The Regiment – The Panic Button (2011)

Artist: The Regiment

Album: The Panic Button

Source: Kevin Nottingham

Tracklisting:

  1. The R [prod by Soulution]
  2. Detroit Hip Hop [prod by Newstalgia]
  3. Battle Cry [prod by Apollo Brown]
  4. Beauty of a Day [prod by Soulution]
  5. Guns and Butter [prod by Kev Brown]
  6. Let Her Go (feat. Vincent J. Kelley) [prod by Beat Butcha]
  7. Just Shine [prod by BEATNICK DEE]
  8. The Reason [prod by Apollo Brown]
  9. Everything (feat. Vincent J. Kelley) [prod by Soulution]
  10. Believe [prod by Newstalgia]
  11. Make Do [prod by Newstalgia]
  12. That’s Why (feat. Substantial) [prod by Soulution]
  13. Get Away (feat. Vincent J. Kelley) [prod by Soulgate]
  14. 100 (feat. Kev Brown, Finale) [prod by Soulution]
  15. Clarity [prod by Soulution]
  16. Battle Cry Remix (feat. Boog Brown) [prod by Apollo Brown]
  17. Old School Vibe Remix [prod by Apollo Brown]
Note:

First off, let it be said that these guys and their team did an excellent job of promoting this release. They were constantly putting out music (First Mondays) and the word was buzzing (at least on my end).  There have been a ton of good releases this year, and a handful of great ones.  The Panic Button just might be cracking that latter category as soon as you get a chance to listen to it.

The album’s first track, The R, is the group’s introduction for those who do not yet know.  The duo of Osi and IseQold introduce themselves and their philosophies to you over a Soulution banger:

You know the wisemen say, watch the company you keep / but in this company of two you find the forces of a fleet / The “R” is a regime you responsible for / the brother’s keeper if you will through the valley of the beast

The track continues  to describe the group’s mentality of including multiple persons in their movement.  They take pride in their ability to make great music on their own terms.  What you really here on this track is integrity for the music they make and how they go about making it.I have already detailed the track, Battle Cry, a couple of times already on this site but it bears mentioning again how dope this track is.  Apollo Brown is on the boards.  The man is arguably the hottest producer out right now after his group, The Left’s, release last year.  The way he alters this sample and these drums is ridiculous.   This track has both emcees amped, delivering quality rhymes in abundance.

Newstalgia does both of the beats on Believe and Make Do.  On Believe, he goes heavy on the drums and intermingles some very ambient sounds and vocals to give the track a certain mysterious feel to it.  The emcees drop some serious knowledge on this song, making reference to the bible in eluding to David and Psalms.  That is really just the tip of the iceberg though.   There is a lot of intelligence within these two emcees and they are not dumbing it down for anybody.   You are either going to get this, or you are not.

On Make Do, Newstalgia, may have cooked out the best beat off of the album.  These drums and bells /chimes in the background make this joint knock everso hard, but it’s the use of a subtle (Sade?) sample that makes the jaw drop of the listener.   The Regiment take no shorts on the vocals here either.  They go after this track, but they always have a ‘waxing poetic’ way with words.  There is complexity within their rhyme schemes that constantly hold your attention.

I prefer this album when it is uptempo and knocking rather than when it’s at the  slower and melodic points.  I like it when Osie and IseQold are more aggressive.  But with that said, I understand the need for variation.  These emcees are good enough to keep your attention on any production.  The way they parse words and their obvious intelligence forces the listener to be attentive at all times.  It’s hard enough to find one emcee to do this, and almost impossible to think that both members of a group have that ability. The Regiment does.

In the end, The Panic Button, is going to garner some conversation for Album Of The Year.  The production on a good portion of the tracks is stellar.  There are a few average joints on their as well, but when it is all said and done though, the intangibles of The Regiment are just too much to resist.  That ‘integrity’ I talked about earlier plays an important part.  There are no sub-par verses from either emcee.  They are only outstanding.  They combine message and talent to push this album to a higher standard that few are achieving right now.

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