Album: The High Exalted
Label: Eastern Conference Records
Rating: 8 / 10
Another week, another young hungry MC. So why should we give this Copywrite guy the time of day? Well for a start he was discovered by the legendary Bobbito, as part of the MHz crew. He’s also down with EL-P’s Weathermen supergroup, and signed now to the High and Mighty’s Eastern Conference Records. Impressed yet? Well, he’s the one that released ‘Tower of Babble’ a couple of years back, in collaboration with the Smut Peddlers as well, and has been ripping up everything he touches for Eastern Conference, and Fondle ‘Em for that matter too, over the last 3 years or so.
And this is his official debut, following a MHz crew album last year, backed once again by the upper echelons of New York underground talent, both behind the boards and on the mic. Its important to establish now that “The High Exalted” is not a soul bearing, psychiatric session in the way “The Eminem Show” was, but a battle record pure and simple – in fact RJD2’s previously released masterpiece ‘June’ is the only introspective moment on the LP.
However, while for some MCs, 60 minutes of straight up fire might be a problem, when you have the skills of Copywrite, its a treat, as his amazing flow and lyrics are there for the world to hear. Punchlines fall left and right from the album’s first proper track, ‘Fuck Soundcheck,’ all the way to the Jakki da Mota Mouth collaborative cut ‘Theme Music,’ where Copy almost has the track stolen from under him, just as he has done over the years.
Rather than going through pulling out all the stand out tracks, its perhaps more useful to touch on those songs which do not really make the cut. Thankfully, there are only two of these, ‘Let Me In’ and ‘On My Dick,’ both featuring somewhat unnecessary dick bragging. Both tracks do have some nice lines, but don’t really fit on the album to be honest. ‘On My Dick’ also features a pretty average beat, but on an album full of quotables, strangely uninspired lyrics across both are just disappointing.
The only other let down on the album would have to be the sheer amount of previously released material, however good it is. Sure ‘Tower of Babble’ is still a classic and the slightly tweaked ‘Bada Bing’ still bangs, but it would’ve been nice to hear dope unreleased tracks, such as ‘Jeah’ or EL-P collaboration ‘Contact,’ instead.
Overall though, “disappointment” is a word I would never associate with “The High Exalted” as it more than does what it sets out to do – establish Copywrite as a rapper not to be fucked with. Some may be upset at the lack of lyrical depth across the album, but as I said earlier, this is a battle record, with ‘June’ as a taster of what’s to come from the man behind the ‘Copywrite’ moniker. With production of such a high standard, from RJD2 especially, (look out for his “Dead Ringer” forthcoming album – its insane) and rhyming of the very highest quality from all involved, it is almost impossible to pick out particular tracks, but ‘Fire It Up,’ ‘3 Words’ and ‘Nobody’ are simply amazing. If you have any interest in underground hip-hop, I’d keep a very close eye on the MHz crew over the next couple of years, I have a feeling there’s much more to come…