If Hip Hop were a stage, vocalists would be broken down into two troupes: rappers and emcees. The differences are not as subtle as you might suspect. Where the former relies heavily on gimmicks and marketing schemes, the latter is literally the Master: of Ceremonies and of the Craft, keenly aware of the disparity between art form and occupation.
Sean Price [click to read], through his flow, lyricism and demeanor, has proven time and again that he is an emcee’s emcee. And Donkey Sean, Jr. is back with the Kimbo Price mixtape to repeatedly remind you why.
Billed as the prelude to the forthcoming Mic Tyson LP, Kimbo Price is a 23-track exhibit of MegaSean’s fierce wordplay and clever plays on words. In this scribe’s humble opinion, the self-proclaimed “brokest rapper you know” is one of the wittiest and most engaging emcees on the planet.
Proof comes in tracks like “Goodnite!!!” [click to listen] featuring Petro and Royce Da 5’9” [click to read], where Jesus Price confers Price-isms like “Shit on your hood / Y’all niggas ain’t shit in the hood / Take a dump on your Champion and shit on your hood” over a classic Alchemist [click to read] instrumental. Jump to freestyles like “Get Ya Sket Mic” and “Street Shit” for portraits of P as the ever-adaptive emcee, as he attacks Cam’ron’s [click to read] “Wet Wipes” and Jadakiss’ [click to read] “Kiss my Ass,” respectively, with flows to match the instantly recognizable beats. More gems come in the form of “Car Thiefs,” “Hot,” “This is Us” and “Duck Down” [click to listen] which is something of a posse cut featuring new label mates Skyzoo [click to read] and Torae [click to read].
But Kimbo Price would not be a proper “Master P” offering without a healthy dose of humor. While punchy self-deprecating lyrics litter the tape, “Pork Chops & Apple Sauce” is P’s laugh-out-loud send-up of dirty south-style rap over Shawty Lo’s “Dey Know” instrumental. “Slum Shady,” Decepticon Sean’s take on Eminem’s seminal “My Name Is,” and “Boost,” where he spits his entire verse through a Boost Mobile two-way, also boast a high hilarity and replay rating.
Not much detracts from the tape’s end-to-end quality. It does have a few too many guest appearances and 23 tracks might be a bit lengthy for some casual listeners – but most cuts are quick, with Tyson and Kimbo sound bites sprinkled in-between to keep you on your toes.
Kimbo Price is easily a late addition in the mixtape-of-the-year conversation. It definitely accomplishes its objective: ramping up anticipation for the 2010 album release. Simply put, it’s Sean Price being Sean Price. And ignorance never sounded so blissful.