Median - The Sender

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4.29

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The Sender provides rap for the Hip Hop purist who appreciates an emphasis on technical skill, not what's trendy or sacrifices quality for mainstream appeal.

Southern Hip Hop generally conjures up ideas of a certain type of sound these days: trunk rattling bass, deep-South accents telling stories of trap life, candy paint, and strip club anthems. Sure, all of those elements are rampant on the airwaves, but lurking in the state lines of the Carolinas to Texas (and everywhere in the middle) is a promising pack of independent emcees that go against the norms and stereotypes of their region of the United States. One of these is Justus League member Median, and his sophomore release The Sender.

Soulful, mellow production backs up a bevy of skilled flows from Median and his lyrical partners in rhyme, with notable features such as Phonte and Bahamadia. The North Carolina emcee boasts polished rhyme schemes and an ear for beat selection, as evidenced by a strong presence from 9th Wonder and Khrysis. The Sender provides rap for the Hip Hop purist who appreciates an emphasis on technical skill, not what’s trendy or sacrifices quality for mainstream appeal.

9th Wonder reigns supreme on the production front with the smoothed out “Fresh Breath,” with jazzy horns accentuating the posse cut lines from Median, Sundown, and Raleigh’s King Mez. Median also expresses his personality over 9th Wonder production on “Open My Thoughts,” rhyming “let me explain, I did it with flow back in the day, would’ve said ‘no homo’ but I’m a grown man, would’ve fed more totos but I’m a known dad.” In fact, many of the album’s offerings showcase Median’s maturity, and as a result make The Sender an album that older generations of Hip Hop fans will enjoy.

Though The Sender is undoubtedly a solid effort - with a nice lineup of both emcees and producers and a decent showing from all - a lack of standout material (there are no obvious highs or lows) makes it rather anti-climactic and may not be enough to provide Median’s second album a very long shelf life. For diehard fans of Median’s style of laid-back yet lyrical raps, it will be worthy of a few spins.

38 Comments

  • Percyvillain

    I first heard of Median in Ken Starr's track STARR STATUS. The brother is talented no doubt!

  • Barry

    Best mistake I've made this year. Just happen to find him on suggestions from Spotify.

  • Bee Helf

    "older generations of Hip Hop fans will enjoy" +1

  • MrCstaxx

    This is a solid album n clearly demonstrates Median's lyrical ability.Yeah its kinda fucked that some of the songs r so short but overall its a comes out as a worthy effort.3.5/5 for me.

  • jl

    the sender is the iddish!!!!!!!

  • The Big Picture

    Median, thanks for coming up with this album. "Median's relief" is a CLASSIC, hard to top that. His style is unique and that's enough for me to rank him amongst the best to touch a mic. His delivery feels so effortless it's like he could rhyme for years so PLEASE do not wait another 4 years for the next bomb. Hip Hop Lives.

    • Anonymous

      LOL @ an album that had NO impact being a classic, it was nothing more than your average underground album. ALL albums from the Justus League sound exactly the same.

  • Anonymous

    check out medians guest verse on Jean Grae's Jeanius album.. that's where I first heard of this dude he KILLED that track.

  • tronomatic

    Great 2nd album from Median. I do miss some of the more concept oriented work that was present on "Median's Relief" but a departure from that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Right from the jump "Take a Chance" sets the mood of the album, pretty much lets me know that this time around we're focusing on lyrical dexterity rather then concept joints. Love the fact that this album has a laid back vibe which is perfect for those end of summer drives with the windows rolled down. I do have a small gripe with this album...as other have pointed out that even mix between songs is missing which can be a vibe killer if you have to jack the box up only to turn it back down when the next joint comes on. All in all this is a great album for those who still enjoy non-commercial hip hop music. This is that grown man music, leave all the other stuff to the kiddies. So far 9th, Phonte and Median are definitely holding it down for their J-League brethern.

  • charliedotrose

    Really enjoyed this album, well worth the purchase and wait.

  • Watkinz Da General

    C.L.A.S.S.I.C..

  • subz

    most people are correct, this review is rubbish. the album is solid, brillaint clean music, better than watch the throne, check your sounds,

  • 8th Wonder

    Accurate rating, clunky text.

