3.Trouble [Ft. E Class Wright]
4.Make believe [Ft. Berry Boo, P General & Halie Ali]
5.Prison riot [Ft. Ruste Juxx & Kasim Allah]
6.Half baked [Ft. Haz Diggs]
7.The pain of life
8.Straight out da NYC [Ft. Shatike & Rim da Villain]
9.Mercy [Ft. E Class Wright]
10.Legends live forever [Ft. Daddie Notch]
11.Serious no Joke [Ft. Mic Handz]
12.Omnipotent [Ft. Tragedy Khadafi]
If I understand the story correctly, producer Endemic Emerald and emcee Skanks The Rap Martyr of Bankai Fam met each four years ago in NYC and there began a mutual respect for each other’s talents. This album, Rapsploitation, is culmination of that admiration and it is us, the fans that reap the benefit.
The first thing that I want to note is that fans of Bankai Fam are used to the rough and rugged street rhymes of the crew with the rawest of deliveries. But what you will notice about Skanks, in particular on this record, is what kind of multi-dimensional talent he is. He is an artist that seems to get stronger as the years go by showing diversity of content and delivery. While not an emcee predicated on delivering metaphors and similes, his approach to emceeing is interesting, witty, and intricate.
You Gone Learn is a collaborative track with emcees Shabaam Sahdeeq and Kasim Allah (chorus) and you become quickly aware that this going to be a banger that’s going to stick in your head for a while. Emerald crafts a production that utilizes a dark organ over some neck snapping drums. I envision an organ playing in a cellar (Ala Phantom Of The Opera) while the emcees grab mics from the darkest of corridors. Sahdeeq and Skanks are an excellent pairing for a collaboration and as per typical, let me share some of these bars from the Martyr:
The same niggas you let eat off your plate / Will wait, watch you go broke and then eat in your face / What a disgrace! / It’ll be many more, in the future I am very sure / They’ll judge me by my past cuz I don’t live here anymore / Unless I’m representing for my homies letting Henny pour / They’ll cry for me, get high for me, when I’m finally dead and gone / I know my real Gs listening can relate / When he passed away they played Allah’s music at his wake / From BK over to A-S-I-A we get busy so get nothing but respect our way / Bar fronting won’t get you far, so be careful who you pretend to be / Because eventually you’ll forget who you are / It’s like leading the blind / You think that seeing’s fine / But in order to see the light you must take heed to the rhyme!
The Pain of Life is a track that lives in sublme duality. Emerald elects to use a slowed down production light on BPMs but heavy on soul, funk, and impact. On first listen, it almost has a 70s funky feel. This allows Skanks to spit a rapid fire delivery that should put everyone on notice. The bars come at such a vicious pace, that this is a track you can rewind again and again to pick up on something new. Perfect flow.
Serious No Joke leads with a snippet from a Mike Tyson news conference which serves as the perfect intro into bars from Mic Handz and Skanks. Endemic Emerald uses strings as the guiding force for the track along with some superb cuts for the chorus. The track has a very cerebral component to it as Mic Handz and Skanks impart veteran street advice to anyone who is willing to listen forcing the listener to peep game!
The bottom line is that Rapsploitation asserts or perhaps even reasserts Endemic Emerald as one of the top producers in hip hop. His ear for instrumentation and production is uncanny. It also serves as a testament to the unheralded writing talents of Skanks. When you start thinking of elite emcees you are going to have to start mentioning this man. And when the two of these talents combine for this album, the result is a harding hitting project, void of senseless skits and ballads. It is also an album that has many features but is not feature reliant, and indeed showcases the natural talent of these artists.