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Until I’m A Dead Poet (preview/purchase)

Emmitt James is ending out the year on a high note. He is gracing his fans with his sophomore effort, Until I’m A Dead Poet. The album features production from Emmitt himself, his buddy I.X. Matthew, and Nameless. It was mixed by rapper Pizzle. Pizzle also makes a guest appearance on the EP along with artists like Genesis Renji. Readers were already privy to a couple of tracks off the project via the leaking of “Soul Difference” and “Coercion.” But there are a few more jewels that deserve some recognition. Click the jump to find out what else the EP has to offer.

Until I’m A Dead Poet opens with a clip that features an extremely entertaining bit by Gil Scott-Heron. It is titled, “This Must Be Deep.” The writer / musician speaks to an audience about some of his earliest memories of poetry and his views on the complexity of the art form in a light hearted manner. It was a brilliant way to start the EP and it’s something that everyone will be able to appreciate, especially other poets / writers. It also serves as a wonderful nod to Emmitt’s poetic roots.

“The Struggle”

This is one of the tracks that involves Emmitt flexing his production skills. He did a valid job. The production here is nice. It contains a rooted foundation, trendy mid-tempo rhythm, and a complaisant vibe. The hook is likeable. The delivery is fresh and the lyrics are real. The verses are flattering. Emmitt initiates a measured flow, logical wordplay, and assertive rhymes. He paints upfront portraits of some less than ideal realities via his lines. He spits: “I know cats who got babies at 18. Discouraged and they won’t pursue they dreams. Didn’t go to college. Had to get a regular. Unemployment victim. Ain’t no jobs in America. And so they sitting still. I ain’t gotta be conscious cause it’s been real. And so I put it in my music. This how pain feels.” Blunt description of real world problems right there. Overall, this song is a winner.

“Spades”

This is another cut produced by Emmitt. Once again, he holds his own on the boards. The production here is captivating. It is derived of: lively instrumentation, expressive secondary elements, and a spry vibe. The hook is of ample quality. The delivery is powerful and the lyrics are significant. However, the words do get a little lost in the production. So removing the effect that was placed on the vocals to give them a certain sound and just letting them play out normally would make the hook even better. The verses are salient. Emmitt contributes a disciplined flow, forthright wordplay, and weighty rhymes. He discloses the stories of two women who have had the deck stacked against them in life. A couple of lines worth citing include: “Baby daddy left. So she don’t know how to trust a man. So you know it’s gone be hard for her to love again. Don’t be surprised if she say she ain’t interested. Cause she tired of being hurt period. Living and loving life just like her mother did.” A sad situation that is all too frequent these days being depicted in those bars. All in all, this was a riveting offering.

“The Desire”

This song is produced by I.X. Matthew. The production here is complimentary. It has an old school soul music flair to it that provides an intriguing backdrop for Emmitt’s rhymes. This can be attributed to the sample used, which is from a song called “You Shouldn’t Have Set My Soul On Fire” by 60’s R&B singer Inez Foxx. There is no hook used. The chorus from the sample just plays in between verses. The verses are hot. Emmitt exhibits a dauntless flow and piercing rhymes. He stands firm on his faith in his gift and takes full ownership of his future success. A few substantial lines are: “They couldn’t box me out. So now they trying to box me in. Cause I spit truth like they don’t know what honest is. Guess I’m redundant cause Isaiah made the beat again. And why they hate like we ain’t from the same city? Like I ain’t got skill and they really messing with me.” One has to respect the tenacity displayed in those words. In the end, this record has hit written all over it. Perfect way to start winding down the EP.

My Two Cents: There is no sophomore jinx here. Until I’m A Dead Poet is another soaring victory for Emmitt and his camp. The beats are unprecedented. Pair that with Emmitt’s exclusive pen game and the result is a dexterous venture. True supporters of real Hip-Hop will love Until I’m A Dead Poet for sure. Readers are always encouraged to check out the music for themselves though. Be sure to keep up with Emmitt via Tumblr or Twitter. -MinM