ST 2 Lettaz-R.E.B.E.L. review
When news broke of Alabama’s most prominent group, G-Side, splitting up the underground hip hop community let out a collective AWWWWW. This always happens to groups, the internet starts to buzz as to why. Everyone starts feeling betrayed while forgetting to celebrate the journey. G-Side formed in 1999 and lasted until 2012. That’s thirteen years of success! Admittedly, a lot of the props that get distributed to G-Side were placed at the doorstep of Block Beattazz, but anyone can hear the difference between what Young Clova and ST 2 Lettaz(of G-Side) do to Block Beattaz production and what someone like Stalley did.
R.E.B.E.L. is only 7 tracks long and not the very finest thing that came out this year BUT it does achieve its goal; killing the noise. No one who liked G-Side will be disappointed by R.E.B.E.L. Block Beattaz is still on the boards and even more adventurous than on G-Sides last album (Island). On R.E.B.E.L. you might hear the Beastie Boys doing Intergalactic in the background (Space Jam) or Bone Thugs(Trill 2 Da Bone). The base lines can be anywhere on a wide scale from Skrillex to Buju Banton and none of it ever comes close to phasing or overtaking its star. That’s where G-Side didn’t get enough credit, not everyone sounds good with the thick syrupy pounding of Block Beattaz backing them, when you add experimentation on top of that…a lot of MC’s would get lost.
If you were expecting a fiery one finger salute to his old group, or salacious secrets being revealed than you don’t know how 2 Lettaz works. Even when he threatens his enemies(Space Jam) its hardcore with a distinct sense of responsibility. “F*ck good, eat good, live good just don’t f#ck with mine that’s how you make sure that your kids good.” The song probably has the best single summation of his philosophy in the brief lines“Never lose, never die. Code of the Samurai.” ST 2 Lettaz is always going to do songs that are about hustling but not the loose, rambunctious hustling found elsewhere. He puts himself in the service of his morality and desire to succeed, his friends, and family.
He’s not afraid to outline personal concerns (Trill 2 Da Bone) “DAMN! I ain’t even wrote a dope rap in 3 days, and my little chick been having a fit cause we ain’t on the same page.”At the same time a song like“Sunshine” is a joyful relief from borrowing money from his brother and struggling for success(Dreams). It’s a warm dedication to sexuality with a superb Chick-Fil-A joke.
“Back in the day when the year was ’99 everybody had a thing, it was time for me to go and find mine (Trill2 Da Bone).” It sounded to me like this was ST 2 Lettaz talking to the listener and explaining this as where he is now. He started nowhere and built where he went, now he’s doing it again; just be patient. After listening that’s exactly what you should do. Be patient, bang R.E.B.E.L. and anticipate the next project.
Stream or download R.E.B.E.L. below