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World meet Jay Regal. Jay Regal is an emcee / producer from our great city of Milwaukee. He prides himself on making real quality original music from his soul that also appeals to music lovers. He has released two mixtapes to date: Terminal Illness and The Dark5ideThe Dark5ide being the project shown above. Jay Regal’s ultimate goal is to go down in Hip-Hop history as one of the greats. You know, to be one of those emcees that Hip-Hop heads get into passionate debates about.  How close is he to obtaining said goal? Let’s dive into The Dark5ide and find out.

“Edgar Allen Flow”

This track is an original produced by Mr. Regal himself. He did a pretty good job too. The production contains a low bass and a very chill vibe. There is no hook present but the track flows so smoothly that it’s not really needed. Jay’s lyrics here are dope. His delivery is clean and easy to follow. His rhymes are well put together and his wordplay is excellent. The references to certain things that only a true Milwaukee local could appreciate are a nice touch too. For example, the former Jewel Osco grocery store. Some stand out lines include: “I use my sixteens to touch those I can’t reach. And if you don’t know how to get it, let a n—a teach. I’m taking kill to the face, no Russian Roulette. I’m getting closer to the top as I’m taking these steps. Knock, Knock; gone and let me in game. Time for the world to acknowledge Regal pen game.” Those lines are sick, right? Overall, this track is a hot one and a great way to kick off the mixtape.

“Our World”

This track sees Regal stepping out of the norm and using a sample instrumental. The sample comes from 9th Wonder‘s “This Normal Sin.” For those who haven’t heard the track, it’s on point. It is more on the low key side like the previous track. Also, there is a nice Jazz type element going on too. Unlike the previous cut, there is a hook on this song. It only appears once though, towards the end of the piece. The hook is pretty simple, just a little repetition of the track’s title, but it works. The verse here is good. Once again, Regal has a crisp consistent flow. His lyrics are top notch and his wordplay is very clever. Noteworthy lines include: “The flow chilly like Hormel. Me and beats go together, butter and Orville Redenbacher. Get it popping when beats is dropping. Cd dropping, bet you hating n—as is copping. Negativity is what you speak. I give ’em the heat. But I’m not talking steel, it’s a metaphor for peace.” Deep and creative lyricism being showcased in those lines right there. In the end, this song is another hit. Jay Regal has a great way with words.

“The Shizzle Freestyle”

The production here is a sample as well. This one is “The Shizzle” by Snoop Dogg. It is a hot instrumental with: a heavy bass line, an up-tempo pace, and an intense hood vibe. Something a little different from the previous songs. There is no real hook here, just a short break with some minor vocals. There are only two verses but they are fire. Regal’s flow blends well with the beat and his lyrics are premium quality as usual. Also, there is a bit of a bold and confident tone to Regal’s flow and lyrics on this cut. Which works because he’s just that good. So that gives everything a little bit more flair. Peep it as he spits: “Man you n—as tripping like a vacation. Thinking that the top is yours, well it’s looking vacant. I’m looking at you like a Muslim at a plate of bacon. When one of you buffoons is telling me that you the greatest.” Those are just a few lines but the wordplay is witty and sharp. Overall, this song is another winner from the production to the content. Snoop Dogg would be proud.

“Stories”

This production features another sample. The sample is “Sincerely Yours” by Little Brother. This is another more laid back and chill type of cut. It was a good selection though, has a nice pleasant feel to it. Again there is just a break in the music instead of a hook. Also, Regal does some minor talking. But it works because it gives the listener a chance to absorb the story that is being told in the verses. The verses are solid and meaningful. Regal does a quality job of relaying the tale of a young man who gets caught up in the street life, trying to be like his older brother. This is an unfortunate situation that many people can relate to and as a result the song definitely has a certain personal appeal to it. In the end, this is a respectable record. The best emcees are the ones who can tell a good story and evoke some type of emotion from the listener. And Regal accomplishes that very thing with this single.

**My Two Cents: These are just four of my favorite tracks off of The Dark5ide. As a whole, the mixtape is a banger and delivers from start to finish. If the instrumentals chosen for the production don’t grab listeners, then Regal’s lyrics certainly will. His way with words is insane and gives him a strong chance of accomplishing his goal of becoming a legendary emcee. But don’t just take my word for it. Please check out The Dark5ide in it’s entirety at the above provided link. If readers enjoy the tape, they are in luck. The tape is a promo piece for Regal’s next upcoming album. The album is entitled Demagogue and is expected to drop March 2012. Be sure to hit Jay Regal up on Twitter and let him know what you think about The Dark5ide. -MinM