Artists: Soul Khan
Album: Soul Like Khan
- 6:30am (prod.byJ57)
- fe la soul (ft. Akie Bermiss) (prod. by J57)
- Knuckle Puck (ft. Koncept, 8thw1, Homeboy Sandman) (prod. J57)
- Place That Birthed Me (prod. by J57)
- For That (prod. by Elaquent)
- Invisible Hand (prod. by Meticulous)
- Shitted On (prod. by J57)
- Suck My Dick (ft. O.I.S.D.) (prod. by J57)
- Fahrenheit (ft. Akie Bermiss) (prod. by Marink)
- So I Says (prod. by Marink)
- Shot Glass Magnified (ft. Sene) (prod. by Elaquent)
- Minyan (prod. by J57)
- Soul Like Khan (prod by J57)
Blessed with all of the intangibles of being a great emcee, Soul Khan in turn blesses us with his first album, Soul Like Khan. Soul Khan has the voice, he has the lyrics, and he is a battle vet in the Grind Time ranks. But does all of that translate into the makings of a great album? The answer is a resounding yes.
Soul Like Khan incorporates the immense skill and translates that skill into great music. It is so easy to be labeled a “battle rapper” and be stuck in that context for the rest of your life. Soul Khan not only avoids the stigma of being a one-trick pony,…he puts some distance from it as well.
Soul Khan’s delivery is impeccable. You won’t find a better flow in the game. His voice is also very distinct. You will always know when Soul Khan touches the mic. On, fe la soul, you hear that maturity that separates the rapper in your local cipher to one who can rock the mic and put good music together. He drops lines that reflect his growth as an artist:
“They left the flood gates open, I don’t like the result./And I ain’t concerned with swagger, homie. I’m an adult.
Although, I have heard Knuckle Puck before it’s appearance on this album, I think it still bears mentioning as an ill example of how a posse cut should be put together. J57 orchestrates a doozy of a beat utilizing a vocal sample, some horns, and some drums that knock. The lineup on this track is also one of the more interesting from 2010. BBAS affiliate, Koncept, Homeboy Sandman, and 8thw1 all join Soul Khan on this cut. And while each emcee drops some great lines on here, I am really feeling the pairing of Homeboy Sandman and Soul Khan. They both have such distinct flows and voices that you simply want to hear more from the duo.
For That, is a track where Soul Khan talks about his relationship with hip hop. Elaquent produces a beautiful track filled with musical goodness. This is more of a groove and a feeling than just a track. This is one of those joints that I was thinking of when I said initially that Soul Khan proved that he could make a great hip hop song. One of the things that can put a song over the top is the ability to put together a great hook, and Soul Khan does it himself. He croons:
If it wasn’t for the records you gave me. Don’t know which way life would take me. The 1,2 1,2 that raised me, I am a playa til they crossfade me. I never thought I’d make a song for this. But here I go with a song for that. Here I go with a song for that. And til the day I did it all for that.
He speaks on how a lot of “true heads” aren’t willing to give new acts a listen and are simply stuck in the Golden Era of hip hop. He states:
If it’s new some of you won’t put your hands up to it. I love the old school but I ain’t handcuffed to it.
I could go song for song on this release. I could highlight the whole thing. But I will end it with these next few thoughts. Soul Like Khan gives you everything that Soul Khan brings to you via the battle circuit and much more. He gives you the clever and witty punchlines time and time again. His sense of humor is classic. He also shows you the ability to put together a hook and formulate concepts, showing you how pure talent can translate into a great album.