The Purple Tape. One of thee defining releases of modern Hip Hop. No MC, beatsmith or fan worth his or her weight does not have one in there collection and some still argue its superiority even to The 36 Chambers. From start to finish the murky understated atmosphere of OBFCL is something that in my view, has yet to be equalled. So it was with a heavy heart that I plugged my Ipod into my amp and hit the play button. Memories of all of Rae's lacklustre past efforts started their invasion. The eternal comparisons being made to what will forever hold him in Hip Hop greatness. The pessimism at the fact that having directly associated his latest release and his crowning achievement, this was to be an embarrasment of major proportions. And as a result, that this, coupled with the 8 diagrams debacle, may scar The Clan beyond repair. Then I pressed play... On came House Of Flying Daggers and trepidation was replaced with a hope that what I had heard so far wasn't a false dawn. That Rae had started as he meant to go on. That the sound of clashing blades and sparse dialogue was a statement of intent. Lest we forget, ever since Deck uttered the immortal "I smoke on the mic like smokin Joe Frazier..." Hip Hops rules of engagement have been a lot less rigid. There's a reason that we hold The Wu in a higher regard than other luminaries and it's this aura that adds even more stardust to an already supremely illuminated opus. And herein lies the problem. Any dips below such a high standard are always going to be deemed far worse than they actually are, just ask A Tribe Called Quest. There are many that would have buckled under the strain. The constant question marks over his/her ability to reach the heights of old. The Doubts about his/her hunger. The slurs against most of his/her crew. We could all probably give our fair share of examples that incorporate any or all of those situations. An indepth review & the debate over which one is preferred, is a mantle to be carried by others. Regardless of the outcome, OBFCL2 has answered those questions in emphatic fashion. Intro to Black Mozart; "Stupid fool you're forcing me to kill you!". Metaphorically anyway.
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