Some artists just keep it real – regardless of social and industry pressures. It can mean the inevitable fall of group’s who fail to play ball, so to speak; however some groups and artists thrive, and are able to remain fiercely independent. A few examples that come to mind are RA The Rugged Man, most of the Def Jux roster and – of course – Jedi Mind Tricks.
The duo of Vinnie Paz and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind (sans Jus Allah and DJ Kwestion) are back in action with a new album, The Thief and the Fallen. On first skim, an avid JMT listener will notice that the album knocks. It delivers what fans have come to expect from the brand: vicious bars from Vinnie and dope production. “I don’t even rhyme to a beat, I fucking torcher it, like grabbing a butterfly and ripping the wings off of it…” laments Vinnie on the album opener Poison In The Birthwater. That pretty much sums up the album’s energy.
The album is relatively light on features. Eamon – like the guy who sang Fuck It back in the day – appears on two joints. RA The Rugged Man joins Vinnie on the bar heavy And God Said To Cain, and Dialted Peoples trade verses with him on The Kingdom That Worshipped The Dead. Hell’s Messenger and Merchant Of War are must-listens in my opinion.
The album is 16 joints long, with an intro and atmospheric interlude included. The Thief and the Fallen is introspective, vicious and has a polished, self aware vibe you only get from vets like Vinnie and company. Definitely worth a spin (or two)!