Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mega Graphitti

by Vordul Mega

Whenever I would listen to Cannibal Ox's 'The Cold Vein', I'd think that while Vast Aire is more lyrically clever, Vordul Mega is the more intelligent.

On this album, he has crafted a number of very good songs that fit into his usual formula - quick, short lines about 'hard times', 'the streets', being 'on blocks', and the quality that some have to transcend their environment and situation.

His voice oozes self-confidence, and he stays within his usual comfort zone, with the exception of 'Beautiful', which discusses beautiful music, and shows emotions outside of his usual range. The other songs are gritty and street-based, without following the old hip-hop formula of guns, money and revenge.

Vordul is joined by a familiar group of past collaborators - we see Vast Aire on two tracks, putting an end to any thoughts of an irreconcilable break-up. Billy Woods graces four tracks, leaving the entire album better for his presence. The Invizzibl Men, HiCoup, Karniege, and Tommy Gunn round out the guest shots.

The production on this album is fantastic. Backwoodz regulars like Bond and DJ Marmaduke come correct, as does Sid Roams and Zach One, who nicely book-ends the album. Bronze Nazareth and El-P both contribute a track, adding a certain level of prestige to the whole thing.

It's been clear for a while that there will never be another Cannibal Ox album, but Vordul Mega's doing perfectly fine on his own. He is a consistently strong artist, who's work continues to improve with age. He might be somewhat predictable, but he's predictably good.

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