February 21, 2014

Max Bell only trick or treats when Halloween falls on a weekend.

On The ‘Ol Soul EP Alpoko Don elevated pen and table raps to heights, and depths, seldom heard. It was a marked improvement from the comparatively lackluster mixtape Plugged In he’d released prior, which suffered from fairly generic and tepid production. Now that Alpoko Don has put the pen down and brought the beat back, it’s a relief that it sounds this good.

“Set the Record Straight” is the first single from Alpoko Don’s forthcoming album Straight From The Heart. Here Don links up with Scarface, one third of the Geto Boys and one of the only rappers to have ever received five mics in The Source twice.

Certified veteran producer Cory Mo (he’ worked with Devin the Dude and UGK) delivers a southern fried banger. The notes on the organ are straight from Sunday service, one where the blues are rightfully part of the worship. The bass line is built to realign your spine, and every pluck of the guitar is filled with funk. With a beat that knocks like this, ideally Mo will have more credits on Don’s album.

Now that he has a proper instrumental behind him, Don sounds less like Howlin Wolf or Son House and more like South Carolina’s less spastic Mystikal. His delivery is supremely confident, as if he’s delivering a ‘killers move in silence’ sermon. The gunplay is of the utmost import: he shoots southpaw with a gun that will make you moonwalk; and he’ll shoot you a new asshole with a gun that sounds like a pit bull before sending your body parts to Baghdad.

If Don is the young(er) gun with pistols bared, then Scarface plays the roll of the blunted, Cognac sipping OG watching silence. He’s laid back and in the pocket. For my money, he could rap the phonebook. Instead, he chooses to deliver sage wisdom with a level of ease and grace only afforded to those who know the tricks of the mind and street equally.

“Set the Record Straight” isn’t going to be the song of the year, but it’s not meant to be. This is smooth and melodic military-minded murder music made for Lacs with the diamond in the back.

Listen:

(Via Steady Bloggin’)

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