Random Axe (Black Milk, Guilty Simpson & Sean Price) - Random Axe

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4.20

41 people have voted.

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25 people gave it a perfect five.

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Fortunately, Random Axe succeeds because it does exactly what it sets out to do, without any unnecessary complications.

The assembly of Random Axe—the supergroup trio of Detroiters Black Milk and Guilty Simpson, and NYC's Sean Price—was announced in 2008, but a lot has happened between then and now. Sean Price's thug-ready music hasn't changed much, but Guilty Simpson waded in semi-experimental waters by dropping the OJ Simpson album with the envelope-pushing Madlib. Black Milk has produced nearly half a dozen projects since that time, retooling his soul-sampling sound into an amalgam of electronic influences and live instrumentation. Fortunately, Random Axe succeeds because it does exactly what it sets out to do, without any unnecessary complications.

The album gives listeners exactly what they sign up for. Guilty Simpson and Sean Price spew hard-nosed rhymes with a twist of dark humor, while Black Milk eschews his usual soulful, electronic-influenced soundbeds for a collection of tailor-made gritty, percussive bangers. Aside from the powerful conceptual narrative “Somebody, Nobody, Everybody,” the trio keeps it simple by having fun with what they're good at, and it works. Choruses here are usually mere placeholders for Sean and Guilty to tag each other into the ring, while song titles are quotes from memorable verses instead of song summaries. Group chemistry is shown on brawny offerings like “The Hex” and “Black Ops,” where threats like “crossbow, cross flow, hit em in the heart” and "I shank ya, sharpened toothbrush in the gut of a wanksta” are paired with “I'm blowing smoke signals at an Indian broad/I told her, 'I'm unemployed, please give me a job.'” Each member gets solo shine as well: Black Milk lends several instrumentals and beat change-ups sans rapping with “Zoo Drugs” and “Outro Smoutro,” Sean P lends solo bars to “The Karate Kid,” and Guilty goes for self on “Never Back Down” and “4 In The Box.” Black avoids monotony by throwing in beat changes and one-verse songs, making the album a lean 41 minutes long.

Random Axe also succeeds with a great selection of cameos. The guests—all from Detroit or NYC—seem to have been deliberately chosen, and they seem to have just as much fun as Black, Guilty and Sean. Danny Brown quips “used to rock Rockports, swishers and a Carhardt/I would never fuck your bitch, she looks like an aardvark” on “Japhy Joe,” while Roc Marciano sharpens the already-jagged “Chewbacca.” “Shirley C” sees Motor City vet Fatt Father contributing one of the disc's most memorable verses with lines like, “Open your pockets, my kid want a some pop and chips.” The most memorable collaboration on the disc comes in “Another One,” while a great verse by Detroit ruffian Trick Trick is upstaged by Rock, who harkens memories of Heltah Skeltah with a triumphant closing verse.

Complaints about limited subject matter can be addressed by Sean Price, who flatly states in “Random Call,” “you can call me one-dimensional, but ain't too much talkin' when the slug gets into you.” Random Axe keeps it simple, and as a result, is simply fantastic. Despite its free-wheeling feel, efficient sequencing and a lack of filler show that it's not as random as its title implies.

Purchase Random Axe by Random Axe

91 Comments

  • Luke Davis

    This one gets a 4. Overall, decent beats and decent rhymes. It's rough around the edges but that was the intention and I enjoyed it.

  • across your face 408

    I would rate this a 3.5 (gave it 4 because I got mad love and respect for all of these rappers). I had been looking forward to this for a long time. I have been bumping Sean P for years and he is one of my all time favorites. Unfortunately (Sorry P!) but this is not nearly what I expected. Definitely can't touch "Jesus Price Superstar" or "Monkey Bars". There are some stand out tracks (Everybody Nobody Somebody, Random Call, and Chewbacca being my favorites. Chewbacca only because Roc Marciano's verse may be the best on the whole CD) , but the beats just seem weak like they didn't put much time or heart into this release. They should have had more guest production on the beats and this could have been a classic... a couple beats by primo, statik selektah and alchemist? Maybe next time...

  • Tom

    This kinda gives a Wu-Tang kinda feel. Pretty good shit ... they just go back and forth the whole album.

  • Darius Huggins

    Being a fan of all the artist on this joint, I was pleasantly surprised by the final product. After listening to it a couple of times, I concluded that this is a very good album with solid production and tight wordplay. I give it a 4 overall because of it.

  • MidiFingerz

    We need more music like this, That RAW! Beats & Rhymes in its purest form. Hip-Hop

  • Andrew Anderson

    Decent Album....... Anticipated a little more.

  • Jake Bourey

    I thought it could have been better, but it still was really solid http://hiphopfightsback.tumblr.com/

  • Keace

    This album was slap together real fast with no real energy.

