El Gant – Beast Academy (2014)
Artist: El Gant
Album: Beast Academy
2. Truth Hurts (feat. Torae)
3. Three Amigos (feat. Chris Webby & Ill Bill)
4. Bases Loaded (feat. Infinity Gauntlet)
5. JOAT Interlude
6. Energy (feat. J. Blanc)
7. Goldie Hawn (feat. El Da Sensei)
8. Five One Eight (feat. GGDT)
9. Mr. Miyagi
10. Three Amigos (Remix)
I first heard about El Gant when I saw him in the super group, Infinity Gauntlet. I hears his verse on the track Anti-Angelz and wrote his name down on a piece of paper so as not to forget. I then caught him in the group KAMALA and those songs were incredible. He released a mixtape, and now we have arrived at the time he drops his album, Beast Academy.
I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end as the ten tracks are very focused. The first track, Truth Hurts, which features Torae is an apologetic ode to how so many people in the game have fallen off and how the game in itself has just become so much more, shall we say…’delicate’. Torae and El Gant are not afraid to let people know how they feel and they throw a lot of venom on top of this Jack Of All Trades beat that features samples from some of the most prolific artists of the 1990s. El Gant hits the nail on the head with his second series of bars:
I’m not playing like a kid without a friend /In this business give a little but they take all in the end / Spend a minute watching everyone trying to pretend like a thespian /Music lost it’s balls, didn’t want them like a lesbian / What a mess we in, nobody wants clean up / Shitty individuals, nobody wants to team up / Working out, start with bars til I’m lean cut / Spit dope, throw your fucking Triple Beams up!
The remainder of the album takes it’s lead from the aforementioned track. Three Amigos and Bases Loaded both harbor more dope, neck-snapping production and a number of dope guest spots. Always keeping in the forefront the premise of what it means to be dope emcee…a focus on flow and and content.
On the track 518, El Gant pays homage to his stomping grounds in upstate New York. Jack Of All Trades sets the table with some thick drums and a flute (or other wind instrument) that almost becomes the commanding element. Joining El Gant on this opportunity to represent his area is GGDT. You may not have been familiar with the Albany area beforehand, but maybe, just maybe you will be able to locate the locale on hip hop’s map after this.
The gem of this album (and every album has one) is the remix work done for the track, Three Amigos. Jack Of All Trades give each emcee’s verse it own unique production and he does so seamlessly as if he was blending a mixtape. Each of the beats compliments the emcee perfectly. I really enjoyed the funk element he added to Ill Bill’s verse. It gives this song the touch of uniqueness it needed.
In the end there is nothing that I could I describe as a flaw in Beast Academy. The production from JOAT is top notch and diverse. There are no sleepy moments when listening to the album. Each song keeps the listener motivated to listen to the one after. The only thing I wanted after listening to this album was….more El Gant! There’s only one solo track from El Gant and I think he is more than capable of holding down more. This album was almost a teaser to me in some capacities. You can hear El Gant drop all these great bars but you never get your fill. It’s not like the guest shots are weak by any measure but it’s still not him. However, this album is a great listen and you can listen to it over and over without forwarding through any part of it. I just hope to hear more from the man in the very near future (I am a selfish bastard).