Sketch – Virginia Tec-9 (2011)

Artist: Sketch

Album: Virginia Tec-9

Source: So Much Promo Hard To Tell

1. Lil Bad Mfer
2. IDK
3. Tommy Gunz (Ft. K-Beta)
4. Believer (ft. Midian)
5. Chain Smoking
6. St. Ides (Skit)
7. D.R.E.A.M.
8. VT-9 (ft. DJ IDEE)
9. Nuclear Alcoholic Beverage (Skit)
10. Nuclear (ft. Bloodsport)
11. Nightmarez (ft. Nipsey Hustle)
12. Porno
13. The Connect (ft. K-Beta, Uptown XO, Nickelus F)
14. Call It A Gift (ft. K-Beta)
15. Pain Killer
16. My Life, My Love, My Blood (ft. Akshun)
17. Chain Smoking Remix (ft. Roc Marciano, Reef The Lost Cause)


Here is another album where I thought that the release date would never come. The lead single and title track dropped all the way back in May, but just last week we got ourselves the full length.  The album is seventeen tracks in length with a couple of skits thrown in .  In those fifteen actual songs there is a lot of dope rhymes and beats provided by Sketch and J-$crilla respectively.

I first got put on to Sketch when K-Beta was spreading the word about Sketch’s single, Virginia Tec-9.  I thought if Beta was trying to get him some exposure, that was a good enough co-sign for me.  From there, let me just say I was completely blown away with that single.  Virginia Tec-9  was being played in my house and car like it was an anthem.  That beat provided by $crilla is one of the top five produced tracks this year, bar none.  Sketch was also no slouch on mic.  His bars were fiery and aggressive.  This song is still one of the main staples of my 2011 rotation.  This song also perfectly exemplifies what one could expect from the rest of the album.   It’s not an illusion.  These guys deliver raw hip hop throughout.

The perfect intro to an album is one that not only introduces the music,  but also the artist himself.  Lil Bad Mfer gives a musical synopsis of where Sketch has come from, detailing his come up as a child through to adulthood.  J-$crilla leads with a little brass ensemble.  That instrumentation goes on for almost a minute before he drops the drums, but when he does, he leaves nothing to chance as the song bangs out. Roughly two-thirds  of the way through he flips the beat to an old school, stripped down style of production over which Sketch continues to flip his autobiography. He wasn’t interested in sports idols, he was interested in hip hop music and those who were making it. Throughout the song he lists those artists who most influenced him during this period.

Idk is on that ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ flavor as J-$crilla hits you with some heavy organ.  This song has that maniacal type vibe to it.  It is on this cut that Sketch really starts showing his tenacity with words.  He delivers his bars at a steady pace making the flow seem seamless.  In my opinion, his second verse on this cut is his best of the album. This is just a snippet as he kills every bar:

…Mind spinning like a motor move /  When I throw the groove / Am I true? / Bout to chip like a golden tooth / You pop like a shoulder do / I spit like a soldier do / Spit like shoulder holster or a king cobra do / Fast as a  Lotus if you noticing the focus true…

Tommy Gunz has Sketch teaming up with one of HHD’s favorites, K-Beta.   This track really made me think how good it would be if these two did an EP together.  They have like-minded mentalities and both deliver their bars with intense fervor, not taking any shorts.  J-$crilla gives me the Halloween (the movie) feel because of the piano loop in the background.  He also does a great job of finding and utilizing different sounds for effect on the beat.  It’s the attention to detail that makes a track go from merely good to outstanding.

Virginia Tec-9 is a fast paced and wild ride.  J-$crilla makes beats as though he were a mad chemist, meshing different sounds and instrumentation together.   His sound can best be described as evil genius meets boom bap.  But regardless he makes this album move and gives it plenty of momentum from track to track.  Sketch takes every advantage of having a superlative beatsmith by showcasing  his own skill sets.  He never gets lost in the production and carves out a niche for himself as an emcee with great wordplay and incredible flow.  The combination of the two talents make  Virginia Tec-9   a must hear release for 2011.

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