The Blast Radius Lp
Review by point one for www.urbansmarts.com:
Before there is ever a blast radius there must be an explosion. For an explosion to occur a bomb must be created. For a working bomb to be created a mixture of chemical elements must exist to interact violently thus causing an area of destruction wherever it impacts. But in the world of Hip-Hop where every emcee thinks they are going to blow up because they're the bomb, it is an all too common occurrence that these emcees lack the right elements to ever have a chance to make an impact. But in the midst of the duds each year exists a few emcees whose fuse has grown short due to never getting the recognition they deserve and they are finally ready to blow.
Possessing all of the technical facets that make up a great emcee, Insight has created a 'Blast Radius' that others only wish they could measure up to. With an impassioned delivery Insight invokes the social consciousness of Chuck D with the creativity and intelligence that die hard Canibus fans think that Canibus has. The first track ("Time Frame") certainly sets the tone for the album as Insight breaks down the history of music that lead up to the creation of Hip-Hop. No, Insights not distorting history or telling you he invented the remix he's just passing along the knowledge of why Hip-Hop is what it is.
By appreciating the history of the art form he is able to 'evolve' in the correct direction.
This brings us to the best song on this album and one of the best of 2004, "Evolve."
Paralleling the ever evolving beat, Insight matches his lyrics around the reoccurring use of the word evolve to explain how we continually grown and learn in this life. Such gems like "I painted murals in the eighth grade and girls were amazed as I evolved to do the same by using words on the page" show an understanding of how as humans we move from one moment of life to the other.
So while the moments on this album vary on topics one thing that the listener can rest assured of is that the songs will be creative, well produced (he produces every beat) and well done. The song "Inventors (Black)" has Insight telling a story about what would happen if there were know black inventors and that people shouldn't take that for granted. The song "Seventeen MC's" is summed up best by its chorus in that "it sounds like seventeen emcees but its really just one." While a track like "Lots Of Facts About Control" has to do with the US governments continued utilization of slavery. That is not to say that this album doesn't have its faults though. There's one too many songs about Insight causing cataclysmic events every time he creates a rap. I'd also like to hear a song where Insight raps about something more personal to him. Just a simple replacing or eliminating of a few songs could increase the overall cohesiveness and feel of the album.
But nevertheless the album should be in anybody's top ten of 2004. It is a must own album for any Hip-Hop fan who enjoys creative, classic production and well structured rhymes. Be prepared to get caught in the blast radius when you press play.
Label: Brick Records