Planet Asia & Gensu Dean - Abrasions

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As a whole, "Abrasions" serves as a noteworthy collaborative effort for this dynamic underground emcee and producer duo.

With so many rappers idling towards upbeat, party-oriented tracks today, the more classic, sample-based Hip Hop albums have begun to fall by the wayside. Aware of this, rapper Planet Asia and producer Gensu Dean have put their heads together and concocted Abrasions. The 17-track collaborative effort can be seen as counter-effort to the more predominant and contemporary Hip Hop in 2013.

For Planet Asia, Abrasions is the veteran’s fifth collaborative LP with one producer or production team. A true journeyman, he has made a name for himself over a span of more than a decade, having worked with dozens of artists from DJ Muggs to Talib Kweli. As for Gensu Dean, Abrasions carries a bit more significance: it is his first collaborative album under Mello Music Group, as well as his second release as a roster mate. Though his professional career is still relatively young, Gensu Dean has done well for himself over a roughly 10-year stint producing, having worked with artists like Brand Nubian, Large Professor and David Banner. In early 2012, he released his first album via Mello Music Group, Lo-Fi Fingahz.

Abrasions resonates with a strong, authentic grit. The album begins with a combination of bumping bass and minimal, yet potent sampling from Gensu Dean. Planet Asia matches the tone of each track and meshes in nicely with his scattered rhyme schemes. On “Thoroughest” and “Cochise,” the combination creates a sound some might find similar to MF DOOM. But the sound switches as the album moves along. With Tristate alongside for a guest verse on “Dignity,” both artists hone in as Gensu Dean returns to a more digestible breakbeat sound, while Planet Asia boldly address his peers, declaring, “Shit that I be kickin’ is kind of different / Ya niggas is bleach brainwash undercover molly-sniffers / Fuck the politickin’ / My only mission is to bomb the system…” His distaste for the most vastly consumed brand of Hip Hop is a common theme throughout Abrasions, but the blunt lyricism here especially hits home for fans of the underground.
While both artists consistently provide solid efforts on each track, the cohesiveness of their bond is, at times, slightly less steady. On “Aura,” Gensu Dean steals the show with a captivating beat that dominates the verses. Likewise on “Do What I Want,” Planet Asia’s quotable lyrics and a soulful hook provided by the Larina & Washey Choir lack the impact they deserve, over a less exciting beat. Instances like these, however, are few and far between. The duo makes up for any stumbles along the way, with tracks like “Faces On The Dollar” and “Tough” that provide the street lyrics and bumping production both artists are known for. And a real treat comes at the end on “Thyself” which features David Banner and Tragedy Khadafi over what could be one of the album’s best beats.

As a whole, the pair succeeds in establishing a commendable creative chemistry. Planet Asia’s gritty lyrics and Gensu Dean’s raw production help establish Abrasions as a refreshing listen and a solid all-around effort for both artists that is true to form.


  • Astro_Travellin

    Dope album. the usual dopeness Planet Asia brings to the table.

  • Gank

    Album is nothing but rugged. Planet Asia is a west coast staple. Beats knock.

  • King Leonidas

    Not really feelin' this one. PA really holds it down, but i'm kinda disappointed with Gensu Dean's Beats. Okay i get it, the production is meant to be 90's throwback style, in order to celebrate the golden era, but at times it gets a bit repetitive and boring. Beats like "Bar Mitzvah", "Do what i want" and "Chuck Berry" get on my nerve the first time hearing. What a pity that 80's oldschool purist tracks like "Aura" and "Tough" can't shine, due to the fact that they don't sound finished. #4 and #8 sound like cheap plastic mixtape beats and #2, #5 and #14 overdo the loop thing. The only tracks i enjoyed where #6, #9, #10, #16 and #17. Too bad. I really enjoyed "Black Belt Theathre" (even though it was a bit too long) and "Lo-Fi Fingahz" last year. Because of PA and a few enjoyable tracks plus some tracks that had way more potential i would rate it 2.5 stars...

  • Brizz

    Man when this album shines its impeccable. The album really hit its stride with Faces on the dollar, God hour and coup de grace. A couple of more joints like that and this album would have been a killer. Really like it. Nice album. 4.

  • MidL_east

    Gets better with every listen, top notch project. Salute to Gensu Dean & Planet Asia for setting the standard for 2013

  • J Kwik

    Back to see if my user-rating counts: 4.5

  • MM

    I don't understand how their chemistry being "slightly less steady" is enough to take away 1.5 ratings. I haven't heard the album yet, but from what I've read in the review it sounds like a 4.5 at least

  • Dark Man X

    I loved the album. Thank You Planet Asia and Gensu Dean.

  • Michael

    Congrats to Gensu Dean & Planet Asia on a monster project!

  • def

    the 2nd track samples nautilus. for the millionth time. that should give you an indication on the originality of gensu dean. planet asia killed it though. i give it a 3/5 - mostly for planet asia..

    • Michael

      Nautilus is a producers keystone - every producer flips it to show what they can do. Dean is a certified Digga - good luck on the rest.

  • J Kwik

    Listened again and yeah, I love this record.

  • theReal_GensuDean

    Peace. I'm honored & humbled by the feedback. I truly appreciate you all...peace. GD #Abrasions #jediLIFE

  • J Kwik

    Hard ass record from Asia and Gensu Dean.

  • huh.

    Did this and Durag Dynasty really need to come out at the same damn time?

  • paul banks

    this album is a banger from the beginning to the end.