Durag Dynasty - 360 Waves

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Despite a few missteps, "360 Waves" offers the two essential elements of quality Hip Hop, entertaining, informative rhymes paired with quality production.

In one of his more candid moments, RZA once said that as a young man, his mother warned him to stay away from the Nation of the Gods And Earths “because there were so many young brothers that were gangsters and thugs and cleaned themselves up with it.” The fact that Wu-Tang formerly doubled as an acronym for “We Usually Take All Niggas Garments” speaks to a less flattering side of Supreme Mathematics. All of which is a long-winded way of saying that sometimes the same pair of Timbs that walk a righteous path can stomp someone out if that’s what the occasion calls for. During the bulk of 360 Waves, Planet Asia, Alchemist and the rest of Durag Dynasty often explore the aforementioned dichotomy.

The quartet offers a brand of intense tracks with hard rhymes influenced by the days when the singular act of rhyming and switching cadences was more or less revered as a sport. Planet Asia is still the best emcee this side of Inspectah Deck at jump-starting a posse cut with an energetic verse. His cohorts TriState and Killer Ben will keep younger, unseasoned listeners making multiple visits to Wikipedia with references to Annunaki, Dr. Malachi York and Sanskrit. Alchemist is the star of the show here though—alternating between soulful samples as on the title track, or inducing contorted facial expressions with spaced out synthesizers and keys on “Tetrahydrons On Mars.”

Listeners looking for a fundamental flaw won’t find one, but there are a few missteps that keep 360 Waves from being a top-tier project. Despite Alchemist’s pyrotechnics behind the boards, Killer Ben, TriState and Planet Asia keep things pretty even keeled on their end. Depending on your personal tastes, the A, B, B, A rhyme schemes and similes with obscure references heavily peppered with 120 lessons either maintain a consistent equilibrium or tend to get monotonous. Additionally, points are deducted for the amount of time they spend admonishing the skinny jean wearing, swag-obsessed rappers currently flooding the marketplace. There’s nothing wrong with cultural critique in and of itself. But the repeated criticism paired with an inability to provide a viable alternative sometimes makes them sound like bitter elder statesmen. It’s unfortunate, because a quick peek at the video for “360 Waves” or the hilarious album cover proves otherwise.

These are far from deal breakers, and ultimately 360 Waves is 10 bucks well spent. It’s not five-mic material, but it solidly provides the two essential elements of quality Hip Hop from any era—entertaining, often informative rhymes paired with quality production.


  • Orr971

    I loved it. It's fresh and the production from my favorite producer Alchemist is AMAZING.

  • Lou

    The best raw Hip Hop I've heard in years....together with Sputnik Brown at the top of my list. Can't stop and won't stop listening to '360 waves' for months and months !!!

  • Anonymous

    Meh, its alright but nothing special..... Alchemist beats lately are just played out I liked him better when he wasnt making 10,000 albums a year and throwing together his beats in 5 minutes to keep up with the schedule

  • mike

    This is a classic. I just can't stop listening to it

  • Thanks Tri & Asia...

    ... for doing what Action Bronson, Domo & Currency failed to do: GET REAL HIP-HOP BEATS FROM AL!!!!! Note for the beatsmiths - An ill sample w/o drums is like a hot chick w/o a vagina...

  • DMV Dave

    Raw rhymes + ALC BEATS (w/ Drums & basslines) = CLASSIC MATERIAL

  • Make1

    "Tristate" goes ham as usual. with the right beats, Tristate is a problem!

  • 5 star material

    I really like this album, forget about the negative reviews sites give this, critics are ignorant to whats potent!

  • BlakDon'tCrak

    I truly believe that these blogs are accepting payola and a lot of times they don't even listen to these albums they write reviews on. 360 Waves is a timeless album that'll we'll be talking about for a while. I had to give this album a 5 on all levels including the artwork. Production and Lyrics, no frills. This is the direction that I hope our culture is going. BTW the Durag Dynasty video for 360 Waves is also great. Thanks for putting us back on course Alchemist.

