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Tha G.I.M. – “Supreme”
Released: 2011
Reviewed by: Neil Christian
Rating: 6.3 (Out of 10)
[xrr rating=6.3/10]

What is the most important aspect of an outstanding LP? Is it the beats or the rhymes? Actually often, it’s neither of those. Or more precisely it’s the cohesion of both the beats and the rhymes that creates an impressive album. If the message is serious and thoughtful but the beat is mainstream and party sounding, then it often throws the listener off and in the process, creates a bad song. It can also work in reverse, with a somber beat that’s filled with fun lyrics that don’t mesh on the song.

There have been very few albums of late that have been able to achieve that perfect balance where beats meet lyrics perfectly. For example, the roots recent classic, undun, created a perfect blend of soulful, introspective, genre defying hip-hop, while on the other end of the spectrum, Kanye produced another classic with huge lavish beats that matched his equally lavish lyrics. Unfortunately this project fails badly in the cohesive category, which makes for a confused and ultimately unsatisfying listening experience.

Production comes courtesy of who’s who in CHH. From Tony Stone to JR to Wit, the production on this LP remains high energy and is quite mainstream-sounding. This will of course appeal to the majority of CHH fans and in particular Tha GIM’s fans, as he sticks to his mainstream sound. However I can’t help but wish for a bit of creative license and risk taking from Tha GIM. Seeing as he’s quite a capable emcee and very confident on the mic, the production can feel a bit of a letdown for his voice box, because after about 5 songs in, the LP gets boring. It’s the same sound on every track. If he could have recruited Xperiment of Humble Beast or Dert, it would have brought something different to the table and really lifted the album.

And for some reason, I couldn’t tell the producers on the tracks without looking at the track listing. It seemed that the producers have lost their signature and the tracks could’ve been made by any other producer on the record. It’s a bit of a shame considering that just a few years back, JR, T. Stone and Wit’s production could be picked just from the sound, drums and the samples. Also considering the album’s theme and inclination, more subtle production would have been a better choice.

Tha GIM has always been a solid rapper from his Art of War days but it seems likes on this project, he dug down and studied the topic that the album is based upon, principally the SUPREMEacy of God. The great thing also is not just that lyrically he keeps the rhymes and punch lines coming but also that the whole project is quite cohesive thematically and sticks to the name of the album. Albums that do this are quite rare, so it is definitely a feat in itself. From reminding us who The Slave and The Master is in our life to walking with us as we persevere in our various trials, Tha GIM walks with us along this journey, pointing the way to Christ all the time and continually reminding us that HE is in control.

However this album stood out because of the rapper himself. Just like Denzel carries every film he’s in, elevating very average movies into phenomenal pieces of art, Tha GIM accomplishes that on this LP. Despite average to bad mainstream production, Tha GIM carried this LP with his commanding voice and an equal command of rhymes to impart some life lessons that every Christian needs to learn, that God is Supreme over all!

Comprehensive Ratings:

1. Music – 6
2. Flow – 7
3. Creativity / Originality – 4
4. Relevancy – 6
5. Content & Character – 7
6. Credibility & Confidence – 8
7. Personality – 7
8. Presentation Quality –7
9. Overall Production Quality – 7
10. Potential Impact – 4

President/CEO of The Corelink Solution and Holy Culture

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