featured REVIEW


Bilal Bashir presents Word Power: The Instrumentals Domination • 2006

Blast from the past! Except for some write-ups on a few blogs and copies floating around on Ebay, most people have forgotten about Divine Styler's debut album, fully produced by Bilal Bashir and his Scheme Team. Divine Styler soldiered in Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate and somehow remained in the shadow of other crew members Donald D, Everlast, Low Profle and chief in executive operations, Ice-T himself. Now, the time seemed ready for renown producer Bilal Bashir to bring this back to the masses’ attention. Not as an ordinary re-issue but in the form of a full instrumental version.

Yeah we know, you wouldn’t easily expect albums like Low Pro’s 'We're In This Together' (if only!), Donald D’s 'Notorious' or Ice-T’s 'The Iceberg' to be released as a full instrumental, but here’s the chance for DJ’s, beat junkies and old school collectors to vibe with this Rhyme Syndicate jewel consisting of ultra-solid, enhancing -even hip-house at time ('The Last Black House On The Left')- funk break-infested productions with a smooth touch of reggae. Cool and funny samples intertwine and set a fresh mood that reflect the good times. The up-tempo, James Brown-ressonating 'Get Up On It', the cool vibes of 'It’s A Black Thing', the crazy and versatile 'Koxistin Dazi' and the hardcore 'Tongue Of Labyrinth' perfectly hold their strength even without Divine Styler rhyming on it.

With productions for Everlast, Cypress Hill, Ice-T, King Tee, The Alkaholiks, 7A3 (another West Coast name to never forget), and Salt N Peppa, Bashir has built quite a name for himself. Now’s the time for you to re-discover, because albums such as this really put the focus on how innovative, creative and at the same time humourous these pioneering producers really were. Good initiative! Maybe this will put DJ Alladin, Donald D or Afrika Islam on some ideas…

POSTED ON 04|24|2006 by cpf

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