ALBUM REVIEW – Vinnie Paz Set to Drop ‘God of the Serengeti’
Words by JC the Carnivore
Vinnie Paz, the gruff rap spokesman of Jedi Mind Tricks fame, blew my brains out with his sophomore solo LP God of the Serengeti. The features stood out to an old head like me: Mobb Deep, Scarface, Kool G Rap, and production by DJ Premier and Psycho Les from the Beatnuts. Some whippersnappers might not recognize those names, but those are legends, and Vin can hang in their company, having built a time-tested indie-rap empire. Released under Paz’s Enemy Soil imprint, GOTS is the soundtrack for a battle à la Gangs of New York. It is a tribute album to Big Pun. It’s a public act of urination on heads of corny rappers. And if there is an underground king, God of the Serengeti is Boxcutter Pazzy’s bloody stake to that throne.
Paz has worked with respected emcees like Styles P and GZA; he now returns with Mobb Deep on “Duel to the Death,” an abysmal cut produced by Havoc. GOTS also features a sick posse cut and another badass collab with Kool G Rap. The album is for addicts of bottle-swingin’ boom-bap, and those who despise today’s superficial hip-pop. It’s pugnacious and raspy, but witty. By that I don’t mean just clever punch lines; I mean Paz eloquently professes a deep awareness of the world. East Coast bangers abound, from “And Your Blood Will Blot Out the Sun” with Immortal Technique and Poison Pen, to “Kingdom Crusher” with Block McCloud. I smirked at the adrenaline rush of Paz barking over “Cold, Dark and Empty”:
The dim mind teacher, the Book of Enoch reader / the 5 deadly venom chest beater, the chess teacher /the guest speaker, the Miami flesh eater /I’m the physical of severely compressed ether/carry wisdom of a severely distressed heater/…
While Louie Dogs’ brand of knowledge was always brutal, critical of governments, Christianity, public figures and the status quo, a 7-minutes-plus track on GOTS caught me off guard. It’s a biased yet cohesive, cerebral voyage into facts that can’t be found in history books. “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train” is a slice of truth pie I’d serve to all Americans. I had to three-peat it to catch all the education, and though I won’t spoil it, I’d encourage every parent to play this song for their kids. Really. And the rest of the album, well, that’s for us grown folks. With its rich instrumentation and penetrating lyricism, GOTS sounds like a gold-selling 90’s joint, only with 2012 information. The production and features are damn impressive, and Paz is still in his prime. Long live the king.
Official Release Date: October 22, 2012
JC the Carnivore is a freelance writer and musician. Feedback is welcome: email@example.com.