Substance810 is a 37 year old MC/producer from Port Huron, Michigan emerging in 2006 with his debut The Definition under his original moniker Tekneek. Since then, he’s gone on to build up an impressive catalog for himself whether it be the sequel The Definition Of… or the conceptual EP Chess Pieces from last year. He just dropped Makin’ Waves at the end of January & the Hobgoblin-produced The Hanging Gardens over the spring, but is continuing to stay busy by tapping in Onaje Jordan to produce his 8th full-length album from top to bottom.
The opener “Watercolores” with Lupus Dei is a pillowy boom bap opener comparing themselves to Jean-Michael Basquiat whereas the Killy Shoot-assisted title track works in some piano chords to bring a blank canvas for all to see. ethemadassassin tags along for the orchestral “Euro” saying they’re from a hip hop galaxy landing in a foreign planet just before “Savage Lands” starts out with an organ-infused beat & lyrics about making a fire from a calm flame, with “May It Be Swift” switches into a guitar & talking to a human sacrifice.
Meanwhile on “Fool Proof”, we get a hypnotic vocal sample as Substance810 says he don’t trust nobody leading into him & philmatic365 going into a smokier direction for “The Pulpit” talking about wanting to reach the highest of highs. Josiah the Gift comes into the fold on the hypnotically-produced “Power Barz” comparing themselves to the final boss of a video game, but then Chuck Chan slides through for the unsettling “Lake of Fire” telling their opposition that they ain’t saying shit unless their bars are heavy.
ethemadassassin returns on the piano-laced “Grim Predictions” going at those testing their pride whereas “Hometown Hero” lavishly declares himself as such. The song “That’s My Heart” with M.A.V. finds the pair going into chipmunk soul turf talking with a sinner’s peace while the penultimate track “Road 2 Glory” with Deuce Hennessy has some great background harmonies for them to search for the true them. “Memorabilia” then finishes things off with Substance810 & J. Arrr jumping on top of a jazz loop taking a thousand words to make a picture.
For this being the follow-up to The Hanging Gardens, it’s not bad. I dig what Onaje Jordan’s doing behind the boards & I appreciate the fact that Substance810 picks up where the previous album left off lyrically, but they kinda overloaded themselves on the feature end of things.