premium on lyrics AKA true hip hop bars. Therefore if you have slick wordplay – like a Nas, Jay, Drake, or Kendrick, I’m going to rank your work higher than if you’re a drill type rapper or pop type rapper. While I appreciate all aspects of hip hop, it’s just not my preference. I that because I am very high on the new album 94 from West End spitta Lyrix Anthony. His debut album 94 demonstrates a new wave of content but a throw back approach to hip hop. 94 fits in well in 2015 but could have been released in 1994 and still carried the weight of that era. That’s because the formula simple – nuanced beats that allow Lyrix, and his fellow MCs, to rip pure hip hop bars. That’s truly the theme on every song — just let me get my bars off.
94 is only 10 tracks. That is another thing I really appreciate about the project. Lyrix could have watered down the album with 15 or more tracks but he didn’t. He released 10 solid tracks and called it a day. Therefore 94 is not watered down. It’s consistent throughout. He has a number of features on the album: Octavion X, Chance Fischer, Dr. Millionaire, Big Kahuna OG, and of course his label mate and longtime collab partner Koncept Jack$on. Koncept if featured on 3 of the 10 songs, including the first video of the album “N***** in VA” produced by Tuamie.
The first track that really stood out to me on 94 is “Shine.” Also produced by Tuamie, the track is straight forward and all Lyrix. He talks that talk about outshining his competition on stage.
Lyrix called upon the production skills of one of the hottest producers in RVA DJ Harrsion for the grimy “Don’t Get Mirked” featuring Dr. Millionaire. This a deadly trio, I’m glad they used a darker story teller vibe on this track. There is a chance that this track gets overlooked but I hope not because it’s a nice change of pace on 94. I hope to see a video and a possibly RVA remix for this one.
I think 94 is a perfect debut project for Lyrix Anthony, not to say it’s a perfect album but, in my opinion, it accomplishes all that Lyrix wanted to do on his debut. It doesn’t have a true play over and over again smash song but it’s a very consistent album. Therefore there are no throw away tracks either. So when you make and album that consistent project you tend to get a consistent rating. 94 is no different, I rate it 3.5 our of 5 mics.
I think a lot of people will share pride in Lyrix’s debut – and maybe that is appropriate. He is a young artist and has been on the grind, working in a lot of circles for a minute. I know he’s going to keep working and growing. It’s my hope that he takes great pride in what he’s done with 94 and of course he’s camp takes pride in it too. Long time in the making, he put a lot of RVA on this record and it showed out. Figuring out that growth and next step may required him to step out of RVA and see the scene in other areas – experiment with different sounds. I’m looking forward to what he does next.
The Cheats Movement Scoring Scale:
5 mics = classic,
4.5 is a crazy album.
3 mics is average.
2 mics needs work.
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