  • Joyce

    Not feeling it at all. Love Black Milk, but this album is distinctly average. You can label me whatever you want, but this is far from a classic. Not even close to album of the year in what's been a pretty poor year so far. 3/5 and that's generous. Random Call is the only stand out track.

  • Lars Hoffmann

    Classic Album along with Illmatic and Infamous Beats and Rhymes bomb front to back

    • Mu

      New Rule: The word "Classic" needs to stop being used so loosely in hip-hop. Compared to the bullshit that comes out today, shit may SEEM like classics, but c'mon homie... Illmatic, Infamous, REALLY!?!

  • Mannn

    One cant hate on this

  • Gill

    Album of the year so far

  • curbstompa

    somethin for the RRReal heads. your average listener will be like "yeah it's cool" but a true hip hop head will be like "YO I NEED THIS ALBUM!!" i won't lie, i bought this cuz i'm a Sean P fan and wanted some new Ruck to bump... but from track 1 to track 15 i don't skip over shit. my favorite track is "Everybody Nobody Somebody" 5*s

  • fact not fiction

    this album bangs top to bottom. fuck all you haters. skinny jeans is for fags and this cd isn't. and by the way guilty is better than all ya favorite emcees.

  • Anonymous

    no...no not what I was expecting no no........

  • Anonymous

    overall...........meh

  • scooby doo

    Yo, yo know what is sad? If Saigon's album had come out when it was originally suppposed to, it woulda been HUGE and woulda had a wayyy bigger impact. Like, nobody has heard about Saigon in a while, it was a weird time to drop it. But the reason im talkin about this is because, THE FUCKIN PRODUCTION on that album is probably the best of 2011. And ya wonder why; Just FUCKIN Blaze produced the whole cotdamn thing! The beats on that album are fuckin INSANE, I almost feel like they're too good for Saigon. If you haven't heard that album yet, listen to it, production is PHENOMENAL. By the way, haven't heard this album yet. And Reks album was a little dissapointing. Grey Hairs had Iller beats, minus the Statik Selektah filler.

  • Stuey

    The album has a slow burn, and needs a couple listens to fully be appreciated

  • yayo

    Cool album. Too bad Guilty Simpson sucks at rapping. Sean covers for him though...

    • cinavenom

      Guilty didn't really do that much for me when I first started listening to him (OJ Simpson album) but has really grown on me and I think that he is dope as hell. He shined on this album.

    • Keeshawn

      "Twist the top off the Henney. And emcees bucket kicks like lil' Kenny. Any motherfucker disrespecting me... semi." "Spit out phlegm, spit out gems, spit fire. Militant mind state, watch out for trip wire." "Carnivorous slang. I feast on flesh of orangutans. BANANA CLIPS BEAT ON CHESTS." WHAAAAAAT???!!??!?! Are you guys listening to Guilty?! He spits flames the ENTIRE album. At times, he outshines P on this. They constantly go back & forth on the entire album. They are almost competing to see who's better. You guys need to sit down and listen to this album to truly appreciate it, not just spin it once, and draw conclusions.

    • ShystyOne

      Guilty is dope, he's got a nice delivery and flow. Not sure what yall don't see

    • titooo

      ok, ok. good to see that at least 2 other person also think that Guilty Simpson should drop the mic

    • Anonymous

      Okay it's good to know Iam not the only person that thinks gs needs to step his game up.

  • Anonymous

    Shirely C is the shit

  • Anonymous

    just happy to see so many people post. Thought is was gonna go way over peoples heads and under their radar. 5 just cuz they real and lyrical, these arn't the corny guys.

  • JuneOne Matthews

    This Shit Rite Here Is That Raw Shit, Made For Real Mutha#$@$%&@'s, Not You Skinny Jeans, Waka, Soulja, Travis Porter, Gucci Mane Loving Faggots.

  • mo

    Guilty Simpson and Sean Price are two smart ass niggas making dumb raps. If you don't get it, you're probably a bird. Black Milk beats is bangin, the soul, the funk, the slap. Guilty bodies every verse. Most of his critics have never in their life, said anything remotely witty. This album is for the niggas that CAN'T listen to the radio.

  • Detroit Mind

    Woooooooooooooooooooow

  • Purple Killa Bee

    It's a really really good album. Underrated album. I did not expected so much. Black milk has made a good job. Lyrics are nickel. It's a very good album. After if you like Gucci Mane etc you won't like. But this is a style question.

  • R U SERIOUS?

    This album is lame...Random trash. Sounds like these dudes just emailed their verses to each other. Sounds slapped together...Like a bad H.A.M. sandwich. Black Milks beats are...well....milky. Sean Price isn't as Godly as he thinks and Guilty Simpson has them "Tony Yayo" skills. I think it's funny how many times they refer to slaughterhouse without actually saying their name. This is NOT a SuperGroup!!!

    • Anonymous

      think first

    • Anonymous

      ^^^^^agree, rock would kill some of these beats.

    • B

      This album would have been better if it was a Heltah Skeltah album. Guilty Simpson slows down the flow and lessens the intensity. Ruck and Rock would have bodied every beat on the album!!!!