  • Deebo Brice

    Hands down, Album of the year. I haven't heard an album of this caliber in years. The ding bat who wrote this review is clearly ignorant and lacks the knowledge it takes to grasp the overall depth of this project. 6 Stars for being able to deliver a creative masterpiece in this climate. They obviously aren't chasing radio, or following what these paper plate ass artist are doing. All Praises to ALC and the Durag Dynasty

  • badbrainz

    this is what happens when you let ppl who don't know hip hop do hip hop album reviews. hip hop dx takes a fat L for this one.

  • Anonymous

    5 stars lets see if anyone can top this album 2013

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  • Chris

    Worst review ive ever read. This is a 5 star project and fuck skinny jeans and all that faggotry!!

  • Anonymous

    hey faggot redo your review u over critical no talent having, it can always be better, bitch ass non durag rockin , i need to feel important ass bitch u aint hiphop!

  • Harlem's Reckoning

    This album is a monster. I didn't get familiar with Killer Ben until Black Belt Theatre and of always been a Planet Asia fan. Good shit

  • Doubl Negative

    All of the superlatives this superb LP has garnered are well justified. PA and Al are two of the top hip-hop artists in their respected fields and this new record joins their previous classic output. Any one who doesn't appreciate authentic hip-hop will take issue with the complex rhymes and obscure beats, but it's best to think of music like this as hip-hop Jackson Pollock or David Lynch/Kafka etc. Initially you may find the topic to be inscrutable, but if you persevere with it, it'll seep through into your subconscious. Music like this won't hit some people on first listen, and it's really music you have graduate to, but it's worth it in the long run. Not only is this album regaling but it's also an edifying experience - to coin KRS' phrase "Edutainment". Anyone reading this article who doesn't cop this joint but bumps the new timberlake record gets the Bozack.

  • HoneyBrown

    As a true fan of the culture I fiend for hip hop like this. I was honestly skeptical about this album based on the name of the group, but my respect for Alchemist was high enough to give it a listen. I haven't stopped listening since. 4.8 Stars without hesitation I would say nominee for hip hop 2013 AOTY. All my ladies need to get involved, plus we know how to look cute in durags.

  • phuckyall

    this is a 5/5 rite here... lyrically and sonically high level sounds... and its the posse crew aspect you don't get on the regular..

  • iselfborngod

    Peace to the Durag Dynasty. Planet Asia and Tristate been bringing out nothing but bangers lately and Killer Ben and Alchemist top it off. Taking it off to spitting and knowledge and flows. Amazing album

  • Anonymous

    her pussy is good bro sorry for you

  • Dman

    Shit bangs front to back

  • slaam

    the worse shit is that hip hop dx turns around and jumps back on their dick. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/interviews/id.2069/title.durag-dynasty-discuss-their-classic-debut-and-alchemist-s-guidance-

  • carAnthony

    That shit is breath of fresh air and my first AOTY nominee.


    seriously fuck you for this dumbass review of one of the most refreshing, actual hip-hop albums in a long time. you and XXL can't give it the legit rating & review it deserves because it doesn't sound like the abomination of bullshit that dominates airwaves in 2013. and that's what's wrong with hip-hop now!! guess there are no more authorities in rap anymore. in the meantime i'm keeping my durag on.

  • IceDoctor

    These type of projects don't come around often. 360 Waves is ground breaking for the genre. I would say just as much as NWA, Pac, Biggie, Nas, WuTang and Eminem were. To drop high quality material with substance in an era where everyone's trying to dumb the music out as much as possible speaks volumes. As a listener I feel like they did offer a solution and that was to be your self no matter what the industry says the standard is. Respect Alchemist and the GCM Durag Dynasty movement. 5 Stars out here in the D