  • CulturesClothing

    This review is terrible. The Album is a solid 4/5. And it DOES have stand-out tracks. The Stand Outs are: "Hi Five" "Bright Individual" "Kiss the Sky" I've been consistently disappointed by DX ratings recently...

  • Martin Smazil

    Great album. Perfect lyrics and awesome production. It's exactly what every hip hop album should sound like.

  • Anonymous

    Median is a nice guy, but it's more good will than talent. A real talented guy like Vakill, would crush this dudce with two lines before the eyes of the lord can blink twice. I'd rate this 2 stars, below average for avid hip hop fans.

  • Anonymous

    This review is weak. Fuck HHDX.

  • kingseanington

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC4MpJ62Eas real hip hop

  • FourTrackFiasco

    It's not a bad review, it's just the writer's take on the album doesn't justify the album's rating. When you take great production and couple it with great rhymes, you usually get a great album. What probably prevents Median from capturing a classic status with this project was not giving us those concept tracks we loved on Median's Relief like 'Brenda's Baby,' 'Personified,' and 'What Would you do?' But I think that was done purposely. I think this is the album he's sort of always wanted to do. This project was a totally uncaged work of art that taps into Median's ability to turn dreams into reality. You hear it over and over with his "Dream it, see it, and believe it" mantra. This project reminds me a lot of Connected in that the concepts aren't as impressive as the ability to turn an artist's visions into music we can appreciate and enjoy. I see this album becoming more appreciated as time goes by.

  • j. riot

    this is the worst review i have ever read..theres no mainstream material because he doesnt want to be a douche sell out maybe? or maybe he actually likes hip hop? cop the album its tasty

  • the.watcher

    lol that last sentence is so fucked up I don't even know how to fix it. They sold out, is what I wanted to get across.

  • the.watcher

    "The Sender provides rap for the Hip Hop purist who appreciates an emphasis on technical skill, not what's trendy or sacrifices quality for mainstream appeal." Thereby it gets a 3?! Wow HHDX, you're not even pretending to be sold out anymore.

    • Robert Galvin

      100% right! if anything, there should be more rap for the Hip Hop purist who appreciates an emphasis on technical skill, not what's trendy or sacrifices quality for mainstream appeal.

  • Hod_Guy

    This album deserves 3 1/2 for the rappers that came out in the middle of the last decade median is the 3rd best behind Phonter & Lupe Fiasco as far as pure skill and lyricism goes. When your 1st LP and EP are damn near classic it's hard to top, I remember hearing Median Relief back in 2007 thinking it was the best rap album that years, better than Kanye's graduation, better than Jay-Z'a American Gangster, and better than Ghostface's Big Doe Rehab. When I think back to that Epic disc and then listen to the sender I think why isn't this album mixed properly, why are there so many guest & lastly why are the songs so short? This is a recipe for diaster in this digital age. I hope THE JUSTUS LEAGUE GETS THEY'RE ACT TOGETHER WITH PHONTE'S & 9TH'S ALBUM SEPT 27TH. The disc was okay but from an emcee of this calibur I expect better, the man is one of the best active rappers and wasn't given a chance to showcase his skills properly.

  • Panther49

    Great album, Median is still one of the realest in the game. JAMLA!!!

  • calibeatbox420

    Dear Lord......Did Benzino buy a share of DX...its not "Relief" but still better then a lot of iddish out there...Keep doing your dance Median...DX.....come on MANG!

    • calibeatbox420

      I was referring to this shitty ass review..we saw these type of half ass reviews when Benzino took over The Source..(RIP)..poor attempt at humor...or your way too young...either way Median is dope...DONE

    • Hod_Guy

      median's album is better than Eminem's & Royce 5'9's album (not saying much btw), in my opinion it's better than Royce's vastly overrate album in my opinion as well. The whole shady camp sells but their music is so shytty!!!!!

    • huhwhat

      What the fuck stake would Benzino have in Median?

  • reggie

    I personally think 3 is a little low... 3.5, all day. Agree with anti-climactic comment, but I MUCH prefer this to recent releases from Slaine, Apathy, etc.