    • think first

      ayo Paris Hilton thanks 4 visiting a hip hop site...your comment LOL I guess you be better at givin head. there is so much bubblegum that represents itself as hip hop that idiots like this think they know what is hip hop lol

  • Anonymous

    sean price raped that twink

  • Anonymous

    im a bootleg this shit because im black

  • Kz

    I just dont get this site how can albums like bad meets evil, kool g rap, edo g or j.rawls get a way higher average rating then this album...

    • Anonymous

      He's talking about what people rated them as. the BME album was amazing. Kool G Rap has a bunch of diehard fans that'll give anything he releases a 5. And J Rawls IDK. I haven't heard this yet but I'm gonna give it a listen.

    • Anonymous

      ???? bme got 4, g rap, j rawls got 3.5. tf u talkin bout?

  • McNUlty

    All the beats sound the same, and the rapping is pretty good but nothing special. Decent noise for the iPod, NOTHING MORE

  • MCEIHTCMW

    ok album . have to listen to it more

  • Peter Woodaman

    yo this LP is insane. I downloaded this joint expecting to pull a few tracks out of it for a new cd for the car, and ended up keeping every joint on here. Shit is straight classic.

  • Anonymous

    Detroit Hip Hop is poppin' right now as EM/ROYCE also dropped their sick albums..

  • Anonymous

    This album was FIRE!!! Production from Black Milk was ill and Sean Price and Guilty Simpson killed them verses!!!

  • therealjay

    this album is a muthafuckin classic !!!!!! hands down. hard beats and hard rhymes. my nigga guilty simpson murdered that shit.

  • Anonymous

    The worst beats Black Milk has produced so far, expected more, especially after all these years.

  • FLX

    Disappointing. That shit aint raw, just lazy. Doesnt fell like anybody brought their A-game.

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    Fucking great album, some lyricall beasts on there. The Raw is back go support this

  • tnick33

    axe must be comming down

  • b

    4 stars LMMFAO FUCK OUTTA HERE this shits 3 stars at very very very best production is dope mcs are mediocre, no stand out verses from any of them on any track, no ill metaphors, no ill wordplays, no ill rhyme schemes same bland structure on every track MC 1 spits MC 2 spits MC 3 spits no switch ups, no back n forths, jus basic as fuck the features brought nothing to the album at all except for Danny Brown who got it in I love Black Milks work his solo albums have all been fire so I expected this to be a banger but it didnt even come close only groupies will say it does but wont be able to make a solid argument why, they'll jus come in here callin niggas "HATERS" who arent dick ridin this joint ELZHIs holdin shit down for the D solo this year so far

  • west coast

    This is pure dopeness. Skinny jeans may not understand.

  • 718rob

    This is what Duck Down was supposed to do. I was so angry at them for putting out albums from those Kidz In The Hall faggots. This is Boot Camp Clik music. I love this album, and I bought a copy already. Between this and Bad Meets Evil, it's a huge week for Detroit Rap City.

  • Benny Dub

    Finally!! I been waiting for this shit to drop. Beats and bars - straight banger front to back. Run and hide, bitch-ass pop wanksta rappers. Duck Down!!

    • Shane & Dave's Moms

      Rick Ross and Lil' Wayne are awesome. Satisfied? Keep eating that dick...

    • Benny Dub

      Wow. Do y'll mammas know you are talkin greazy over her internet connection? Lil' punks catchin' feelings? Must be waka flocka flamer fans. Oooh, wait. Tell me how awesome Rick Ross and Lil' Wayne are...please. I haven't heard that yet. "Punks, u wasn't never shit, ur mother should have swallowed u..."

    • Dave

      ^^ What he said, but I'll add: Eat a dick Benny Dub, you weak cunt.

    • Shane

      Black Milk is a bitch-ass pop wanksta rapper. Eat a dick Benny Dub.

  • Nick

    Glad to see it got at least 4 stars.

  • Andre

    There have been some very good albums in 2011 (Bad Meets Evil, Talib, Kool G, Raekwon, Tyler, Saigon, Pharoahe, etc). But this album is the album of 2011 so far imo. Black does his thing on the beats and all three repeatedly body those beats on every track. 5/5

    • Anonymous

      I was beginning to think all underground fans instantly assumed the BME album was wack and didn't listen to it... thanks for putting that in. Oh and thanks for mentioning the Pharoahe Monch album too, that was a great album that I haven't heard ppl talk about for best of 2011.

    • Anonymous

      Word, that Reks album was absolutely amazing, Grey Hairs was also really dope.

    • Andre

      Shit no clue why I forgot bout Reks. Dude is a beast lyrically. Reks and Random Axe are my top 2 this year so far.

    • Nick

      Feel the same way alot of good albums but i still have r.e.ks at number one.

  • yeahhhhh

    Crazyyyyyyyyyyyyy