  • truth

    this is why you don't let people who don't know shit about hip hop write album reviews, I swear hip hop dx takes a fat L for this review.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    I just miss the days of J-23 on this site. I swear this dude here gives the most contradictory bullshit hypocritical reviews ever. Nigga 5% rhetoric is a majority of hip hop seeing that the shit was started in NYC. Dumb ass. Hip hop did always have a consciousness in the early days and within these recent poisonous times was dumbed down and made to be a vessel to gravitate to destructive ways..such as this new Molly phase and other bullshit that comes on mainstream radio and BET. I wasn't fully aware of the NGE/5%/Supreme Alphabet exactly until I got up on it and noticed the jewels that went over my head all these years listening to informative dope stuff. At the very least to the open minded/pure hip hop cat that seeks some substance and has a sense of spirituality and self, this is a positive. This is a tool for learning. Besides... dope rhymes and dope beats...that's hip hop. this project is a strong 4.5 and is as I long said before it released just based on the artists involved...will be the standard and LP of the year. Get some better writers HHDX. These new niggas are full of shit.

  • paul_banks

    the album is incredible from start to finish. Alchemist has done it again.

  • ThirdEye

    Contradicting like most writers who do album reviews. It's not about the NGE 5% movement anyway, it's about the energy of what these artist are putting in to the atmosphere. They speak on subjects and people who aren't 5% NGE's like Sa Neter, Dr. Malachi York, Ghandi, Mandela, Kemet and more so it's apparent to me that you lack depth of consciousness as a writer and researcher. I agree with InfiniteFlows who said "They don't need to offer solutions......They ARE the solution." Put substance back in our music, it's needed. Salute to the Durag Dynasty for delivering a 5 star classic and peace to all the positive movements. WE GET IT!!!

  • Yasir

    Yo, this joint is ill, i'm not giving a 5 yet cause I only listened once. It seems like your major problem with the album is the heavy 120 NGE reference, you also quoted RZA, do you also know RZA said that the NGE is responsible for about 80-90% of hiphop? So to say that the NGE, 120 reference is the "problem" with the album you can't call yourself a hip hop editor.

  • InfiniteFlows

    Man this album is straight up CRACK!!!! They are showing everybody how to step it up with the lyrics and flow! How could you CRITICIZE someone for having references to NGE and 120 lessons!?!?! Just like Bushwick Bill said at SXSW.....it takes a curious listener who respects the art to do their OWN research and find out what they don't understand. Obscure stuff can only teach those that want to be taught!!! Plus...they are going HARD as HELL on those crazy Alchemist beats! This is what the game needs to balance this bullshit out. They don't need to offer solutions, as the reviewer said......They ARE the solution!!!!! Think about it!!!! smh

  • herb superb

    I really wanna say that since I listened to planet asia's medicine album produced by Evidencesome years back, PA medallions has been in my top ten!And Tri-state gets most improved!We already got enough ignorant bullsh#t flooding the airwaves as it is!!! Killa Ben sounds good also. That GOD BODY flow they spit is ill & I feel them all day bcuz I removed the patch off my third eye years ago! If they ever come to VA. Im there!!!!

  • Anonymous

    hip hop dx gives this a 3.5 and covers justin timberlake gay ass around the clock. rap lost. rap sucks. 5 star album

  • MoKnuckles

    Hands down the best album I've heard in years. PA, TriState & Killer Ben's rhymes fit ALC's production like a brand new Nautica coat. Thank you Durag Dynasty for shape shifting this disturbed era of Hip Hop.

  • abu_maryam

    Just bought this through Google Music. Really tight, production straight crack.

  • bigzizzo

    album of the year so far!

    • IceDoctor

      @Nah, son > I actually listened to both projects and I'm gonna have to agree with @bigzizzo. Czarface is at best a 3 star project, the production sounds dated and the rhymes in comparison to Durag Dynasty are somewhat elementary. I'm a hugh Deck fan but Esoteric's voice, cadences and wordplay isn't up to bar vs. Planet Asia, TriState & Killer Ben. Honestly Decks isn't either. Sorry bro, Plain and simple Durag Dynasty is just better all the way around. 5 Stars

    • Nah, son

      CZARFACE eats this album's greek yogurt.

  • duragdon

    you guy are crazy this is crack!

  • huh

    I thought this shit was really disappointing. It's still good, but after Al's last album and P.A.'s, I just had a lot more faith in it.