featured REVIEW

Ski Beatz 24 Hour Karate School Presents: Twilight Bluroc/DD172 • 2012

Rap nerds and old school amateurs that we are, we always associated Ski Beatz' work with Bizzie Boyz' 'Droppin It' LP and Original Flavor's debut album 'This Is How It Is' rather than Jay-Z's 'Unreasonable Doubt'. Of course that's narrow-visioned, because Ski's beats for Hova, ànd for Camp Lo ànd AZ, are nothing less than incredible. But those first two albums were already examplifying so thoroughly his geniosity, that was discovered early on by DJ Clark Kent.

After being a few years off our radar, it was Murs' last album 'Love + Rockets' album that rubbed Ski Beatz' craftsmanship under our noses again. Clearly the renewed hook-up with Dame Dash for the latter's DD172 imprint did him well. The third installment of the 'Karate school' series subtly reconfirms Ski's refined, well-rounded production talent.

'Twilight', the title says it, is an eerie collection of down-tempo, organic beats that carry a slew of both young and experienced emcees. Every beat is of an exceptional, flawless, well-mixed quality, creeping slowly but effectively under your skin, with the help of a tasteful piano or sax solo. A joy for every rapper to spit to and the perfect alibi for the guest rappers to exploit their creativity ('This beats got me flying, but I aint on ski's' - Sam Adams), wit ('Making money now, they blame it on my jewishness' – Mac Miller), and ego ('You're looking at the immaculate conception of a God' - Da$h).

In between the green-tinged themes (whether smoking or money; 'Last time I picked up a pen I wrote a cheque' - Smoke DZA), Najee's 'City Lights' ('Ain't no crown in NY, cause Biggie died with it') makes you forget about a Kool G Rap or Nas city anthem for a while as one of the tightest New York anthems ('Word to the torch held by the statue of liberty, you can not unkindle me').

The album's setbacks are minimal. 'Now back to the subject, which is nothing' isn't Currency's most inspired flow, while Murs and Tabi Bonney's 'Hip-hop & Love' carries a good concept but doesn't deserve being on three Ski Beatz records.

'Twilight' not only sketches a good picture of Ski Beatz' multitalented production skills, it also spotlights a bataljon of ambitious ninja's, who are entitled to wear their black belt with nobility and worth.

POSTED ON 02|26|2012 by cpf

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