Artist: Stu Dent
Album: Altered State
Label: Deepspace 5 Recordings
Rating: 7 / 10
Reviewer: P The Uptownkid
“You have now entered the world of illusion, reality and knowledge :all on the same trip. You’re only choice is to choose between the red pill or the blue one… good choice. You’ve now entered the realm of the Matrix.”
Neo isn’t the only “one” in this realm, it’s his nemesis known as Stu Dent.
With quote/samples throughout out the album from “The Matrix”, nice production and lyrical skills, new comer Stu Dent brings us his new album titled, “Altered State”.
Released on Deepspace5 Recordings, Stu Dent travels through the mind of a hip-hop head whose residency is the Matrix. A world where his rules, thoughts and actions are engaged with no hesitancy or backlash. The first joint, ‘Missing Time’ asks you to “Visualize, where you’re at in your mind. Visual lies, remove from ya 3rd eye vision”. The track is an eerie, but yet intellectual voyage into the realm of the 3rd eye (The Mind) as it unlocks the meaning of beats, rhymes, life, the knowledge of self as well as the creation and the creator.
Most of the rhyme content of “Altered State” is intelligent lyricism, put down over eclectic, head-noddin’ tracks like, ‘We Don’t Want That’ and ‘Dead Decay Shun’ feat. Dezignator. The concept and ideology of Stu Dent and this album is similar in delivery to that in the nature of Self Scientific, Encore and/or Divine Styler where the acknowledgment of living righteously, the praise of God / Allah, and the quest to make it in the world without compromising oneself and the art of Hip-Hop.
Now that the concept is understood, the lyrical flow and production style can be viewed as a good effort, to say the least. As the album proceeds, it reminds me of the new-age, legendary underground Company Flow, Mr. Len, Def Jux-style material and comparable to the likes of Funcrusher Plus, although with a little more of a pulse. Guest producer Cyclone of Hard Knox Productions blesses the track, ‘Physical Mental’.
“The Coliseum” features guest rapper Macho as he joins Stu Dent over an Art of Noise-style track, with a high-hat dropping throughout… an innovative track. ‘Alone’ is a story about a brotha who realizes the system, acknowledges it and decides to buck it on his own terms, lyrically assisted by Sage and his 10-cents worth on the topic. ‘Simply Put’ is a hype cut that actually sounds like an early RZA track, as Stu, Drastic and Capture One rap about paying dues, creating flows and laying down track without the aid of a remix.
The last couple of cuts on the album stand out, in particular ‘Times Process’ which puts everything in perspective over a mellow-happy vibed track as Stu faces the fact that there’s, ‘No Second Chances’ and that ‘We need to get things straight’. This one definitely had boppin’ my head.
All and all, the effort put into this album was not in vain and the messages and ideas behind the various tracks, only add to the slow resurgence of positive and intelligent lyricism that this culture is so much lacking. Rock on Stu Dent!